Project Recharge

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Project ReCharge

 • Interactive Energy Education in OUR Community •

What is Project ReCharge?

Project Recharge is a hands-on inquiry and project based Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) curriculum and training program that engages students, teachers and facility staff.  By providing them with the knowledge, training, and technology they become energy detectives focused on saving their school money through energy saving recommendations.  This unique program transforms the way school energy savings are achieved and how we engage our students.

Created in 2009 by Envirolution, Project Recharge bridges the gap between school districts, utility companies, government agencies and community organizations. In 2014 Envirolution partnered with the University of Nevada Reno and Washoe County School District and thanks to Grant DRL-1433597 ​from the National Science Foundation, Project ReCharge is investing $1.2 million over three years in energy efficiency education in Northern Nevada.

Now in its third year, Project ReCharge has provided 47 teachers with over 2,312 hours of professional development, giving them over $55,000 in classroom resources which has allowed them to engage over 4,500 students in 10 schools in Northern Nevada.  Together with facility staff ,energy experts and the Envirolution team, dozens of student proposals have been developed and to date 3 have been implemented. Together these efficiency proposals are reducing the school’s carbon footprint by 352,000 lbs of CO2, cutting energy use by 418 megawatt hours each year, resulting in an annual saving of approximately $44,000. 

Teachers interested in signing up for the Project ReCharge program and participating in our summer Professional Development, July 24-28th, should contact education@enviroluntion.org.

Program Components

  • Evidence Based Curriculum

    The Project ReCharge curriculum consists of five separate units that provide teachers with 8-12 weeks of hands-on, inquiry-based lessons and activities focused on energy generation, consumption and efficiency.

    Learn more about the curriculum and standards
  • Hands On Professional Development

    Participating Project ReCharge teachers receive extensive hands-on professional development training on the lessons and activities covered in the curriculum.

    Learn more about our professional development
  • Valuable Classroom Resources

    Teachers are provided with classroom resources to help effectively implement the hands on lessons and activities.

  • Innovative Energy Monitoring Technology

    Project ReCharge curriculum incorporates actual school energy bills and real-time energy monitoring technology to engage students by analyzing the school’s energy use and seasonal trends

  • Project Based/Student Driven Efficiency Proposals

    The students use their Project ReCharge knowledge and work with facility staff and energy experts to develop proposals to save their school energy and money.

  • STEM Career Outreach

    Envirolution helps bring in STEM career professionals into the classrooms, allowing students the opportunity to hear first hand the benefits of a STEM education and the job opportunities in our community.

Program Partners

  • Envirolution (501(c)(3)) focuses on green and sustainable economic development through innovative education.  Envirolution is responsible for developing curriculum content, managing involvement of energy-monitoring technology, and providing classroom assistance to teachers.
  • The Washoe County School District has been an active partner since the program’s inception in 2009 and continues to be instrumental in introducing the program to local middle school and high schools. Current schools include Reed, Wooster and North Valleys High Schools and Cold Springs, Dilworth, Mendive, O’Brien and Vaughn Middle Schools
  • ACE High School provides technical High School training to Reno students and includes advanced Energy Technologies.
  • Douglas County School District joined Project ReCharge in 2016 bringing in 4 new teachers and 70 students from Douglas High School and 170 from Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School.
  • LoadIQ provides energy monitoring hardware and software, including an interactive dashboard to monitor school energy consumption, allowing students and facility staff to evaluate energy loads and determine how best to implement energy efficiency measures.
  • The Raggio Research Center for STEM Education in the College of Education at the University of Nevada-Reno. UNR is responsible for aligning Project ReCharge curriculum to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), leading professional development classes to train teachers for implementation into the classroom and measuring and evaluating student learner outcomes.
  • The National Science Foundation funds research and education in science and engineering, through grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements. The Foundation accounts for about 20 percent of federal support to academic institutions for basic research. NSF is providing generous funding of Project ReCharge under Grant DRL-1433597.

 Project ReCharge Testimonials

  • The hands on activities kept us engaged all day, and made me excited to teach the curriculum!

    Teacher Feedback from Professional Development

  • I found the entire professional development enjoyable/useful. In particular I enjoyed the lesson modeling that took place.

    Teacher Feedback from Professional Development

  • I really appreciated the condensed explanation of the NGSS. It was very helpful. Loved the examples of showing the 5 e model. The binder given is incredible!!!

    Teacher Feedback from Professional Development

  • This was the best professional development that I have ever been to. It was truly fantastic.

    Teacher Feedback from Professional Development

  • I enjoyed actively participating in the lessons that we are going to be teaching.

    Teacher Feedback from Professional Development

  • “Utterly amazing! My students loved the hands on experience that the 5E model allowed and when giving them a formative assessment, they did really well in understanding the content.”

    Teacher Feedback on Curriculum.

  • “PRC makes my job so much easier! I am providing my students with engaging curriculum that is not only attached to the standards – but is also valuable for their life skills!”

    Teacher Feedback on Curriculum.

  • “Envirolution was very supportive and attentive and you can tell they are passionate about Project ReCharge"

    Teacher Feedback on Envirolution

Photos from Project ReCharge

Click to enlarge. 

Project ReCharge in the News

More Information on the History of Project ReCharge

NSF Grant-Three Year Goals

  • Infuse Project ReCharge Curriculum into 10 schools and engage more than 3,000 students​ to improve students’ academic performance and interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
  • Empower students to identify energy saving opportunities in 10 schools, with 5 student projects resulting in a 10% reduction in actual energy costs.
  • Provide at least 30 teachers with 45 hours of professional development training ​and the necessary resources to effectively implement this inquiry-based STEM curriculum

NSF Grant Specifics

Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF):
ITEST Division of Research on Learning. Award Number 1433597 (Project ReCharge)
The University of Nevada, Reno, Envirolution and Washoe County School District
Principal Investigator: David T. Crowther; Co-principal Investigators: Jacque Ewing­-Taylor & Susan Clark