Smart Power for Hawaii's public schools

Innovative technologies are coupled with educational materials

Release Date: 12/19/2016

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HONOLULU, Dec. 19, 2016 – Hawaiian Electric’s Smart Power for Schools program has provided public schools with cutting-edge equipment that will help them save energy and teach students about the technology that will help manage the electric grid of the future.

“Reducing our electricity costs is a priority for us, and it starts with working with the utility,” said Gilbert Chun, auxiliary services branch director for the Hawaii State Department of Education. “We also needed to understand the amount of electricity our schools use, and when,” he continued.

Through Smart Power for Schools, Hawaiian Electric and partner technology companies are demonstrating advanced technical tools that help facility managers and teachers understand, monitor, and modify daily energy use patterns at their schools.

Using donations to Smart Power for Schools and a grant from Energy Excelerator, Stem Inc. has installed its PowerMonitor equipment and associated PowerScope software with Web-enabled portals at all public schools on Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Hawaii Island.

“Not only does this allow teachers to manage their energy use in the classroom, but it also allows for engaging educational lessons with students,” said Chun.

Hawaiian Electric has developed activity worksheets to teach students in elementary through high school about electricity and managing its use. These teaching materials work with the PowerScope graphs, which depict historical, real-time, and predictive electricity use at individual schools, and help students learn about electricity, solar power, energy conservation, and math.

Wilson Elementary is the first school to start using the new technology and tools in the classroom.

“I really like the activity sheets Hawaiian Electric designed because they provide simple, quick activities that can support one lesson at a time—basic lessons that can be used in science classes,” said Laura Hew, science teacher at Wilson Elementary.

Guy Anama, technology teacher at Wilson Elementary, will also be using the activity sheets together with the PowerScope software in his classes. Training workshops on the new energy management tools and the companion educational activity sheets will be conducted jointly by Stem’s PowerScope designers and Hawaiian Electric’s staff. The workshops will be available to all Department of Education teachers on Oahu beginning January. Those interested can call HI FusionED at 988-1931 for dates and more information on the upcoming workshops.

The PowerScope software and educational materials will be presented to public school teachers in Hawaii and Maui counties later in 2017.

In addition to helping the schools reduce their electricity use, Smart Power for Schools is also designed to help the Department of Education achieve its sustainability goals.

Smart Power for Schools is made possible by a partnership among donors to the program, the Department of Education, and the Hawaiian Electric Companies. To learn more about the program, go to the community and education section of Hawaiian Electric’s website, www.hawaiianelectric.com.