ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – About 200 middle school students from across New Mexico competed in an annual green car building competition, using only hydrogen fuel cells and electric motors.
The Albuquerque Public School district hosted the 5th annual Schools Teaching About Resource Sustainability, or STARS, program at Wilson Middle School to teach the importance of finding sustainable sources of energy and reducing society’s dependence on oil.
More than 30 student teams built model cars using materials, such as styrofoam, wood, CDs and legos.
The technology is fairly simple, according to APS energy conservation coordinator Ron Rioux. A chemical reaction separates hydrogen from oxygen in water. The hydrogen then produces electricity to fuel the car.
“If we use the hydrogen, instead of pollution coming from our mufflers, it’s going to be water vapor which is just going to continue the water cycle,” said Mario Martinez, sixth grader at James H. Rodriguez Elementary School in Espanola.
With the increasing cost of gas, experts think hydrogen-fueled cars are the way to go.
“It’s reality right now,” said Rioux.
Major car companies are currently developing their hydrogen powered models, but these green-energy cars don’t come cheap. Toyota expects to release its model by 2015, priced around $50,000.
“You’re running on distilled water and solar panels that are producing the electricity, so how much is it over the life of the car is what you have to look at,” said Rioux. “It’s a matter of cost and making that cost come down.”
The entire program lasted a few weeks and cost about $1,500. PNM, Sandia Labs and Los Alamos Labs foot the bill for the projects.
Yes, comprehensive immigration reform would be a better way to go. Reform, which would provide a way for illegal immigrants living in the US today to move toward a consistent and legal status is very important. And, ideally, this would be written in a way that would put those who have acted legally at the front of the line, ahead of those who have acted illegally. Yet, this is not going to happen anytime soon.
Therefore, it is up to the Congress of the United States to take action where common ground across both parties can be found. Providing a way for the youth of America, who ended up here illegally, through no action of their own, to work toward and gain legal US permanent residency must be close to the top of this list. The DREAM Act, a bipartisan bill written nine years ago, does this by offering those who go to a four-year college college for two years or serve for two years in our military the opportunity to gain conditional US permanent residency. This applies to about 65,000 kids each year. We have invested in educating these youth and they have invested in our country and our culture. The act has the support of the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Former Secretary of State Colin Powell and the US Chamber of Commerce. It is good for business, good for our military, good for our country, and a good incentive for those willing to work and earn their way toward him permanent legal status in the United States. (more…)
Ok, so you are on board with the need to increase funding for the Boulder Valley School District and want to know what you can do. Here are several ways for you to help get 3A passed:
I. Endorse the measure
send an email to Isupport3a@votechildrenfirst.org stating your support
participate in an endorsement ad running in the Daily Camera on Oct. 10th
II. Display or Distribute Posters / Yard Signs
Put a poster in the window of your business or the business of a friend or associate. Put a sign in your yard and another one in your neighbor’s yard. You can get these from a number of locations around Boulder, including the Community Foundation offices on the corner of Spruce and Broadway.
III. Write a Letter to the Editor
Get your name in print by writing a letter to one or more of the editors of these local papers.
Timely topics of local interest are given first preference.
· 300-word limit
· Name, full address and daytime phone required (not published); no anonymous letters
· Each writer is limited to one letter a month
· Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org
If your letter is not printed in the newspaper, the Daily Camera will publish all of the appropriate letters online. Only one letter per sender, per day, will be posted online. Respond to comments to letters published online to keep discussion about 3A positive.
Colorado Hometown Weekly
Serving Lafayette/Louisville/Superior/Erie papers
The Mountain Ear
Serving Nederland and the mountain communities
Boulder County Business Report
Independent paper with core readership of 18-to-35-year-olds
- If you have a letter or guest opinion piece, contact Matt Sebastian, at 303-473-1111
- Provide name, address, and phone number (not published)
- Submit letters to email@example.com
Submit letters to firstname.lastname@example.org
Support K-12 Education in Boulder Valley
Boulder Valley School District needs your help in passing Ballot Measure 3A. The Colorado Legislature cut over $260 million from education in their latest budget. The impact for BVSD during the 2011-2012 school year is estimated to be a reduction of $11.7 million when compared to the 2009-2010 school year. The 2010-2011 budgets will come out somewhere in between these two, thanks to one time funding from Federal emergency funds and reductions in the administrative costs to run the district.
