PA Assists Andover’s Doherty Middle School in Community Solar Challenge with West Middle

Schools in the Town of Andover are working together to help increase sustainability. Phillips Academy will host the Green Move Out program, a continuation of a long-standing event, according to Becky Bogdanovitch, Sustainability Coordinator and Instructor in Biology. The program was previously known as the Year-End Clothing and Book Drive, but Bogdanovitch pointed out that this name was very long and not too exciting. The Green Move Out project collects items, such as clothes, shoes, books and lamps that are still in useable condition, and donates them to Lazarus House, a thrift store in Lawrence. “The goal is to collect things that people would normally throw away that can be reused,” said Allison Kent ’08, one of the 10 E-Stewards responsible for organizing the project. New this year is the option of leaving electronics and batteries, which contain hazardous materials. Phillips Academy burns its waste in an incinerator, but by collecting electronics and batteries, PA can reduce the amount of harmful chemicals emitted into the atmosphere. The Green Move Out will start at the beginning of Assessment Week. The Office of Physical Plant (OPP) will place cardboard boxes in the common room of each dorm for collection. At the end of Assessment Week, teams will load all the collected items into a Rally Wagon and store it in the hockey rink until it is picked up by Lazarus House. Andover’s Doherty Middle School, in conjunction with West Middle School is organizing the school’s Community Solar Challenge. For the challenge, local schools try to raise $100 donations from 150 different people for the New England Wind Fund. In return, the schools receive each receive a large solar panel. Steven Cogger, Engineering teacher at Doherty, is currently working with Dan Miley, Engineering teacher at West, to design a curriculum for the next school year titled “Engineering a Better World,” which “will be exploring energy use, energy cost, climate issues and alternative energy,” according to Cogger. Cogger said in an email that he learned more about the program through the League of Women Voters and has been working with the league to help make Doherty “first in line” for a panel if enough people sign up to donate. Doherty students would use the solar panel to measure how much power it produced over the course of the school year and determine whether or not the panel produces enough energy to power a specific, “visible” machine at the school. Cogger said that Doherty decided to participate in the challenge for several reasons, but stressed that one was not as a competition between West and Doherty. In fact, Miley and Cogger have agreed that Doherty would receive the solar panel if enough donations are made. If the schools collectively obtain 300 donors, West would also receive a solar panel. Donald Barry, Instructor in Mathematics, learned of the challenge through an article in the Lawrence Eagle Tribune, and was surprised by the difficulty that West experienced with obtaining 150 donations for its previous attempt.