While the needs may be many and diverse, our top priority is filling those needs through innovative programs and methods designed to put our students at the forefront and arm them with the skills they need to be successful.
For decades, Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind’s (AIDB) trademark colors have been Pantone 187 Red and Pantone 287 Blue, yet the Institute is Going Green.
The movement began in late 2008 with Project Green, AIDB’s biodiesel public education, student training and internal production program. Fueled by several municipal, state and national agencies, Project Green received a $300,000 Department of Energy (DOE) award supported by Congressman Mike Rogers. Seed funding from Alabama Representative Steve Hurst; Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries; Coosa Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council; Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and Appalachian Regional Commission has piloted the Project, with monies used towards preliminary site renovation, acquisition of production equipment and job creation.
With the capacity to create 55 gallons of biodiesel per day, DOE support offset renovation, provided two staffers and student work experience stipends while establishing Community Recycle Stations and free business Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) pick-up.
Students participate in all aspects of Project Green. Including WVO pick-up, student work experience components may include tours, presentations and public awareness campaigns along with actual biodiesel production which reinforces classroom chemistry and mathematics’ concepts.
To schedule a school or group tour, email email@example.com or for more information, please download our brochure.
Honda Manufacturing of Alabama’s new partnership with the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind is a positive move that should help boost a program focused on promoting more awareness of alternative fuels and student training.
Starting with an Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs grant two years ago, AIDB’s vocational program for adults at the E.H. Gentry Technical facility set up a small-scale program to reuse vegetable cooking oils as a fuel for diesel engines.
Called Project Green, the project was begun to help bridge the gap between alternative fuels research and public acceptance in using alternative fuels. AIDB was the first educational entity in the state to get involved in the project.
So far AIDB has mostly used oil from its own cafeterias; most restaurants in the area already had contracts for disposal of their oil before AIDB’s biodiesel program started. The goal Honda’s participation will give students more opportunities to process oil for use a fuel.
So far AIDB’s program has involved 17 students. They’ve collected 3,022 gallons of waste vegetable oil and turned them into 2,300 gallons of biodiesel, used in AIDB engines. Three trucks have been using a 20 percent biodiesel mixture, a pressure washer uses a 60 percent mixture, and lawn tractors are operating with different mixes.
The Environmental Protection Agency says biodiesel is the first EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel to reach commercial-scale production nationwide, with more than a billion gallons produced in each of the past two years. It’s being produced from sources including recycled cooking oil. Soybean oil and animal fats, with facilities in almost every state, and the industry supports about 50,000 jobs.
Honda already has a high level of environmental consciousness, with a strong emphasis on recycling and saving energy. HMA expects to save about $6,000 annually in oil pickup costs and diesel fuel charges, hardly noticeable for an operation that size, but it’s still a sign of commitment to environmental principals and local partnerships—and to the future. ~ The Daily Home, September 20, 2013
For more coverage of Project Green, visit http://www.annistonstar.com/the_daily_home/dh_news/article_590ab437-d7cf-54aa-b563-c4eb0c196c38.html
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) Energy Division has also supported AIDB to implement Project Green, offsetting the Employment Specialist position. ADECA staff also have directed four AIDB Going Green State Energy Program awards – one to retrofit and replace T12 lighting with T8s and the three others to replace antiquated energy-draining HVAC units within AIDB’s K-12 units—Alabama School for the Blind, Alabama School for the Deaf and Helen Keller School of Alabama.
“I think these lights are good for the Deaf community and Culture because those of us who don’t hear well rely on the light [for communication],” explained Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD) student Kaneesha Stallworth, during an ADECA site visit, where ASD, Alabama School for the Blind (ASB) and Helen Keller School of Alabama (HKS) students peddled their way to understanding how retrofits and replacements within 30 AIDB buildings will drive energy savings.
A traditional light bulb and a more energy-efficient bulb — like those replaced — were positioned side-by-side to compare the energy to light and sustain each. Students took turns peddling a stationary bike connected to the board. Displayed on the apparatus was the question, “Which light bulb produces more light with less energy?” The more students pedaled, the longer the bulbs stayed on.
AIDB attempts to correlate all energy programs with the Alabama State Course of Study. Additionally, AIDB’s Nutrition Director states that 11 cafeteria appliances within AIDB carry the Energy Star designation; many dormitories utilize Energy Star washers, dryers and dishwashers. Too, through Work Experience Programs, all three K-12 units involve students in recycling paper, cans and boxes, strategically placing receptacles on campus. Efforts like these, and use of 30 percent recycled paper, play integral components to conserving energy and reducing natural resources’ consumption.
These Awards serve as excellent teaching tools. As Helen Keller once said, ‘No one has the right to consume happiness without producing it.’ The same can be said of energy.
Please enjoy reading Fuels Fix Magazine and Clean Cities Now, the official newsletter of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities program. The story on the AIDB program begins on Page 11 in Fuel Fix and on Page 10 in Clean Cities.