Colorado continues to fund education at levels approaching the lowest in the nation. Before the latest recession, in 2007, Colorado spent $1,500 per student below the national average and ranked 40th in the nation in public funding for K-12. Today, spending is even less, with Colorado falling to 42nd in public funding for K-12. With economists predicting Colorado’s budget shortfalls to continue, we are looking to go even lower. 42nd and falling! According to the Denver Post, in 2007 Colorado ranked 49th and was stingier than all but Florida, spending only $34.35 of every $1,000 in personal income to educate our children. This compares to a national average of $43.02. We should do better.
Last spring, each school in the BVSD gathered administrators, educators and parents together to deal with the budget shortfall. Likely, many of you attended one or more of these meetings. If you did, you may have seen what we saw in our budget meetings. There were a few things that could be cut and would save a few dollars. Some of these may have been budgeted but unspent in the latest budget or even over the past few years. Others were nice to have programs and activities that would not really be missed. But after 2, 3, 4% in cuts, reductions impacted the classroom and the learning experience. We’ve already made the easy, painless cuts and any additional cuts will be to our kids’ educations. We should do better.
What has BVSD done to address this budget issue? The central district administrative expenses were cut by 13.5% while school budgets were cut by 3.75%. Some of this 3.75% was reinstated using the federal emergency funds mentioned earlier. Some people will argue more can be done to cut the district’s overhead and if they are correct, it should be done. However, hoping for or even getting additional cuts in overhead are not going to be enough to fix the problem.
This mill levy would be used in three primary areas. The first is to restore the classroom funding reduction from the state. $12 million would be allocated to replace funds lost from the state. Superintendent King has vowed none of this money would be used to replace central administrative spending cuts. $5.5 million would be used for teacher and staff compensation to hire and retain the best teachers in the region. $5 million will be invested in early childhood education programs.
You can read more about the ballot measure, why we need it, what it does and find ways to help support its passage at Vote Children First.
Read the text of ballot measure 3A and see it as it appears on the Boulder County ballot – go to page 3.
Investing in the economy through education By Helayne Jones and David Harwood
Impact on Education
The Community Foundation of Boulder County
Boulder Chamber of Commerce
Dennis Berry’s Letter to the Camera’s Editor
Jane McConnell’s Letter to the Camera’s Editor
Even if competition could coax better performance, would it be enough? Consider a bar graph presented at a recent talk on teaching, displaying the number of Americans in different professions. The shortest bar, all the way on the right, represented architects: 180,000. Farther over, slightly higher, came psychologists 185,000 and then lawyers 952,000, followed by engineers 1.3 million and waiters 1.8 million. On the left side of the graph, the top three: janitors, maids and household cleaners 3.3 million; secretaries 3.6 million; and, finally, teachers 3.7 million.
Yes, the numbers are staggering and money alone can’t do it. Can we afford not to do what we can to drive better performance?
via Building a Better Teacher – NYTimes.com.
The Daily Camera reports the University of Colorado’s Boulder campus has received another green designation. The Sustainable Endowments Institute, a special project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors gave CU the highest grade awarded on its 2010 report card. And for the second year in a row, CU was named an Overall College Sustainability Leader.
CU this fall was ranked by Sierra magazine as the No. 1 green university in the nation.
The rating was based on an independent review by the Sustainable Endowments Institute and responses by CU-Boulder officials to 120 questions assessing sustainability in the categories of administration, climate change and energy, food and recycling, green building, transportation, student involvement, endowment transparency and shareholder engagement and investment priorities.