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UMass, Springfield school get clean energy grant


For The Recorder
Friday, July 21, 2017

A Springfield high school has teamed up with the University of Massachusetts Amherst to land a state grant to install a solar panel and a wind turbine on its school campus.

The goal? To boost student interest in the energy field, as well as in STEM careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

UMass and Springfield High School of Science and Technology received the $160,000 grant last month from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center for the solar panel and wind turbine project at the school’s State Street location. The project is managed by UMass Amherst, said Andrew Chabot, a program manager at the Clean Energy Center.

“This is the fourth year of the grant program, but it’s the first time UMass has been involved,” Chabot said. “We’re really excited to see what they do with it.”

An engineering and sustainability class for the 25 high school students involved in the program will be taught during the spring 2018 semester, and an eight-week paid internship in hands-on clean energy will start in the summer.

The students will design cellphone chargers for outdoor benches and a solar and wind-powered electronic message board, said Erin Baker, UMass Amherst industrial engineering professor.

Springfield High School of Science and Technology is one of six high school programs to receive a clean energy education grant this year.

The program is meant to encourage high school students to enter a growing industry, said Craig Gelvarg, a spokesman for the Clean Energy Center.