Pampa JHS goes green, to save green

Pampa Independent School District is going green.

Thanks to a few grants the district's junior high now has a wind turbine and garden. It's safe to say the new additions are something the entire district is excited about. Saving money on electricity, becoming more environmentally friendly and they're learning purposes.

We're shining light on both in this week's Region 16 Spotlight on Education report.

Amarillo company Hydro-Star Energy reached out to help Pampa ISD acquire a federal stimulus grant awarded last year. In the Spring of 2012, the wind turbine was installed at the school.

"We're hopeful that this turbine project can generate as much as 10 to 15 percent of the actually schools consumption over the course of the time period that it's here," said David Young, Pampa ISD Superintendent.

Teachers are creating lesson plans centered around the wind turbine.

"There are instructional opportunities for our kids to understand and integrated their Science class or any other classes, about what energy projects look like and how all that works," said Young.

Another grant helped build the garden. Though it's been around for about a year, students have only experienced planting a colorful variety of vegetables, but that changes this school year.

"The whole idea of the garden is a 10th grade outdoor lab area because it covers the curriculum. Then in addition to that the cafeteria and the nutrition program is really interested in trying to get fresh vegetables into the cafeteria and into their menu," said Larry Hannah, Pampa ISD Gardener.

That's what both additions to school is about, teaching students and the community how to be more green, while saving more green.

Since school is out for the summer. The vegetables from the garden have been donated to nursing homes and other organizations in the community.