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Delegates Go Green and Get Some "Green" at the Expo

Delegates Win Big at the "Green Aisle" and the "Dash for Cash" Booth

July 01, 2011
By Cindy Long

Patrice Palmer, an educator from Clarke County, Nevada, made sure to stop by the Green Aisle in the 2011 Expo Hall to find information on climate change that she can use in lessons for her students.

“I used to work at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space in New York, which is where I first became interested in climate change,” she said. “As a country, we’ve been slow on the uptake on global warming, and as an educator, I can help get it moving faster.”

Palmer found useful materials on climate change, as well as books that explain solar power to children.

“Las Vegas and the entire southwest is the Saudi Arabia of solar energy in the U.S.,” she says. “I think educating our children on renewable energy is the ethically and socially responsible thing to do.”

Further down the aisle, delegates were able to learn more about solar energy at the Solar Decathlon booth. The Solar Decathlon is a competition that challenges college students from around the world to design, build and operate solar powered houses.

Byron Stafford of the US Department of Energy said a steady stream of delegates flowed through his exhibit, and asked questions about how to increase awareness of solar energy, how to engage their students with science, and how to place solar panels on their own homes.

“They hold a lot of hope for their students who are engaged in the new, green technology,” he said. “They see that it’s their future.”

After learning about how to ensure the health of the planet, delegates walked over to the Hall of Health to find strategies to ensure the health of their students. There were exhibits on green, healthy cleaning products as well exhibits on preventing the childhood obesity epidemic and ending hunger among students.

“The Hall of Health showcases the partners and programs of NEA’s Health Information Network (HIN),” said Annelise Cohon, HIN program assistant who helped staff the exhibit booths.

“There are exhibitors who’ve been part of the Hall of Health for a while, and there are some newcomers who delegates are learning about this year,” Cohon said. “For example, this year we have the Healthy Schools Campaign exhibiting with us, as well as Nestle, who has created a curriculum for educators to talk to their students about nutrition and healthy eating.”

One of the most popular exhibits wasn’t on the green aisle, but it offered delegates a chance to grab some green. The NEA Foundation reminded educators at the Expo that they have grant money available by promoting a special booth that blew out bills for people to grab.

Gwendolyn Carter from Alabama learned how she could receive grants for her classroom, then stepped into the Dash for Cash booth. While you can’t put a price tag on everything she learned at the Expo, she was able to grab about twelve bucks.

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