Energy Education in Browning, MT

Shyann reflects on her service with Browning Public Schools as her term comes to a close this month.

Shyann Raining Bird writes:

My year with Energy Corps and Browning Public Schools is almost up, and boy it has been quite a year. I have learned so much about energy education and conservation myself as well as teaching it to the students and staff here at School Dist. #9. Throughout the year I have taught different classes and many different students about sustainable energy and education. Last school year I taught the students at Browning Elementary about recycling, products that can be recycled and where they can be recycled. The students loved it. With the younger students, last spring we planted flowers around the school.  During Earth Day 2012, I hosted in part with a youth group in Browning a Community Event and picnic, during the event the younger children planted flowers in a park in town, the older kids who attended along with the adults who helped planted trees along a river bed that runs through the park. This event would not have been made possible without the amazing support I had from the school district and community, in huge part to the local businesses in town.

This past summer, I worked with Browning Community Development Corporation and I assisted them in getting the community garden up and running. I also helped them apply for funding to expand and improve the community play ground in the park by their office. In that time we were able to have the play structure improved and more play structures added. With this project we included many reusable materials, including the play structures which consisted of wood pallets and recycled tires.  This school year I have been working closely with the middle school.  I started a science club to that meets every Monday and Wednesday to help with their science fair projects. I have also built solar pizza box ovens with the 7th grade science classes and built mini wind turbines with the 8th grade science classes. The mini wind turbines were such a huge success with the 8th graders that the 7th grade science teacher asked if her classes could do them as well. Instead of buying materials for every student, I purchased enough material to make 10 and had the students create propellers for them. Some of their designs worked so well that they generated nearly 2 volts of electricity.

Throughout the year, every project that I have been involved in, whether it be in a classroom or at the community park and garden, I am so grateful that I have been able to a part of this experience. The positive feedback that I have received from the teachers and students I have worked with is such a reward. The students enjoyed every project I have done with them; the community was so thankful for the improvements made to the park; the kids in our community had a safe and fun environment to hang out at during the long summer days.

This past year has truly been a blessing and I am thankful to have been a part of this program and the experiences that came along with it. With that being said, good luck to all the EC members who’s term has just started.

ShyAnn Raining Bird lives in Browning MT and is currently pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice at Blackfeet Community College, upon finishing her AA at BCC she plans on transferring to the University of Montana. She enjoys being outside, riding four wheelers, playing volleyball and spending time with her 3 year old daughter. She is originally from Heart Butte MT. ShyAnn will be serving with Browning public schools working on energy curriculum for students, coordinating energy related after school groups, and other energy activities.

 

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