This year, the Residential Energy Program Manager, Larissa Johnson, became part of the NOAA Climate Stewards Community. As part of the community, she had to develop a climate stewardship action project with students from Montgomery County.
This summer she partnered with the City of Rockville to complete an action program titled “Source to Socket: Learning the FUNdamentals of Energy Literacy.” Students from the City of Rockville Community Services Youth Programs participated in a four-day training session which connected them to their energy sources and encouraged them to make energy conscious choices.
Each day, the students focused on a different area in which energy impacts their lives. One of the students, Jasmine Jackson, a rising Senior at Richard Montgomery High School documented the entire experience for us in a series of blog posts.
July 24, 2017
Hey there! I’m Jasmine and I will be a Senior at Richard Montgomery High School this Fall. I’m writing this blog about my four-day project with the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection and City of Rockville Summer Civic Leadership as part of the NOAA Climate Stewards program. During the four days, we talked about how to connect people to their energy sources and encourage them to make energy conscious choices.
I joined this program because it’s in my nature to help others and to learn new things. Plus, I needed a break from my phone and a reminder to enjoy the little things that people often don’t take a time to enjoy.
As part of the Community Service Program, we meet every morning before 9:00 am to learn about our project and do the work. This Monday, it was a normal day getting up and joining with the rest of my group. Since joining this program, I have met a lot of young volunteers just like me who are trying to make a change within the world.
Some of the other students also attend Richard Montgomery and the others go to Rockville High School. While we were eating, Ms. Larissa Johnson came in to talk to us about what she does in Montgomery County and to give us an overview about what we would be doing during the week.
To be honest, I have always been quite curious about energy usage around the world so I was excited for this program. Ms. Johnson was a cool, nice lady and she had us do an activity to introduce herself and get to know each other. When we walked outside, I noticed she had pizza boxes and I was wondering about what was in those (more on those soon!)
The game had us introduce each other by name but the twist was we all had to do some type of dance move. It was funny and fun at the same time. After we did our warm up activity, we all walked over to the Department of Environmental Protection to learn about energy in a meeting room.
We learned about how much energy we use every day, where that energy comes from, and how we can reduce our energy consumption. We did a few worksheets like Carbon Footprint Calculator and Household Rating Guide . Then suddenly Ms. Johnson made things more interesting and brought out those pizza boxes.
We had discussed renewable energy earlier and it turns out we were going to turn the pizza boxes into a solar oven using the sun’s energy!
I never heard of such a thing…a pizza box stove! I couldn’t wait to see how it would work.
We split into four groups while another student read the directions out loud and we all followed to make our own solar ovens. You can find out how to make one here.
Suddenly, we got another surprise – we were making s’mores using our solar oven pizza box and it was the most awesome idea I heard ever! I wish we could have done this in school too! We place the chocolate and marshmallow in the center of the oven, so that it is directly under the plastic-wrap window. After that we waited for our s’mores to cool, and ate them.
Today, I learned how to save energy around the house and other places we go so we can reduce the amount of energy we use every day and save money. We also learned to create a pizza box oven powered by solar energy to make s’mores.
Click here to read Jasmine’s second blog post in this series about “Source to Socket: Learning the FUNdamentals of Energy Literacy.”