City officials, business leaders and community members recently toured the Chula Vista Civic Center Library’s newest addition — an education center that focuses on teaching children the importance of energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The addition came about through a partnership between the city, SDG&E and the Chula Vista Elementary School District.
Officials say it’s the first of its kind in the region.
Visitors took a look at the center Aug. 16 with a first stop at a stairwell lined with comic-book style murals revealing how to make energy efficiency a lifestyle.
That stairwell leads guests to a long hallway plastered wall to wall with illustrative tips for energy efficiency and highlights of city programs and partnerships.
“This project will inspire the next generation of leaders,” said Lisa Davidson, director of customer programs for SDG&E. “Smart city makes learning, science, technology, engineering and math fun and engaging.”
In its entirety, smart city is a space designed for students to learn about solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, energy lingo, and much more.
Around the corner from the hallway’s end is a classroom with a Monopoly-type board game that rewards students for choosing to save energy while they play.
Students also participated at three stations, where demonstrations in electromagnetic, chemical and steam energy were given.
Rachel Oliver took her 6-year-old son, Bodhi, to the education center’s grand opening.
“He loves science and math and anything he can do with his hands,” she said.
The classroom focuses on sixth-grade standards, including science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, a standards-based curriculum that helps teachers explain the science of energy from power generation to distribution to measurement.
Stephanie Loney, principal librarian and manager at the Chula Vista Civic Library, said this is a project that’s been going on for five years.
“We started in 2012 with a collection of books in our energy lounge in our civic and south libraries … adding energy monitoring tools the public can borrow and promote a consciousness about the need for energy conservation.”
Chula Vista has long been an energy leader in the region, enacting its first climate action plan in 2000.
It has numerous environmental and sustainability programs throughout the city, including at its recreation center, public works department and with local businesses.
Earlier this year, Chula Vista was named as one of the top three smart cities in the U.S.
Chula Vista has worked with SDG&E for the past decade on creating energy efficiency and clean transportation initiatives.
Last year more than 11,500 Chula Vista residents and businesses took advantage of SDG&E programs, claiming more than $2.9 million in incentives and rebates.
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