Skip to main content
site map
contact
Connexion
rss feedour twitterour facebook page

Louie the Lightning Bug

Looking to add energy safety & efficiency to your curriculum?
Visit ComEd's interactive 'Electric Universe'!

The Green Apple
The Green Apple BlogThe Green Apple is your Science Connexion news resource. Learn about new equipment just received, sustainable living and energy efficiency ideas for schools.
Wednesday, August 17 2011

U.S. Department of Energy and National Science Teachers Association today announced the kick-off of registration for a nationwide student contest to help families save money by saving energy at home. As part of the Obama Administration’s support for student education in science, technology, engineering, and math, America’s Home Energy Education Challenge (AHEEC) will engage students in elementary and middle schools across the Nation to help them learn the science of energy and make wise energy choices. This initiative aims to educate America's youth about the benefits of energy efficiency, motivate students to play a more active role in how their families use energy, and help families across the country reduce their energy bills...

Read the full story

The Connexion Green SceneFor more energy efficiency news visit the Connexion Green Scene

Posted by: Connexion AT 09:07 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, August 16 2011

Energy Costs at Schools With soaring energy costs and tighter budgets, New York school officials are evaluating every detail of their daily operations, like the temperature of the swimming pool and the amount of electricity the cafeteria ovens use, and are replacing energy-guzzling equipment with more efficient models. Energy consumption in New York City’s 1,245 school buildings is down roughly 11 percent since 2008, as motion detectors have been installed on classroom lights and unused refrigerators and freezers have been unplugged for the summer...

Read the full story

The Connexion Green SceneFor more energy efficiency news visit the Connexion Green Scene

Posted by: Connexion AT 06:08 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, August 09 2011

Illinois Central College has announced plans to offer a 12-week training course for green building professionals. The training will provide a comprehensive look at the design, construction and operation of green buildings and communities. Emphasis will be placed on the categories developed by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program including sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation in design. The training is sponsored by the Green Workforce Alliance. Funding for the training is provided by a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor...

Read the full story

Posted by: Connexion AT 11:10 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, August 09 2011

By Megan Horst Hatch, The Buffalo Grove Patch
L-R: Mark Rosenstein, Daniel Dobski, Brandon TuckerDuring a trip to Ghana in 2007, Brandon Tucker, a science teacher at Glenbrook South High School, visited classrooms. What he observed surprised him.

“I saw that students were learning about science and reading about science, but they didn’t do actual science through experiments because they didn't have equipment like microscopes and slides,” he said. Inspired to make a difference, Tucker contacted two of his colleagues when he returned to the U.S. and arranged to ship 14 boxes of used science equipment to Ghana.

During that time, Tucker realized the equipment also could be sent to schools within the Chicago region that did not have the resources to purchase new microscopes or textbooks.

“Schools will sometimes get rid of equipment because everything has a useful lifespan. To fix a broken piece of equipment might be more expensive than replacing it,” Tucker said. On the other hand, there were schools needed that equipment, but there wasn’t a way to connect the schools to make a donation.

Enter Connexion, a Buffalo Grove-based electrical and energy business solutions provider.

“Brandon is my son, so I was aware of what he was doing with the used equipment,” said Dan Dobski, Connexion’s director of marketing. “He was capturing as much as he could before it hit the Dumpsters, but it wasn’t a sustainable way of obtaining equipment. We discussed ways to do this more efficiently.

“At the same time, Connexion’s president, David Rosenstein, was looking for ways for Connexion to give back to the community,” Dobski said. “It was decided that Connexion would provide pickup from the donor schools and deliver equipment to recipient schools, as they were all in our territory.”

Science Connexion Created

To pick up and deliver equipment, Connexion created Science Connexion, a nonprofit subsidiary that facilitates donations and equipment between donor schools and recipient schools. 

“Our website is a portal to allow teachers to request or donate equipment,” Dobski said. “Connexion's fleet of trucks picks up and delivers equipment, all at no charge to the donors or recipients.

Connexion focuses on energy savings and sustainability, so Science Connexion is a logical extension of the company,” he said.

Mark Rosenstein, a marketing assistant with Connexion and a student at the University of Illinois, said that donations are targeted to be shipped to recipients within seven days. If the requested equipment is not available, Science Connexion will retain the request until a delivery can be made. “We’re sending older equipment that could have cost thousands of dollars to schools who need it,” he said.

“We’re doing what we can to ease budget crunches at schools,” Dobski said.

Science Connexion accepts equipment such as microscopes, test tubes and textbooks for donation. It will not accept donations of chemicals, organic specimens, or any material deemed to be hazardous or requiring special safety handling. Equipment from science companies typically is not accepted.

Working With Golden Apple Foundation

Science Connexion works in conjunction with The Golden Apple Foundation to repurpose used equipment and distribute it to less-advantaged schools.

In the first few months after its launch in February, Science Connexion facilitated donations to 20 schools in the Chicago region. Tucker inspects equipment upon arrival to ensure it is functional and appropriate for classroom use.

“We kicked off the program in collaboration with The Golden Apple and have focused on those schools,” Dobski said. “We haven’t given donations to private schools at this time, as private schools typically have better funding. Everything we receive is purchased through the state of Illinois, so public schools can use assets from the state of Illinois.

“We had a list of available equipment on our blog, and in a matter of days, schools had requested a good portion of it,” Dobski said.

In a statement on Science Connexion’s website, David Rosenstein said, “I am very proud of our Science Connexion project. Caring about the environment and our communities is one of the core values of Connexion. This important initiative is a way that we can give back while utilizing our existing resources.”

