SUNY Cortland Partners with Local High School to Power Cars
Thanks to a renewable energy project created through SUNY Cortland's Regional Professional Development School program, electric cars can now power up at Tully High School using energy generated by the sun and the wind.
The electric car charging station - believed to be the first of its kind based in a public school - was unveiled in May 2011. The renewable power source it uses was designed and assembled by Tully High School students and SUNY Cortland teacher education students to power the school's main athletic scoreboard.
The scoreboard project, titled "Generating Learning By Generating Power," got started with a $500 mini-grant from the Regional Professional Development School program secured by Katina Sayers-Walker, an assistant professor in the childhood/early childhood education department at SUNY Cortland, and Kevin Sommer, a teacher in the Tully Central School District.
The wind- and solar-powered scoreboard, created with the assistance of Tully resident and engineer Steve Soos, was used for the first time this spring. As an extension of that project, energy generated by the scoreboard's wind turbine and solar panels will be used to power an electric car charging station that has been installed in the high school.
The charging station offers a hands-on, environmentally friendly learning experience. High school students will use a 2011 Chevrolet Volt provided by Jack McNerney Chevrolet for end-of-the-year driver education courses. The Volt, an electric car that can drive 25 to 50 miles operated by battery, will be charged using the renewable energy source that powers the high school's scoreboard. Power generated by the scoreboard is stored in batteries that are designed to last the duration of any school event.
The Tully Central School District is one of 17 districts with which SUNY Cortland collaborates to establish professional development schools. In those schools, prospective teachers attending SUNY Cortland work with elementary, middle-school and high-school students and teachers on projects involving sustainability, hands-on learning, and other areas of mutual interest.