Brainerd

Flipping the switch on LED lighting at Discovery Woods School

Illuminating benefits for students & parents

Lighting Education

 

Discovery Woods, a Montessori-inspired K-6 charter school in Brainerd, used a Central CERT Seed Grant to upgrade their library lighting to LEDs and educate students and parents about the benefits of making the switch.

Educational activities included an Environmental Exhibition at the end of the year where children shared their experience with LED lighting with their families, encouraging the switch to LED throughout the community.

 

Through implementing this project, our students were able to learn hands-on about how much energy fluorescent lighting uses in comparison to LED lighting.

Heidi Auel, Instructional Lead at Discovery Woods

How were students involved in this project?

This project matters because it is engaging children in the energy conservation discussion and fulfills the school’s long-term sustainability goals.

Through implementing the project, the students were able to learn hands-on about how much energy fluorescent lighting uses in comparison to LED lighting. They passed their knowledge on to their parents and fellow students at an Environmental Exhibition at the end of the school year, and through a demonstration of different kinds of lighting using a watt meter.

How did you reach the broader community?

The project involved three adults and seven 6th grade students who worked closely to achieve the goal, which eventually reached around 120 children and 200 adults. These community members were reached by:

The parents who attended the exhibition had a positive reaction to the findings and the students were able to take their knowledge home and share it with their families, implementing energy savings in their homes.

Project Photos

Anything important you learned along the way?

Since the installation, the school is decreasing their energy use not just by using LED lights, but by using fewer bulbs to provide the same amount of light. They have only needed one row of LED lights on compared to three rows of fluorescent lights before.

What’s next?

The library lighting project has inspired the school to develop a timeline for replacing all the fluorescent lights with LEDs. They are also working with teachers to use more natural light from the windows to decrease the need for electricity even further.

This project is a step in the school’s goal to become a green school and get recognition for sustainability measures. As they continue to strive for sustainability, the LED lighting project will be one of the measures they use to show their success.

Project Snapshot

 

 

  • Technology: Lighting Upgrades
  • Central CERT Seed Grant: $3,000
  • Total Project Cost: $6,680
  • Other Funds: YES! grant, foundation grant, building owner cost-share
  • Project Team: Monica Thompson (YES!), Randy Praught (Holden Electric)
  • People Involved & Reached: 330
  • Annual Energy Savings: 1,061 kWh
 

We have had wonderful help from everyone at CERTs. They answered our questions and led us through our project’s process. Without the grant, we wouldn’t have been able to complete this aspect of making our school more sustainable.

Heidi Auel, Instructional Lead at Discovery Woods

Download

Student Presentation on Lighting Work