By Paul Rouhas
by Paul Rouhas
For YouthBuild Boston’s (YBB) Green Apple Day of Service, we elected to complete an energy-efficiency project at McKinley Middle School. YBB has previously completed service events at McKinley Middle School for Martin Luther King Day (January 2014) and with John Hancock employees (June 2014). After discussing the project with school administrators, we determined that the Science and Technology room would be our target area. The project involved installing energy-efficient surge protectors to support the room’s 4 PCs and printer, as well as a laptop charging cart for the 7 Chrome Books used in classroom instruction. Surge protectors feature control switches that allow all PCs and equipment on each power strip to be automatically turned on or off by a designated control unit. Each strip also featured 4 automatic switch outlets, which cut power when equipment is not in use; this would be helpful in eliminating “phantom electricity”. Kilowatt meters were also installed so that students can monitor energy consumption and incorporate energy efficiency into their curriculum. All of the laptop charging station was designed and built with support from YBB’s The Designery, an after-school architecture/design/build program. These charging stations create a central charging area and is also equipped with a smart surge protector to limit energy consumption. We want to thank NSTAR and the USGBC MA Chapter for providing financial support to complete this project.
The mission of YouthBuild Boston is to empower and assist underserved young people from the Boston area with the essential social, vocational, academic and life skills necessary to navigate a positive pathway to self-sufficiency and neighborhood responsibility. McKinley Middle School is a BPS facility that focuses on the emotional, behavioral, and learning needs of 5-8th grade students (10-16 years old). 95.5% of these students are enrolled in special education courses focusing on social and emotional needs, 89% are minorities and 79% are low income (2012-2013 BPS data).
The project involved 6 YouthBuild Boston students, 5 YouthBuild Boston Staff, and 3 staff from McKinley Middle School.