Project ReCharge was initiated in 2009 by Envirolution co-founders Alex Gamboa and Antuan Cannon. The program’s primary mission was to empower and educate young students to take a hands-on approach to help their school save money through energy conservation efforts. 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 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 GreenPower Program in late 2010.
In 2014, Envirolution and Project ReCharge partnered with the Raggio Research Center for STEM Education at the College of Education in the University of Nevada – Reno (UNR) and received Nevada’s first National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (NSF ITEST) grant valued at $1.2 million. (Award Number 1433597-Project ReCharge). The NSF ITEST grant allowed UNR and Envirolution to expand the program and bring Project ReCharge to new school districts, teachers, and students and provide them with the opportunity to engage with innovative lessons as well as the knowledge, skills, and classroom materials needed to reduce their school’s energy consumption and cost. This initial funding was followed by the Nevada Department of Education Math/Science Partnership Grant Program for the 2017-2018 academic year as part of the Northern Nevada Energy Efficiency Teacher Training Initiative. In 2018, Envirolution partnered with the Nevada Governor’s Office of Energy and Tesla, through their Nevada K-12 Education Gift Fund investment and received $37.5 million spanning over five years to further develop and expand our program to impact a greater number of teachers and students and encourage them towards a STEAM career path.
Project ReCharge is currently in 72 schools across 13 school districts in Nevada and California. The student proposals that Project ReCharge has supported and implemented have saved school districts over $1,078,000 in energy costs, reduced enough energy to power 737 average American homes for one year and cut CO2 emissions by 3,712 metric tons which is equivalent to removing 1,331 average cars from the road for one year. We currently have 28 teachers training in the 2020/2021 school year. These teachers are getting the best hands-on, project based training and curriculum out there!