SolarWiseо for Schools – A Decade Old and 34 Schools Strong,Thanks by lindahy


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  SolarWise                                                                                                     FALL 2006

SolarWise® for Schools – A Decade Old
and 34 Schools Strong,Thanks to the
Continuous Support of our Contributors
 As the SolarWise® for Schools program celebrates its                The SolarWise program also reached another major
 10th anniversary, three more high schools in                        milestone this summer – more than 100 kilowatts of
 northeastern Wisconsin have become part of this                     solar power are now installed at the 34 schools. The
 highly successful education program from WPS                        systems help the schools save energy and money,
 Community Foundation, Inc.                                          benefit the environment, and create educational
                                                                     opportunities for students and their communities.
 The three schools that received solar electric-systems
 on their rooftops in the summer of 2006 are:                        A Rich History
         s N.E.W. Lutheran High School
            (Green Bay)                                              The SolarWise for Schools program began in 1996
         s Brillion High School                                      when three high schools were selected as the first
         s Stevens Point Area Senior High School                     SolarWise schools. Green Bay East, Southern Door
                                                                     and Antigo each received solar-electric systems that
 These three high schools join 31 others already
 participating in the SolarWise program bringing the                                                          continued on page 3
 total to 34.
 Each of the three new schools received a two-
 kilowatt solar-electric system to supplement the
 power they receive from Wisconsin Public Service.
 The solar equipment generates about 2,800 kilowatt-
 hours per year, which is enough electricity to light
 several classrooms. In addition, students are able to
 monitor performance daily via the Internet, making
 it a “live” laboratory where they gain direct
 experience with solar energy.
 Along with the rooftop solar equipment, each school
 received the latest SolarWise for Schools three-week
 curriculum package to use for classroom study of
 renewable energy resources. The package provides                 Brillion High School recently installed solar panels on their
 hands-on learning experiences with solar energy and              roof. Teacher Brad Wysocki, Principal Paul Nistler and Public
 other renewable energy resources.                                Service employees Chip Bircher and Bill Woosencraft were on
                                                                  hand for the installation.

                 SolarWise for Schools is a program of WPS Community Foundation
               Join the 2006
          “Parade of Solar Homes”
    Interested in going solar yourself, but not sure where to                     through Wisconsin
    begin? Join us as we tour several Green Bay area solar                        Public Service’s
    homes and businesses on Saturday, October 7. Every                            NatureWise®
    year Wisconsin Public Service Corporation and the                             renewable energy
    Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) team up                           program.
    to sponsor a guided tour of buildings that use renewable
    energy technologies.                                                          The tour will also include a visit to Bay Port High School
                                                                                  to view one of the solar-electric systems that your
    Even if you’ve been on the tour before, you won’t want to                     contributions helped to put in place, as well as stops at
    miss it this year because the 2006 Solar Home Tour will                       two solar homes, UW-Green Bay and a solar-powered
    feature the award–winning Wisconsin Department of                             church, Bring a bag lunch; we’ll stop at a park.
    Natural Resources.
                                                                                  The all-day tour will depart at 9:30 a.m. sharp and will
    The new DNR headquarters is one of seven buildings in                         last until about 4:30 p.m. Cost for the tour is $5 per
    Wisconsin certified under the Leadership in Energy and                        person.
    Environmental Design (LEED) program from the U.S.
    Green Building Council. With a LEED Gold rating, this                         Directions to Departure Point
    building has numerous renewable energy and sustainable
                                                                                  The tour will depart from Wisconsin Public Service
    features. By using passive solar design, daylighting and
                                                                                  Corporate Offices – Annex Building, located at 700 North
    sophisticated energy control systems, this spacious 35,000
                                                                                  Adams Street in downtown Green Bay. Follow the “Solar
    sq. ft. building, uses 55% less energy than a typical
                                                                                  Tour” signs. Detailed maps are available at
    building of the same size. The building also purchases
    100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources

