FRESNO – Students enrolled in the New Energy Academy program at Edison High School in Fresno will now learn in the PG&E Energy Lab, dedicated today (Oct. 31) at the high school.
Representatives from PG&E and State Center Community College District (on behalf of Fresno City College) joined New Energy Academy students, school officials and teachers, as they celebrated with a ribbon cutting.
The 1,500-square-foot classroom features nine lab stations equipped with air and dedicated circuits for electricity. It also contains oversized dual-projection screens, standing-height tables and basic power and hand tools. Students also will learn on new laptop computers – and the lab was all designed with Edison’s black and gold color scheme in mind.
A plaque, engraved with the words “PG&E Energy Lab” hangs over the doorway.
Last year, PG&E donated $100,000 to Edison for classroom enhancements for its New Energy Academy. PG&E’s Shawn Cooper, senior director of corporate affairs, made the announcement when he visited the school as students marked their first year in the program.
The school-within-a school program is funded by a $1 million pledge from the PG&E Foundation. Now in its third year, the program introduces students in grades 10-12 to careers that focus on energy and the environment through programs centered on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Each student that successfully completes the program will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
At today’s lab dedication Lindsay Sanders, Edison High Principal, and Ellie Honardoost, academy program manager, described how Edison students will benefit from the new lab and the school’s partnership with State Center Community College District and Fresno City College.
Anna Brooks, local government relations manager for PG&E, talked about the utility’s commitment to the NEA program and students at Edison High.
Also attending the ribbon-cutting event were: Oliver Baines, Fresno City council member; Richard Caglia, State Center Community College District trustee; Deborah Blue, chancellor for the State Center Community College District; and Jerry Winthrop, lead consultant of the California Partnership Academies.
After the ceremony, guests viewed student projects and demonstrations and watched an entertaining bout of robot wars.
Students graduating from the energy academy at Edison High will take with them up to a semester of college credits. Through a newly established partnership with GRID Alternatives, NEA students will also gain hands on experience of solar panel installations during their senior year in the program.