Categories: ,

Whites Creek High School wins environmental award from Gov. Haslam

2014-02-20 13.10.13Great (and green) things are happening at Whites Creek High School. The school has won an award from Governor Bill Haslam for its work in alternative energy.

Students from the Academy of Alternative Energy, Sustainability and Logistics won the Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award for Excellence in Energy and Renewable Resources. This is a high-level environmental prize that represents a lot of hard work in building a future in alternative fuels.

Whites Creek students have been producing biodiesel, ethanol and solar energy for quite some time now through their Academy and the Future Farmers of America (FFA). Earlier this year, they drove across Tennessee in a truck powered entirely by fuel made in their lab. Along the way, they showed off their mobile energy lab to students at high schools in other counties.

Here is the official word from the Governor and the Department of Environment and Conservation:

Whites Creek High School (Davidson County) – Students from Whites Creek High School recently drove across Tennessee on fuel that they made from agriculture product, soybeans. They were able to achieve this by using 15 bushels of donated soybeans and converting them into biodiesel in their energy laboratory at the high school. They were able to extract 12 gallons of biodiesel from their process which allowed them to drive across Tennessee from Kentucky to Alabama in a Ford F250 farm truck. Along the route, they traveled to other high schools and the students taught other FFA members the mechanics of biodiesel production with their mobile lab. Whites Creek High School has a three-year program called Academy of Alternative Energy, Sustainability and Logistics. During the three year program, they study wind energy, solar energy, biodiesel, ethanol, the hydrogen car, nuclear energy, greenhouse gas, and have hands on experience on the adjacent farm to the high school.

And a bit more about the award:

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Environment and Conservation Commissioner Bob Martineau announced the winners of the 2014 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards today. The 11 winners will be recognized for their achievements and positive impact on the state’s natural resources in an awards ceremony to be held in Nashville on June 23.

“Today’s announcement celebrates Tennesseans who are committed to our environment,” Haslam said. “Recognizing these innovative efforts that help conserve and protect our natural resources is important in keeping our communities strong and economically viable. I am proud to work alongside each and every one of the winners announced today.”

The Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards program recognizes exceptional voluntary actions that improve or protect our environment and natural resources with projects or initiatives not required by law or regulation.  In its 28th year, this year’s awards program covers nine categories: Building Green; Clean Air, Energy and Renewable Resources; Environmental Education and Outreach; Environmental Education and Outreach (school category); Land Use; Materials Management; Natural Heritage; and Sustainable Performance.

The 2014 awards roster includes one Pursuit of Excellence Award, which recognizes past award winners who continue to demonstrate a high regard for environmental stewardship practices. The winner of one additional honor, the Robert Sparks Walker Lifetime Achievement Award, will be announced at the awards ceremony in June.

A panel of 21professionals representing agricultural, conservation, forestry, environmental and academic professionals judged more than 75 nominations and selected this year’s award recipients based on criteria including on-the-ground achievement, innovation and public education.

“It's important that we recognize the people and organizations that work so hard to protect our environment, while also teaching others about sustainability,” added TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau. “The better we take care of our environment, the better our quality of life, which directly impacts how Tennesseans live, work and play,”