The Island Institute announced that, thanks to a $50,000 grant from Time Warner Cable, students at North Haven Community School and Vinalhaven School will have a new way to learn about energy efficiency this coming school year.

Energy for ME is a pilot project that will involve up to 10 teachers and 75 middle school and high school students in hands-on activities designed to help them better understand local energy usage and explore options for cleaner, more efficient and more affordable energy. By helping students use “smart” meters to measure energy usage in these two island communities, project coordinator Ruth Kermish-Allen, the Island Institute’s director of education, hopes to create a model that can be replicated elsewhere along the Maine Coast.

“This is a great opportunity to hone students’ science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills, and increase their awareness of potential careers in the fields of energy efficiency and renewable energy,” Kermish-Allen said. “We really appreciate Time Warner Cable’s interest in developing the next generation of environmental stewards, scientists and energy experts.”

Time Warner Cable donated the funding as part of its new science and technology education initiative, Connect a Million Minds. Melinda Poore, vice-president of government relations for Time Warner Cable of New England, sees the Energy for ME project in these two remote island schools as an exciting educational opportunity for learners of all ages.

“As a company rooted in innovation, it’s clear to us that there is an immediate need to encourage youth to develop skills in science and technology,” Poore said. “Through Energy for ME, students on Vinalhaven and North Haven will apply math and science to help tackle a real-life issue facing Maine’s islands, the need for greater energy efficiency.”

For more information on the Energy for ME project and CAMM, visit islandinstitute.org.