New Approaches to Teaching about Energy and the Environment
We believe future breakthroughs in environmental preservation will come from California’s ambitious and forward-thinking students. To inspire the bright ideas of the future and create exciting ways for the next generation to learn and succeed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), PG&E’s Bright Ideas grants help to fund innovative classroom projects about energy and the environment.
The PG&E Bright Ideas grant program awards up to $250,000 in grants each year to schools throughout our service area to develop projects and curriculum that educate students about renewable energy, conservation and environmental stewardship. Past projects have included installing solar panels, designing and implementing energy-saving ideas in classrooms, hosting solar car derbies, and other solar-powered inventions.
Helping Schools Become Our Environmental Leaders of the Future
Since 2005, PG&E has awarded nearly $2 million in Bright Ideas grants. In the 2013-2014 school year, more than 60 schools across California received grants for a total of $250,000.
The following are some of the school projects made possible by Bright Ideas grants in the last few years:
Solar Projects: Successful submissions will include innovative classroom and extracurricular programs/projects that explore the science of solar energy and the generation of electricity from solar.
Youth Energy and Environmental Programs: Successful submissions will include energy efficiency, recycling, composting, water reclamation and/or gardening programs and clubs that serve as learning and leadership opportunities for students, the faculty and the community at large.
Renewable Energy or Science-Related Field Trips: Successful submissions will include transportation, admission or expenses associated with field trips that excite students about science, energy, careers in energy and the environment.
Green Your School Projects: Successful submissions will include energy efficiency upgrades, energy monitoring systems and communication tools that promote energy education and smart energy use at the school and in the community.
Professional Development/Service Learning Projects/ Workforce Development Programs: Successful submissions will include projects that expand the teacher's knowledge about renewable energy, energy resources and/or the future of the energy industry.
Applications for the 2014 program are due by November 1, 2014.
The Power of Bright Ideas
"The PG&E Bright Ideas grants program has provided my students with equipment to enable them to learn in a fun and exciting way. Bright Ideas has helped stretch a rather lean classroom budget, to provide activities to meet state math and science standards while also improving my teaching methods."
The wooden shed isn’t huge and it isn’t likely to attract a lot of attention in the back corner of the school parking lot, but it means a lot to the students in teacher Tim Horton’s classroom because they made it.