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DPU-PEEC program reaches out to LA schools

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Compliance: Outreach effort helps students ‘go green’

By Arin McKenna

Did you know you can create a “battery” using the malic acid in an apple? Or that light can make things move? Students in the Los Alamos Public Schools are experimenting with these and other hands on projects through outreach programs sponsored by the Department of Public Utilities and implemented by the Pajarito Environmental Educational Center.

DPU initiated the program after the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer mandated outreach to the public schools and the general public as part of a resolution regarding water rights compliance issues. DPU has $20,000 budgeted for the program, and has contracted with PEEC for the last three years to provide the service.

“It’s compliance driven. We have to reach out to the community, and, as the conservation coordinator, I’m the only staff member available for that. So I couldn’t possibly go out to the schools on my own as well as with the general public,” DPU Water and Energy Conservation Coordinator Christine Chavez said.  

“So PEEC does us a tremendous service in working with the schools; it’s our best partnership in the community by far. The teachers are all very familiar with the lessons now, and they request them before the school year begins, so they’re in high demand.”


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