Go green at JYMS

Published 9:53 pm Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Students and residents visit at John Yeates Middle School’s Earth Day Open House last year. (Submitted Photo)

Students and residents visit at John Yeates Middle School’s Earth Day Open House last year. (Submitted Photo)

John Yeates Middle School is showing off its green energy for Earth Day this weekend.

The CHROME (Cooperative Hampton Roads Organization for Minorities in Engineering) and newly formed recycling clubs will host the school’s annual Earth Day Open House from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The public is invited to stop by for an environmental lesson and to tour CHROME’s green energy-powered classroom, SoWHy!

The event will also include car wash and yard sale fundraisers to benefit CHROME and the recycling club, said science teacher Louis Garland.

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SoWHy! is an overhauled mobile classroom equipped with wind turbines, solar panels and a weather station, thanks to $41,000 in grants that Garland has received during the last three years.

Last week, Garland used the latest $2,000 grant from Target to buy 10 Google Chromebooks for the club, he said.

SoWHy!, which operates on alternative energy, includes exhibits on turbine blade designs, the use of solar panel lights and hydrogen-operated devices crafted by CHROME students, Garland said.

The mobile unit also features workbenches that demonstrate how alternative energy powers devices, a weather station, skylights and other projects that CHROME students have in the works, Garland said.

The Hampton Roads Sanitation District, Suffolk Department of Fire and Rescue, and Suffolk Police Department will also have trucks on hand, he said.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to learn about alternative energy,” said Assistant Principal Wendy VanHosen.

“We hear more and more about things that are harmful for the planet. We are going to start changing how we live.”

CHROME will use the proceeds to fund a regional picnic at Norfolk State University and fund technology competitions next year, Garland said.