Academy of Engineering and Green Technology Named a 2015 National Green Ribbon School
(Wednesday, April 22, 2015) U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that Hartford’s Academy of Engineering and Green Technology was selected as a 2015 National Green Ribbon School for its accomplishments in raising student achievement through an effective environmental curriculum that promotes health and wellness and reduces energy costs and negative environmental impact.
AOEGT was one of 58 schools, 14 districts and nine colleges and universities to be so honored. Four other Connecticut schools and districts — Parkway School in Greenwich, Green Farms Academy of Westport, and the Rogers International School in Stamford, as well as the entire Stamford school district — were also recognized. They were nominated for the national award by the state Department of Education, based on their success in Connecticut’s Green Leaf Schools Program, which is designed to create green, healthier learning spaces.
“I want to congratulate the team at AOEGT on winning this prestigious award and thank them for their leadership in providing creative, real-world learning opportunities for our students,” said Hartford Superintendent Beth Schiavino-Narvaez. “The academy’s innovative instructional approach will better prepare our students for the careers of the future.”
The U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools program, now in its fourth year, is a collaboration between the department, the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The agencies hope that, by honoring green schools and sharing their best practices, they will serve as examples for the rest of the nation.
“These honorees are compelling examples of the ways schools can help children build real-world skillsets, cut school costs, and provide healthy learning environments,” Secretary Duncan said. “U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and deserve the spotlight for embodying strong examples of innovative learning and civic engagement.”
AOEGT was recognized today for numerous accomplishments in raising student achievement through an environmental curriculum. The most notable has been the Nepal Project, where in 2013 students constructed and shipped a solar and wind powered turbine to the remote village of Saldang, Nepal, bringing electricity for the first time to a birthing center there. Mentored by science and engineering teacher David Mangus, the students at the AOEGT are now working on “Nepal 2.0” to bring the same technology to two more villages in that country.
In 2012, AOEGT students also partook in the installation of two solar panel arrays on the rooftop at Hartford Public High School that, as of the end of 2014, have produced 32,000 kilowatts of electricity and have saved 54,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide from entering into the atmosphere.
The school, moreover, offers a college credit course in Environmental Science that is taught in collaboration with the University of Connecticut and works to have students learn and apply sustainability practices through project-based service learning. Other activities for which the Green Ribbon Award was granted include: organizing numerous litter cleanup, recycling and composting campaigns, both in the school and throughout the city; building more than ten community garden beds; and creating a habitat for small woodland birds.
“I’m proud that the Academy of Engineering & Green Technology and its students are being recognized on a national level for their successes in bettering the environment here in Hartford and in bringing technology to communities in Nepal,” said Mayor Pedro E. Segarra. “I’m impressed by their achievement and look forward to seeing what they accomplish in the coming years.”
All of the school’s Green Ribbon undertakings were supported through partnerships with organizations such as, the City of Hartford, the Knox Parks Foundation, UTC Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, the UConn Health Center, GEI Consultants, the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, and Eversource Energy, among others.
“We are so proud and honored to receive this recognition from the U.S. Department of Education,” said AOEGT Principal Michael Maziarz. “It is the culmination, but not the conclusion, of years of work from our students and staff to embrace our Engineering and Green Technology to help improve our school and our community, while helping students to learn and engage at the highest level. Special thanks goes to Mr. Mangus, who has worked tirelessly with our students to bring learning to life.”
A formal recognition ceremony, honoring all of the 2015 National Green Ribbon recipients will be held on Wednesday, June 3, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The last Hartford Public School to be named a National Green Ribbon School was the Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker in 2013.