                                           Winning Solar Essay
    The 2006 Solar Olympics included an “essay event” that                        “…Ironically, natural gas, oil, and coal are all generated from
    presented students with a unique challenge. They were                         the power found in the sun. How? Plants obtain their energy
    asked to imagine themselves as a U.S. Senator from                            from the sun through photosynthesis. Herbivores eat plants,
    Wisconsin giving a speech that would influence the                            which in turn provide energy for these creatures. Carnivores
    budget for the U.S. Department of Energy. They had to                         eat herbivores for their energy. So whether or not a lion eats a
    decide whether or not to support spending more money                          gazelle or a zebra, that lion consumes the sun’s energy. And
    on renewable energy and write the speech they would                           conclusively, when these plants and animals perish, they have
    give to convince a committee of their position. Below are                     molecules of trapped carbon that have captured the sun’s
    a few excerpts from the winning essay: “Let Us Go Solar                       energy, which when buried under pressure and heat create oil,
    Solo. - It’s the Wisest Choice” by “Senator” Gregory P.                       coal, and natural gas.
    Lampe of Tomahawk High School:
                                                                                  “Have you finished comparing? Solar power is the ultimate
    “…America leads the world in scientific achievement, technical                energy candidate for our future energy needs! Nationally and
    skill, and entrepreneurial drive. Within our country are                      globally. Solar power, as you now know, produces our fossil
    abundant natural resources, near unrivaled technology, and                    fuels, which we so heavily rely upon. Also Solar power is the
    collaboration of unlimited human creativity. With futuristic                  one abundant source that is available where one lives no
    leadership and sensible policies, we can meet our future energy               matter how much money his/her country has in its federal
    demands and promote energy conservation, and do so in                         reserves. The sun radiates its power everyday, 24-7, 365 days
    environmentally responsible ways that set a standard for the                  a year, [and] the sunlight that shines on the Earth in just one
    world. The solution is as simple as looking into the afternoon                hour could meet world energy demand for an entire year! That
    sky...the sun. Solar power, solar meaning Latin for sun, is just              is if we could only truly reach our potential capabilities in
    one way of ensuring a promising tomorrow for future                           harnessing this incredible power. …”
    generations of Americans…”
                                                                                  … “We need to go SOLAR solo, and hope that much of the
    “…we will definitely need a new energy resource that is not                   world will convert with us. Only then can we curtail problems
    only efficient, clean, renewable, and abundant, but cost                      for progress.”
    effective too....What energy source can provide us with all five
    desired needs?....SOLAR POWER! …”

                    If you have any questions about SolarWise for Schools, call 1-800-450-7260
A Decade Old, cont. from front page
continue to provide approximately 60,000 kilowatt-                     “We are so pleased with the success of SolarWise® for
hours of solar electricity annually.                                   Schools,” said Chip Bircher, SolarWise manager at
                                                                       Wisconsin Public Service. “The program continues to
De Pere, Mosinee and Waupaca High Schools received                     grow as people become more aware of the important
solar-electric systems in the 1997-98 school year. In                  role that renewable energy plays in providing reliable
addition, a grant from the Wisconsin Environmental                     electricity while protecting the environment. SolarWise
Education Board allowed seven more schools to receive                  is a simple way to make a difference.”
the SolarWise curriculum package.
                                                                       It is the goal of the SolarWise® for Schools program to
The table below summarizes all the SolarWise                           install solar-electric systems on all 63 public and
installations:                                                         private high schools in Public Service’s territory when
                                                                       funding becomes available.
 Year    Schools
 1997    Antigo, Green Bay East, Southern Door                         Funds for the solar equipment that the schools receive
 1998    De Pere, Mosinee, Waupaca                                     through the SolarWise program come primarily from
                                                                       voluntary donations made by customers of Wisconsin
 1999    Crandon, Pulaski, Oshkosh-West                                Public Service to the WPS Community Foundation.
 2000    Denmark, Laona, Lourdes-Oshkosh                               Currently, 4,200 customers contribute. Additional
 2001    Green Bay Southwest, Merrill, Wausaukee                       grants come from the state’s Focus on Energy program.
 2002    Ashwaubenon, DC Everest (in Schofield),                       Wisconsin Public Service Corporation funds the
         Wabeno                                                        curriculum materials, Solar Olympics and the other
                                                                       events associated with the program.
 2003    Bay Port (Howard-Suamico), Oconto,
         Tomahawk, Valders, Pacelli (Stevens Point)                    The WPS Community Foundation is a private, not-for-
 2004    Wrightstown, Wausau East, Marinette,                          profit charitable organization providing information
         Sevastopol (near Sturgeon Bay)                                and options for renewable energy. Through SolarWise®
                                                                       for Schools and the annual Solar Olympics, the
 2005    Wausau West, Rhinelander, Crivitz, Notre
                                                                       Foundation actively works to preserve the environment
         Dame Academy (Green Bay)
                                                                       for our children, our grandchildren and ourselves.
 2006    N.E.W. Lutheran (Green Bay), Brillion,                        Contributions to the WPS Community Foundation are
         Stevens Point                                                 tax deductible, to the extent allowed by law. More
                                                                       information is available at or by calling

