COLUMBUS, Ohio, November 13, 2017 – The PAST Foundation announced their strategic partnership with IGS Energy to further develop the E3 (Energy, Engineering, Environment) program that will be offered at New Albany-Plain Local schools’ campus beginning this winter. IGS will support the partnership financially with a grant of $270,000 and additionally with in-kind contributions of supplies, materials and volunteer involvement.
PAST Foundation is a non-profit organization focusing on transforming education to better meet the needs of today’s students. The E3 program is one of the first of its kind in the country. Students ranging from Grades K-12 will work and learn within a “living laboratory” to test innovative technologies and learn more about energy concepts and sustainability.
The students in the program will install and monitor energy-related technologies such as solar panels, Nest thermostats, onsite generation, energy monitoring, demand response devices and technologies. The program will launch with two sites in Ohio – New Albany’s E3 Solar House and the PAST Innovation Lab. Future plans allow for nationwide expansion of the program.
Through this partnership, IGS and PAST Foundation will help communities transform traditional classroom settings and lessons into problem-based learning and real-world experiences for students. The partnership is a collaborative effort intended to educate and raise awareness of new and alternative energy technologies. Joining IGS, PAST, and New Albany-Plain Local schools in this endeavor are Ohio industry partners JadeTrack Inc., provider of sustainable and energy efficient software, and Air Force One Inc., experts in installing and delivering optimal building performance systems. JadeTrack and Air Force One bring hardware, software, and expertise to the program.
The E3 program will launch in New Albany-Plain Local Schools early next year, and is led by a 40-teacher cohort tasked with creating a set of tools, including digital, web-based and classroom lesson plans, based on the collection and curation of energy usage data.
“New Albany-Plain Local Schools is grateful to the PAST Foundation and IGS for this generous support to enhance the E3 Learning Lab experience not only for our students and community but many others in central Ohio,” said Michael Sawyers, New Albany-Plain Local Schools Superintendent. “This collaboration and partnership between our district, PAST and IGS will enable our students to have access to tools and instruction that will enhance learning, spark their interest in research and ultimately motivate them for future opportunities,” added Sawyers.
“In order to meet the energy needs of tomorrow, we know we need to start educating young students now,” said Scott White, president and CEO of IGS Energy. “The more students we educate about sustaining our energy needs, today, the more effective we will be in powering—and empowering—the future of energy. I am thrilled that we are able to help launch this type of learning program, and help our future leaders start learning about how energy is evolving and hopefully, help shape what it will look like in the years to come.”
Overall, IGS Energy’s partnership with The PAST Foundation will work to address and advance the company’s vision of an engaged society seeking positive changes in the way in which we manage and consume energy. It’s also about increasing the understanding of efficient and renewable energy usage and the environmental, economic and political benefits of alternative energy sources.
“PAST is an inclusive environment – we know we must work closely with business and industry partners to better align workforce needs with student interests. IGS Energy has been a great supporter of our innovative education programs,” said Annalies Corbin, President & CEO of PAST Foundation. “PAST and IGS share similar philosophies of partnering with local businesses to make transformational change in the communities where we work, live and do business. Having the opportunity to pilot this program at New Albany-Plain Local Schools is an exciting opportunity to create experiences that truly engage and impact students.”
About the PAST Foundation
For over 17 years, PAST, a non-profit foundation, has been a leader in designing STEM education across the nation, bringing transdisciplinary problem-based learning to educators and experiential programs to students. Most notably, PAST was recently recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for its Excellence in Innovation in the STEM 2026 vision report. PAST was the only educational entity in Ohio to be included in this publication (full report).
PAST was also recognized in 2014, by CGI America and former President Bill Clinton for their outstanding work, and again in 2015 for their achievements in improving STEM education in rural America. In 2015, the PAST Innovation Lab was recognized by the White House Summit on High School Design.
About the IGS Family of Companies
With over 25 years of experience in the energy industry, the IGS family of companies provides the following to over one million customers across the country: natural gas, electricity, and home protection products; power generation solutions off the grid; clean, domestic alternative fueling options; and solar solutions. The company focuses on empowering consumers to make choices that best fit their energy needs. Their community investment program, IGS Impact, provides employees with opportunities to get involved with causes that are meaningful to both the company and to them personally. To learn more, visit http://www.igs.com.