Student Environmentalists Take Action!
High school students in the Driftless Area are demonstrating a rising awareness of the environmental challenges we face today. And they’re digging in to help! DALC’s Clean Local Energy Alliance – Now! (CLEA-N) project has been working to foster that awareness and activism. Students have taken that support and are running with it, becoming effective messengers and activists.
Mineral Point High School
During the recent Wisconsin Science Fair at MPHS, the Earth Wise Club’s display table attracted many curious folks. Posters highlighted three areas the club is active with this fall. One poster featured a general call to environmental activism. It illustrated some of the environmental challenges we face today.
CLEA-N provided the club with a solar-tracker kit. Students assembled and then demonstrated the tracker. A slide presentation displayed the solar data they had collected on the MPHS campus. A final poster spelled out the importance of recycling and explained the club’s plans to expand recycling opportunities at their school.
The Earth Wise Club members have also committed themselves to keeping a section of highway free of debris. Watch for the Adopt-a-Highway program signage on a section of Hwy 151 that runs past the school. It indicates the EWC’s pledge to keep trash off the roadway.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the interest and energy the club members have put into launching this new environmental club. They are genuinely helping to build a better world,” noted Chuck Tennessen, DALC’s Climate and Energy Coordinator and the co-advisor for the EWC.
MPHS's Libby Dunn (left) and Elodie Regnier (right) advocate for recycling.
Dodgeville High School
Just down the road, Dodgeville High School’s Clean Energy Transition Team (CETT) also created an outstanding display for a recent College & Career Fair held at their school. CLEA-N’s donation of a solar tracker kit provided these students the same opportunity to collect solar data at their campus. Along with solar, their display touted the benefits an enhanced recycling, a composting, and a rain barrel project would bring to their campus. DHS’s Clean Energy Transition Team is working diligently to help advance these projects.
The team is also looking into the benefits solar could bring to their campus. It’s an especially good time for schools to consider solar. An Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provision will cover 30% of the cost for nonprofits like schools. Solar on Schools and Focus on Energy grants further reduce costs. Schools that add solar can reap the immediate benefits of lower energy costs, which is the second largest expenditure for school districts. “Two hundred-six schools across Wisconsin already have added solar and are significantly reducing their energy costs. Maybe it’s time we took a serious look at doing the same,” science teacher and CETT faculty leader Karri Roh-Wasley stated.
Bree Wasley shows off the DHS display.
DALC is excited about engaging the next generation of environmental leaders. The generous support of our members makes this possible. Thank you for being our partner in nurturing these future leaders and in protecting our precious Driftless Area.