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Sturgis Public Schools and the Abbott Fund Unveil Program to Educate Students on Renewable Energy By Example

First of its kind project in state of Michigan could supply 10 percent of district energy needs

Submitted by: Abbott

Categories: Renewable & Alternative Energy, Green Jobs & Career News

Posted: Aug 25, 2009 – 05:33 PM EST


STURGIS, Mich., Aug. 25 /CSRwire/ - Sturgis Public Schools and the Abbott Fund, the non-profit philanthropic foundation of global health care company Abbott, today unveiled a new program that will educate the district's 3,300 students on renewable energy and reduce energy costs at the same time.

As part of this first of its kind program in the state of Michigan, all six schools in the Sturgis Public School District will be equipped with functional solar panels beginning in December 2009. In addition, Sturgis High School and Sturgis Middle School will each have a wind turbine installed on school grounds. When fully operational, the green technology being deployed could supply up to 10 percent of the district's energy needs.

"Teaching by example is arguably the most powerful lesson we can give our students," said Rob Olsen, superintendent of Sturgis Public Schools. "Through this innovative program with the Abbott Fund, future generations will learn about the impact that renewable energy can have on the health of the environment, as well as school, business and family budgets, and even a future career."

While the industry is still in its infancy, the potential career opportunities in the alternative energy field are limitless. In conjunction with the installation of the new equipment, all of the Sturgis Public Schools will be integrating renewable energy instruction into their curriculum starting in January 2010. And in partnership with Glen Oaks Community College, students at Sturgis High School will be able to explore those opportunities in the emerging field of alternative energy technology.

"Through our own actions as a corporate citizen and the programs we support, Abbott and the Abbott Fund are committed to safeguarding the environment," said Cindy Schwab, vice president of the Abbott Fund. "This initiative will increase use of renewable energy in a community that many of our Abbott Nutrition employees call home while inspiring the next generation of energy innovators in the Sturgis Public Schools."

The project was officially approved and bids were accepted by the Sturgis Board of Education during its August 11th meeting. The project is being jointly funded through a grant provided by the Abbott Fund and the Sturgis Public Schools.

About Sturgis Public Schools
The mission of the Sturgis Public Schools, in partnership with parents and the community, is to ensure each student has the knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary for a successful transition to the next educational stage, ultimately leading to a productive and satisfying life. The district is known throughout the state of Michigan and region as a "cutting edge" school district that provides the very best learning experience for students.

About the Abbott Fund
The Abbott Fund is a philanthropic foundation established by Abbott in 1951. The Abbott Fund's mission is to create healthier global communities by investing in creative ideas that promote science, expand access to health care and strengthen communities worldwide. For more information, visit www.abbottfund.org.

About Abbott
Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs more than 72,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

For more information, please contact:

Rob Olsen Sturgis Public Schools
Phone: (269) 659-1501
Kurt Ebenhoch Abbott/The Abbott Fund
Phone: (847) 936-9746


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