Recipient schools in Chicago include Charles Allen Prosser Career Academy, Tonti Elementary School, Bright Elementary School, and Michael M. Byrne Elementary School. West Aurora High School is another recipient.

“It’s rewarding to know kids are using the microscopes and slides because of the program,” Tucker said.

In an email sent to Science Connexion, Allan Fluharty, a science teacher at Charles Allen Prosser Career Academy, wrote, “At my high school, we sometimes have a hard time getting funding for science equipment. It is hard to justify purchase of certain apparatus when not used for general lab tasks. Science Connexion was able to get me two triple-beam balances, a desiccating chamber, and an autoclave along with some general purpose glassware. This will enhance the types of experiments students can do in chemistry and biology (...) Again, thanks!”

“Donating equipment is a great opportunity to create a legacy for donor schools,” Mark Rosenstein said.

"The big goal of Science Connexion is to help kids learn science. Schools will always order more science equipment, and other schools can use the older equipment," Tucker said.

Posted by: Connexion AT 09:36 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, August 09 2011

tiny houseStudents and alumni of the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University (IL) have begun construction on a Tiny House project that will serve as a display to the community. Part of a movement stemming from high energy prices and an increased interest in sustainability, the tiny zero net-energy house - with a toilet in the shower - will produce its own electricity using solar panels and collect all of its water. The tiny house movement, which emphasizes living simply and creatively using the space one has, is defined by some enthusiasts as less than 140 square feet. Construction began in the spring and the team intends to complete the home in the fall...

Read the full story

Posted by: Connexion AT 08:07 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, August 02 2011

full_garden_arial .jpgThree University of Chicago (IL) departments have announced a collaboration to convert a dormant campus space into an "Avant Garden." University staff and interns volunteered to transform a large empty lot into a common space for interaction, production and innovation. Herbs and vegetables will be harvested in the space and the plants were strategically placed in locations that emphasize their aesthetic qualities...

Read the full story

The Connexion Green SceneFor more energy efficiency news visit the Connexion Green Scene

Posted by: Connexion AT 05:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Email
Twitter
Facebook
Digg
LinkedIn
Delicious
Google+
FriendFeed
StumbleUpon
Add to favorites
American School & University 
The Broward County district has given new duties to principal Ty Thompson as it continues to look into the Feb. 14, 2018, massacre at the school that left17 dead.
Higher education institutions could lose federal funding if they are found to have stifled students' free expression.
The state took control of Howe and Manual high schools in 2012 and hired a charter firm to run them.
Carol Folt is the former chancellor at the University of North Carolina.
Following a chemical plant fire in Deer Park, Texas, that burned for four days, health officials have detected elevated levels of benzene in the area.
The building is the 16th on the Urbana campus to received LEED certification.
Berkeley County board has approved $85 million in energy-saving upgrades at high school in Martinsburg.
The 439,000-square-foot Health Sciences Research Facility III opened in 2018.
The Projection of Education Statistics to 2027 predicts that from 2012-13 to 2027-28, the number of graduating public high school students will rise 5.3 percent.
Police say the man was sleeping in a campus building and started a fight with officers who were called to the scene.
The fire closed Deer Park district schools on Monday, but school leaders decided it was safe to resume classes Tuesday.
The university imposed the ban because video-watching students were consuming so much WiFi bandwidth in classes that academic applications were unusable.
Students from the Lower Yukon district will be able to attend courses in partnership with the Anchorage school system.
$83 million classroom and laboratory complex will significantly increase available academic space.
The junior at Lake Mary High School in Seminole County shot herself shortly after asking to leave her class and use a restroom.
Facility in Garden City, Ga., will replace an elementary, middle and high school.
The state's Senate and House of Delegates have passed, by veto-proof majorities, a bill returning calendar-setting power to local boards.
Students say the alleged fraud denied them a fair admissions process.
A 4-3 decision overturns a lower court ruling that dismissed the lawsuit against the manufacturer of the rifle used in the 2012 shooting attack at the Newtown, Conn., elementary school.
Coach at Liberty County High in Bristol, Fla., and wife die at school's athletic complex after truck strikes power line.
The university is partnering with Duke Energy Florida to build a facility on 600 to 800 acres at the school's Brooksville Agricultural and Environmental Research Station.
Bond proposals in the state need a 60 percent majority for approval; the Washington senate has rejected the latest effort to lower that requirement.
Because of a measles outbreak in the area, health officials in Rockland County, N.Y., have barred unvaccinated children from classes at the Green Meadow Waldorf School in Chestnut Ridge.
Women's water polo coach Jovan Vavic and senior associate athletic director Donna Heinel allegedly accepted bribes from parents of students seeking admission to the university.
Florida House Public Integrity and Ethics Committee finds that the university administrators flouted state rules and trustees were ill-informed as the diverted millions of dollars of operating funds to construction projects.
33 parents, including actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, allegedly paid bribes to help get their children admitted into elite universities.
The Northeast and Midwest sections of the nation will see enrollment declines, the U.S. Department of Education's Projection of Education Statistics to 2027 predicts.
The ACLU and NAACP argue that the state of Maryland is not living up to a court agreement to provide more funding to Baltimore city schools.
The Mount Adams district has secured funding and is negotiating to buy a site for a new elementary in the town of Harrah.
The district contracted with a firm 3 years ago to address the backlog, but it still has more than 3,300 outstanding service requests.