Page 23 - BusinessWest April 28, 2021
P. 23

 more than 1,000 high-school students have researched energy-related topics and recommended different actions they and their peers can take to make Springfield a safer, cleaner, and health- ier place to live.
Nagel credited Springfield school officials for taking on Cooler Com- munities during the challenging year everyone has faced due to COVID-19 concerns. Ron St. Amand, director of Science for Springfield schools, appre- ciates the educational opportunity.
“It’s exciting to be able to help our students understand their choices have an impact,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to empower students to save energy, reduce carbon emissions, and slow climate change.”
To properly display all the stu- dent exhibits and invite others to take actions on saving energy, Ener-G-Save worked with Springfield to develop a dedicated website to make the effort accessible to everyone at a time when in-person exhibits are not possible.
Nagel pointed out that setting up a virtual exhibit has definite advantages because more people can see all the student projects and pledge to reduce their energy usage online.
“This is a great opportunity to empower students to save energy, reduce carbon emissions, and slow climate change.”
“The Berkshires Cooler Commu- nities online event drew 600 visitors
to the site, nearly double the num-
ber who attended the live event the year before,” Nagel said. “Keeping
the exhibits and information online encourages more people to take part in the experience.”
Sustaining Momentum
A similar effort to raise awareness and take action on environmental challenges, known as Sustainathon, is happening at Springfield Techni- cal Community College (STCC). This effort, now in its fourth year, brings together STCC students and high- school students to create awareness of environmental-sustainability chal- lenges and how science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields contribute to finding solutions.
Reena Randhir, director of STEM Starter Academy at STCC, said Sustain- athon was developed because many students are not aware of environmen- tal efforts in their own backyard.
“While we certainly have environ- mental challenges, Western Mass. also has many success stories, like turn-
ing food waste into fuel,” Randhir
said. “People from other countries are studying what’s happening here, so our
students should also be on top of these innovations.”
Similar to Cooler Communities, stu- dents who take part in Sustainathon create exhibits relating to environmen- tal issues and present them at a public event. Because of COVID concerns, the public event switched to a livestream on April 14 that attracted more than 800 registrants. While Randhir hopes to once again hold Sustainathon in- person, moving online this year turned it into an international happening.
“Nearly 80 people from India par- ticipated in the live event, as well as
Continued on page 54
From left, the 2019 Sustainathon, STCC mascot Rowdy the Ram, Reena Randhir, the three-student winning team from Springfield Sci-Tech School, and (back row) Springfield City Councilor Jesse Lederman and STCC president John Cook.
   Commercial Lending
Made Easy
Simple online application at
Maybe you were planning on the delivery truck lasting
a few more years—or perhaps there’s a new machine in your industry that would be a game-changer for the efficiency of your business.
Don’t wait for next years’ budget. Our Commercial Services Division is ready with Equipment Loans that can cover everything your business needs.
Apply on your schedule, using our online Digital Business Lending Center.
Contact our business expert directly:
Jeffrey Simpson, CFA at 413.256.5560
APRIL 28, 2021 23

   21   22   23   24   25