  A Great “Green” Host for Solar Olympics
Renewable energy and environmental issues are of                             resources in the United States. The college has
special interest to students and staff at all three of the                   1,342 undergraduate majors, 150 minors and 120
schools that take turns hosting the Solar Olympics:                          graduate students enrolled. As a result, there is
UW-Green Bay, UW-Oshkosh and UW-Stevens Point.                               campus-wide environmental awareness including
This year it was UW-Stevens Point’s turn to welcome                          more than 20 active student organizations related
high schoolers and show off their green campus.                              to the CNR.
2006 marked the second time in the 10-year history of                   s Wisconsin Environmental Education Board (WEEB)
the Solar Olympics that the event was held at UW-                         and the Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program
Stevens Point. Here are just a few of the reasons the                     (KEEP) are both located on the UWSP campus.
central-Wisconsin campus again proved to be a great                       These organizations provide educational materials,
location for the event:                                                   grants and workshops across the state.
s UW-Stevens Point’s College of Natural Resources is                    s The university is home to a number of “green”
  the largest undergraduate program in natural                            technology projects, including these:
                                                                                                             continued on back page

                      SolarWise for Schools is a program of WPS Community Foundation
                                                Happy 10th Anniversary
                                                   Solar Olympics!
    For the past decade, high school students from
    throughout Northeast Wisconsin and the Fox Valley
    with a common interest in our planet’s closest star
    have gathered together on a day in early May. They
    aren’t skipping school to work on their tans,
    however. These students bring their collective
    knowledge of the sun and its power to both compete
    and share with their peers. Some years have been
    sunnier than others, but the Solar Olympics event is
    always a bright spot in the academic lives of
    teachers and students.
    This year, teams from 22 area high schools
    competed in the 10th Annual Solar Olympics
    on May 10 at the University of Wisconsin-
    Stevens Point. Schools like De Pere, Denmark,
    Oshkosh Lourdes, Oshkosh West and others
    have been regulars at the event throughout its
    10-year history. Brillion High School, on the                   The De Pere High School team took time out from their busy day at Solar
    other hand, had students competing in the                       Olympics to pose for a picture with their solar cooker. De Pere won the
                                                                    most medals overall in the day’s events.
    Solar Olympics for the first time in 2006.
                                                                                 School. “They were really excited to do something here
    “This event really motivated the kids,” said Brad                            to represent their school.”
    Wysocki, who teaches physical science at Brillion High
                                                                                    Wysocki said one of the strengths of the Solar
                                                                                    Olympics is that it doesn’t just appeal to students
                                                                                    with a scientific bent who want to design a solar
                                                                                    cooker or water heater. Events like the solar photo
                                                                                    contest, solar sculpture and solar marketing plan get
                                                                                    students with a variety of interests and talents
                                                                                    involved. In fact, there were a total of 11 different
                                                                                    activities students could choose to participate in this
                                                                                    A Busy Day
                                                                                    The event began at 9:30 with an opening ceremony
                                                                                    in the Laird Room of the University Center. Chip
                                                                                    Bircher, Renewable Energy Products Manager for
                                                                                    Wisconsin Public Service and Jim Rosenberg, a
                                                                                    Public Service Community Representative in the
    This student gave his solar-powered car a few final adjustments
                                                                                    Stevens Point area, welcomed the students, teachers
    before putting it to the test on the racetrack.                                 and judges.

