Recently students from the Spring 2010 Environmental Connections class, which was taught by Michael Lansing and Joe Underhill, received $500 from the Nash Foundation to fund a student-designed campus greening project. Their project deserves an A+ for creativity and could result not only in energy savings but also in improved student fitness.
The class focused on energy and featured a final project in which teams of students wrote real grant proposals for campus-greening initiatives. One student group—made up of Angela Bonfiglio, Alexander Ebert, Emily Nichols, Edmond Smith, and Tsering Dechen—proposed an “Augsburg Pedal Power Program.” Here’s how they described their project in their application to the Nash Foundation:
“The funding for the Auggie Pedal Power Program will purchase two energy bicycle converters and power packs for the student lounge. This system connected to regular outdoor bikes will power the television in the lounge by human generated power. The grant also includes money to help educate the student body through posters, information, and events for the program. The bikes will be donated through a local bike shopâ€¦ This program we hope to initiate will not directly create a large dent in usage and consumption but it will raise awareness of these everyday actions… The energy converter machine will require that the students use their own energy to charge their electronics. The Christensen Center Lounge room is a place where many of the current students gather. It provides entertainment equipment for these students. Setting this program in such an area provides opportunities to create an energy consciousness.”
Lansing and Underhill will be talking to the students about how to use these monies and move forward with a modified version of the program they had in mind since the amount they received was much smaller than what they requested in the proposal.
Lansing gives credit to some Augsburg staff members for their support of the students’ grant writing project. Carol Forbes, Laura Roller, and Tom Ruffaner provided crucial advice and aid over the course of the semester. “:The three of them deserve many thanks for helping to make this happen,” Lansing says.
Congratulations Angela, Alexander, Emily, Edmond, and Tsering!