The History of Project ReCharge
Project ReCharge was created in 2009 by Envirolution co-founders Alex Gamboa and Antuan Cannon. The program’s primary mission was to empower and educate youth to take a hands-on approach to save money for their schools through saving energy. The content for the original energy efficiency lessons were developed from various industry recognized and certified education training manuals and were refined over the years with the help from Envirolution’s staff and Americorp VISTA members.The original funding for this program came from multiple small community grants and partnerships, including a partnership with The Desert Research Institute (DRI) GreenPower Program in late 2010.
In 2012, Envirolution was introduced to Hampden Kuhns of LoadIQ, a reno based tech company developing a new energy monitoring system. Realizing the potential to take Project ReCharge to a new level of technical innovation, Envirolution partnered with David Crowther at the Raggio Research Center for STEM Education in the College of Education at the University of Nevada – Reno, and in the fall of 2014, the Project ReCharge team received Nevada’s first NSF ITEST grant valued at $1.2 million over the span of three years. (Award Number 1433597-Project ReCharge)
From 2009-2015, Envirolution introduced Project ReCharge to 100+ teachers in Nevada and over 10 schools in Washoe County and Douglas County. The 3-year NSF ITEST grant allowed UNR and Envirolution the opportunity to reach over 4,500 students and 47 teachers by giving them $55,000 in classroom resources and the knowledge, skills, and technology to reduce their school’s energy use and save money year after year. Project ReCharge significantly exceeded all the goals outlined in the NSF grant. In 2016, Dilworth and Mendive Middle Schools installed lighting retrofits, saving the WCSD 53,880 KWh a year.
Project ReCharge continued to expand its work through the Northern Nevada Energy Efficiency Teacher Training Initiative (NNEETTI ). Thanks to the Nevada Department of Education Math/Science Partnership Grant, Project ReCharge moved into 10 new schools in 3 new school districts, training 35 new teachers and reaching at least 1,000 new students for the 2017-2018 school year.
Project ReCharge currently has trained teachers working in 40 schools across 9 school districts. The student proposals that Project ReCharge has supported has saved the districts $436,00! We currently have 25 teachers training in the 2019/2020 school year. They are getting the best hands-on project based learning out there with the help of our new Curriculum Manager, Megan Weinhold. With all of the exciting growth we were also able to hire a Project ReCharge Manager, Laura Scarselli who will be supporting our expansion to Southern Nevada this year.