Pacific Southwest, Region 9
Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations
Indoor Air Quality
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Regional IAQ TfS Excellence Awards Winners
Region 9 Students Present at Annual Tools for Schools Symposium in Washington, DC.
Region 9 is a strong proponent of involving students in the implementation of the Tools for Schools Program. Student involvement helps educate them about environmental principles in general and the indoor environment specifically. Additionally, it takes a program which has the potential to add things to a teacher’s already busy day and makes it part of what a teacher is already doing, i.e., teaching. Furthermore, including an indoor environments project each year can make the Tools for Schools program sustainable from year to year.
At EPA’s Annual Tools for Schools Symposium in Washington, DC, this December, one of the highlights was a session in which students from a high school in California’s Central Valley, and high school students interning at Northern Arizona University presented their work on examining the air quality in their schools.
A highlight of their presentation was a story describing how their investigation discovered that wiring for several thermostats had been mixed-up during construction resulting in thermostats in one teacher’s room controlling the temperature in another teacher’s room and one classroom’s thermostat which controlled the temperature in a completely unoccupied room. This all resulted in uncomfortable and unhappy teachers and a major waste of energy. The situation was easily corrected and it only took educated awareness to discover what had been a problem since the school was built. Students CAN improve the environment – in this case, their own environment. The program was given recognition as a TfS Excellence Award Winner for 2006.