                   If you have any questions about SolarWise for Schools, call 1-800-450-7260
“The creativity and teamwork that goes into these
projects is outstanding and we congratulate all the
students who worked on them,” Rosenberg said.
Bircher pointed out the event was being run completely
on renewable energy purchased through the utility’s
NatureWise program and Rosenberg credited the more
than 4,000 Public Service customers who make
voluntary donations to the WPS Community
Foundation with making the event possible. He also
thanked UW-Stevens Point for hosting the event; saying
the school is “truly a leader in renewable energy.” Sue
Kissinger, Coordinator of Advising and Recruitment at
UW-Stevens Point’s College of Natural Resources gave
an introduction to the program and praised the efforts
of the Solar Olympics participants.
“I can tell you put long hours and lots of thought into
these projects,” Kissinger said.
The high schools competing in this year’s Solar
Olympics were: Antigo, Bay Port (Howard/Suamico),
Brillion, Crivitz, D.C. Everest (Wausau), Denmark, De
Pere, Green Bay Southwest, Lourdes (Oshkosh),
Marinette, Merrill, Notre Dame Academy (Green Bay)                    Christopher Dettmering of Crivitz High School looked into the
Oshkosh West, Pacelli (Stevens Point), Pulaski,                       sky to determine the sun’s location, while Brandon Schenk
Rhinelander, Tomahawk, Valders, Wabeno, Waupaca,                      adjusted the position of their team’s cooker while setting up at
Wausau West and Wrightstown. The schools were                         the 2006 Solar Olympics.
divided into four groups and the groups rotated                       divided up among art, English, tech education and
through a schedule that included judges’ interviews,                  science classes so students with various interests have
the solar car race, a campus tour, the Solar Jeopardy                 the opportunity to be involved. Other schools build
preliminary round and a team photo. The events were                   Solar Olympics into the curriculum of a particular
held in and around the Learning Resources Center                      class. At Green Bay’s Notre Dame Academy, for
(library) and the Laird Room. This was the second time                example, it’s part of the environmental science class
the Solar Olympics have been held at UW-Stevens                       and students can choose any one of the Solar Olympics
Point.                                                                categories as their end-of-the-year project. Similarly,
Going for Gold                                                        Stevens Point Pacelli High School senior Sam Schuler
                                                                      said he worked on the solar cooker as part of his
Judges for Solar Olympics this year came from local                   ecology class.
businesses, UW-Stevens Point, the Wisconsin K-12
Energy Education Program and Wisconsin Public                         Only two students from Pulaski High School made the
Service.                                                              trip to the Solar Olympics this year, but they
                                                                      represented their school well. Garrett Knoll, a Pulaski
Katie Leet, a De Pere High School senior, said she was a              sophomore, won the gold metal for his solar building
little nervous during her interview with solar sculpture              design. He said he worked on the project for months
judges. She worked on her school’s sculpture entry                    and really looked forward to attending the Solar
with her Art IV class and it earned her school the gold               Olympics.
                                                                      “I want to be an architect and learning about solar
Student teacher Justin Heraly accompanied the 11-                     design helped increase my awareness of renewable
member De Pere team to Solar Olympics. He said at De                  energy options,” he said.
Pere High School the 11 Solar Olympics events are
                                                                                                                    continued on page 6

