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Wind Power for Stepping Stones!!
In February 2009, Stepping Stones Montessori School’s parent organization “Parents of Stepping Stones Education,” now called the Stepping Stones Enrichment Foundation, in conjunction with the Capital Area Technical Center in Augusta, Maine, received a grant from State Farm Insurance for over $98,000. Grant money was used to install 2 windmills at each site and engage students in a service learning project that encouraged monitoring of produced electricity, presenting information on wind power to the larger community, and developing legislative initiatives to encourage more wind power in Maine. Parent and Augusta lawyer, Maeghan Maloney, wrote the grant and assists with the project.
On Monday, February 23, 2009, representatives from State Farm Insurance presented the $98,000 check in a ceremony that included students at Stepping Stones Montessori School, student representatives from the Capital Area Technical Center, the directors and teachers involved at both schools, representatives from the City of Augusta, the Superintendent of Augusta Public Schools, and one of the owners of All Season Home Improvement Company (installer of the windmills; www.all-season.com ). State legislature representatives also attended. A student at Stepping Stones did a short presentation on wind power, and other students presented the benefits of using wind to homes, businesses, and the environment.
Next steps for the project included the installation of two windmills at each site, Stepping Stones Montessori School and Capital Area Technical Center. Students from CATC assist ed All Season Home Improvement Company in installing the windmills at each site. Computers and other learning aides will be purchased from the grant funds to monitor the wind speed and electricity usage offset.
Finally, in 2011 the students at Stepping Stones did a culminating project recording the two year results of the addition of wind power at the site.
“It is the spirit of the child that can determine the course of human progress and lead it to perhaps a higher form of civilization.”