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March 2017

New Energy Dashboard Measures Electrical Use in Real- Time and Serves as Powerful Student Learning Tool

Mamaroneck High School has become the first existing public high school in the state of New York to install an innovative energy and  environmental digital data dashboard that generates real-time hour-by-hour data on energy consumption in the building and can ultimately serve as a springboard for “real-world” lesson plans tied to subjects such as Environmental Science, Math, and Physics. The dashboard -- which is used by colleges/universities such as Cornell, Colgate, SUNY and CUNY colleges, as well as many schools outside New York -- was made possible by generous donations from families in the Larchmont-Mamaroneck community, combined with a grant from the Mamaroneck Schools Foundation (MSF).

 

“It’s exciting that we were able to make this happen thanks to a strong and dedicated partnership with the community and the creativity and hard work by our IT and facilities staff who oversaw the setup of the required infrastructure,” said MHS Science Teacher Sophia Andrews, who was a co-sponsor of the MSF grant. “We all look forward to the dashboard as a fun, engaging tool for students and are considering the many different ways in which it will be used.”

 

Over time, school officials suspect the dashboard will stimulate interest in students implementing more sustainable practices (e.g with recycling, food waste, etc.) and perhaps provide Mamaroneck with a platform to compete with other area high schools that have expressed interest in getting the dashboard. Additionally, since Con Ed has provided the District with historical data on electricity use, the students could use the dashboard to configure cost-saving opportunities for the District.

 

As the advisory to the environmental group, “Leave No Trace,” Andrews added, “I hope access to this data will provide inspiration to students to develop behaviors that are sustainable, and more importantly, make students more mindful of the impact they have not just on our school, but in our community and beyond.”

 

The Lucid Energy Dashboard reports data via electronic meters that measure electricity usage in kilowatt-hours from both the Post and Palmer sides of the high school building. Some of the unique features displayed by the dashboard include tracking electricity consumption on various timescales, as well as reporting daily consumption in terms of cost, pounds of carbon dioxide emitted into the air, and equivalent hours of a typical laptop operating at 35 Watts. There also is a “Green Tips” feature that provides statistics on general energy consumption in the United States and another feature that relays real-time weather conditions.

 

“We are thrilled to be able to learn from colleges and universities how they are integrating the energy dashboard and look forward to seeing some of these same student learning opportunities here in Mamaroneck Schools,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Robert I. Shaps.

 

Cornell University has already been impressed with the District’s initiative and offered to help students and staff think through how it will be used.