                     SolarWise for Schools is a program of WPS Community Foundation
                                                     10th Annual Solar Olympics,
                                                     cont. from page 5
       Adding it Up
                                                    Pulaski High
    Since its beginning in
                                                    School senior
    1996, the SolarWise® for
                                                    Jennifer Fay,
    Schools Program has:                            who put
                                                    together an
    • Produced 874,800
                                                    entry for the
    kilowatt-hours of
                                                    Solar Cooker
    electricity, enough to                          event said,
    provide electricity for 145                     “The Solar
    homes for a year.                               Olympics
                 +                                  provides
                                                    students with
    • Preserved 1,120,100                           a lot of
    lbs. of coal—over five and                      valuable
    one-half railroad cars                                           Entries in the Solar Cooker competition were designed to use
                                                    information      the sun’s rays to heat everything from s’mores to mini pizzas.
    worth.                                          on renewable This one cooked hot dogs.
                 +                                  energy which
                                                    is especially important with fuel prices rising.”
    • Prevented 1,972,300
    pounds of carbon dioxide                        After the judging and campus tours were finished, the Solar Olympians
    emissions—the amount of                         met up for lunch, followed by a presentation from UW-Stevens Point
    carbon dioxide emitted by                       student Patrick Mootz. A senior from Greendale, Wis. majoring in
    driving around the world                        biology education, Mootz gave a presentation on Knutzen Residence
    nearly 100 times.                               Hall, the university’s “eco-hall,” which brings together students who
                                                    have a common interest in environmental issues.
                                                    The final round of the quiz game Solar Jeopardy, hosted by Rosenberg,
    • Prevented 10,500
                                                    wrapped up the day’s competition followed by the award ceremony.
    pounds of sulfur dioxide
                                                    Following the Olympics format, gold, silver and bronze medals were
    emissions.                                      awarded in ten of the events. The following honors were presented:
                 +                                  Medal totals for the top three teams:
    • Prevented 10,400                                 s De Pere High School – 6 medals
    pounds of nitrogen oxide                           s Denmark High School – 4 medals
    emissions.                                         s Oshkosh West High School – 3 medals

    When you add up the                             Gold-medal winners from each event:
    energy savings of all the                           s Solar Cooker – Crivitz
    SolarWise schools over                              s Solar Water Heater – Denmark
    the years since the                                 s Solar Car Overall – Denmark
    program began, you can                              s Solar Essay – Tomahawk
    really see the impact it                            s Solar Sculpture – De Pere
    has had on our                                      s Solar Jeopardy – Oshkosh West
                                                        s Solar T-shirt Design – De Pere
                                                        s Solar Photography – Oshkosh West
                                                        s Solar Building Design – Pulaski
                                                        s Solar Marketing Campaign – De Pere

