Maryland Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education’s (MAEOE) Green Schools Program knows the importance of energy efficiency
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Maryland Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education’s (MAEOE) Green Schools Program knows the importance of energy efficiency

Maryland Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education’s (MAEOE) Green Schools Program knows the importance of energy efficiency

Students across Maryland are saving energy in Maryland Green Schools! In the 2013-2014 school year 69 out of 135 surveyed schools conducted energy audits, 47 of those used the audits to reduce energy consumption and 1,256 classrooms used only daylight for portions of the day. Students are empowered and energized by the Maryland Green School process. They are furthering the environmental literacy movement with their actions.

At Parr’s Ridge Elementary School (E.S.) in Carroll County you will see student made reminders to turn the lights off. Cross Country E.S. in Baltimore City has an energy patrol that inspects the energy use and issues tickets to wasteful classrooms. The Tidewater School students in Calvert County have classroom jobs to turn off the lights. These three schools are all Maryland Green Schools through the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE) program. MAEOE has 450 Maryland Green Schools throughout the state who are all doing a variety of environmental practices. In Maryland, there are over 2200 schools with 1 million PreK-12 students. These school communities represent a significant opportunity to maintain and improve environmental sustainability, with over 125 million square feet of building space and grounds covering thousands of acres. The Program’s goals are to enrich education by integrating hands-on, inquiry-based instruction to empower youth to practically apply knowledge at school, home and in their communities to reduce pollution, decrease waste, increase habitat, limit carbon emissions, as well as create healthy learning and living environments. Many schools use the Maryland Green Schools program to get the whole school excited about environmental practices.

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One of the categories that schools highlight about their school is energy conservation. Schools that choose to fulfill the energy conservation category as one of their four required sustainability practice categories, perform activities such as energy audits, student jobs, educational signage and energy savings tips on the morning announcements. The Maryland Green Schools Award is a great motivator for getting schools to be excited about the energy saving practices that they do. At the end of each school year, MAEOE collects numbers on the energy efficient actions that applicants completed. What an impact Maryland’s public and independent schools are making across the 24 school districts.

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The Maryland Green Schools program is not the only work in which MAEOE is involved, MAEOE and partners provide professional learning opportunities to educators throughout the state of Maryland which can be found on the MAEOE Professional Development Calendar. MAEOE hosts the nation’s largest state environmental education conference every February, with over 500 formal and non-formal educators in attendance. February 5 – 8, 2015 in Ocean City MAEOE will hold the 30th Annual MAEOE Conference. Registration will open in November, there are several excellent workshops and sessions featuring climate change science and examples of classroom activities about energy efficiency. Educators pick up many new ideas and gain new knowledge to help them succeed in promoting sustainable actions and inquiry. If you are interested in more information about the Maryland Green School program, the MAEOE 30th Annual Conference or would like to find out about any of the other things that MAEOE does please visit www.maeoe.org.