Good to Know

Dan Richards, Idaho teacher, wins second award

Daniel Richards of Meadow Valley Schools in New Meadows, and member of the Solar 4R Schools program was recently honored for the second time this year for his good work as a science teacher.

Richards was named the “GIANTS Middle School Teacher” by Idaho Governor C.L “Butch” Otter last month.

Richards has also been honored as the environmental educator of the year.

As a teacher and mentor, Mr. Richards has been brining an appreciation of science to his students and community for the past 28 years.

Mr. Richards engages his entire community in science learning throughout the school year and in the summer. Students look forward to the annual week-long science trip they take with Mr. Richards to different ecological and geographical sites where they create podcasts, notebooks, and journals describing their experiences. Mr. Richards models the trip based on his own experiences from conducting hands-on research.

American Idols bring star power to Solar 4R Schools event

Recently-eliminated American Idol contestants Anoop (Noop Dogg) Desai and Lil Rounds showed they still had a large following Friday as hundreds of students and teachers welcomed them to Camino Nuevo Charter Academy in Los Angeles as part of its Solar 4R Schools celebration.

Anoop Desai and Lil Rounds, eliminated American Idol finalists, center pose for pictures at Friday's Camino Nuevo solar event.

Anoop Desai and Lil Rounds, eliminated American Idol finalists, center, pose for pictures at Friday's Camino Nuevo solar event.

The two stars mingled with students, signed autographs and test drove model solar cars given to them during a dedication ceremony for the school’s new 1.36-kilowatt solar-electric system.

da Vinci brings to life the art of green building


Da Vinci Arts Middle School in Portland celebrated a roofing renaissance at its new LEED Platinum-anticipated, net zero energy, high performance classroom building on April 10.The school held an open house to showcase the latest innovation of its groundbreaking building: a roof constructed with integrated photovoltaic (PV) solar tiles.

Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) donated 150 32-watt SolarSave® tiles from Applied Solar, Inc. that are being integrated into the roof and wired to an inverter in the building. When combined with a smaller, pole-mounted PV array already located at the site, these two systems will generate up to 6.3 kW of energy — enough to provide the 1,490-square-foot building’s electricity needs — making it the first net zero energy, LEED Platinum-anticipated, freestanding public school classroom in the nation.

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