             If you have any questions about SolarWise for Schools, call 1-800-450-7260
New Solar Olympics Event
Educates Community Groups
A new event was added to the Solar Olympics line-up for                 The De Pere students made a video recording of their
2006. The challenge of “Community Outreach                              peers participating in the Solar Olympics program. Also
Presentation” was for students to educate the community                 included in the video was an interactive session with
about renewable energy and the opportunities offered by                 Senator Robert Cowles talking with the students who
SolarWise® for Schools.                                                 were working on the school’s solar essay.
The event guidelines required students make a                           “We had a lot of people from the community helping out
presentation to a community group about renewable                       with this project of educating students about solar,” Arndt
energy. Suggested audiences included service clubs such                 said. “Our video was to show the rest of the community
as Rotary or Kiwanis, parent-teacher groups, boards of                  how great of a program this is for us students.”
education, etc. The presentation had to include specific
                                                                        The students’ video also covered specifics of the Solar
information about the school’s participation in the
                                                                        Wise for Schools program, including footage of solar
SolarWise program.
                                                                        panels being installed on a school roof.
Students from De Pere, Brillion and Oshkosh Lourdes
                                                                        The De Pere students’ video was then shown at the Baird
High Schools took on the community outreach challenge.
                                                                        Creek Parkway EcoFair on Earth Day. Students handed
Here’s what Tamara Arndt, a student from De Pere High
                                                                        out brochures and invited people over to the booth to
School, said about her school’s presentation:
                                                                        watch the video. They quizzed viewers after the video and
“The community outreach program at De Pere High                         gave away T-shirts as prizes to people who gave correct
School was put together by myself, Holly D’Anna and a                   answers.
small part by Holly Mecomber,” Arndt said. “The largest
                                                                        “We had a lot of people around the booth at all times,”
help had to have been our advisor Mrs. (Christine)
                                                                        Arndt said. “It was definitely a successful event. It’s pretty
Fossen. She was very good at educating us on the
                                                                        exciting knowing that you are a part of contributing to
importance of solar which truly motivated us to want to
                                                                        such a huge project that could make such a difference
achieve success with this project.”
                                                                        some day.”

                                      Q KIDS’ ACTIVITY Q
                                              Chilly Sun Catcher
 • A shallow tray like a foam meat tray or plastic frozen dinner tray
 • 10-12 inch string
 • Marbles, leaves, berries, small pine cones, bits of ribbon and other interesting small items
Clean the tray and fill half way with water. Place the string about 4 inches in the water and about 6 inches out of
the water. Lay items like pretty leaves or berries, marbles, yarn, bits of ribbon, etc. in the water. Set the tray outside
on a cold winter night so the water freezes. In the morning take the frozen contents out of the tray and hang it
outside in front of a window or from a tree. It will sparkle when the sunlight catches it and it presents some fun
science questions:
  • Did you notice that the water expanded as it froze?
  • At what temperature will your sun catcher begin to melt?
  • How many days in a row does the sun catcher hang without melting?
  • Does sunlight affect different parts of the sun catcher more than others?
(Of course, if you try this before it’s cold enough to freeze at night, you can put the tray into the freezer.)

                       SolarWise for Schools is a program of WPS Community Foundation
                                                                                                              PRSRT STD
                 WPS Community Foundation, Inc.
                                                                                                             U.S. POSTAGE
                 700 North Adams Street                                                                        PAID
                 P. O. Box 19002                                                                              PERMIT # 145
                                                                                                             GREEN BAY, WI
                 Green Bay, WI 54307-9002

          You can access our Web page through the following address:

Green Host, cont. from page 3
s A solar-electric window system on the university’s              the roof helps cool the building since it reduces
  Noel Fine Arts Center, which consists of 18                     the amount of heat entering the building
  window panels that have solar cells sandwiched                  compared to other rooftop surfaces.
  between the panes of glass. About 20 percent of
  the light can pass through the window. Each panel           s A sustainable dormitory – Knutzen Residence
  is 5'10" by 3'4" for a total of about 340 square feet         Hall, known as the university’s “EcoHall” has a
  and can produce about 900-1,200 watts of                      fully-operational solar water heating system. The
  electricity on a sunny day. This system is partially          hall brings together students who have a common
  sponsored by Wisconsin Public Service.                        interest in environmental issues.

s A 6,000 square-foot green roof that was installed           WPS Community Foundation wants to thank the UW-
  on the Albertson Learning Resources Center. The             Stevens Point community for hosting Solar Olympics
  system of hearty, shallow-rooted, drought-resistant         2006. From providing judges and hosting campus
  plants and soil that make up the green roof                 tours to arranging rooms, meals and parking, the
  absorbs rain water that would otherwise run off             UWSP faculty and staff were superb! Solar Olympics
  into local bodies of water, along with any                  looks forward to returning to the campus in the
  pollutants it picks up along the way. In addition,          future!

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