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Volume 7
2012

Green Energy Technologies Collaboration with Boys and Girls Club of Lansing Receives OSCP Award

Angela Calabrese Barton and Carmen Turner
Angela Calabrese Barton and Carmen Turner

Angela Calabrese Barton, professor in the College of Education, and the Boys and Girls Club of Lansing were named the 2012 co-recipients of MSU's Outreach Scholarship Community Partnership Award in February.

Calabrese Barton and Carmen Turner, Boys and Girls Club (BGC) of Lansing's president, were recognized for the project Green Energy Technologies in the City ("GET City"). The collaboration engages at-risk youth in science, technology, engineering, and math, and encourages them to become community science experts who can bring about change by linking green energy technology with local environmental health.

"We designed the model to link out-of-school science investigations with in-school activities," said Calabrese Barton. "We have discovered new insights into how and why youth engage meaningfully in community-based science, and how they develop science and engineering identities." She and her husband, Scott Calabrese Barton, a professor in the College of Engineering, oversee year round programming in advanced science and engineering at BGC Lansing. The Club, with Turner's leadership, has been their primary partner since 2007.

"Dr. Calabrese Barton and her staff set high expectations for the kids, which they meet and most often surpass. They understand how to apply what they learn in GET City into making better decisions about life. That's what learning is really about," said Turner.

"We have discovered new insights into how and why youth engage meaningfully in community-based science, and how they develop science and engineering identities."

Angela Calabrese Barton

Experienced GET City students can become "Green Ambassadors" who work with school leaders and teachers to help their school meet the challenges of going green. One notable effort led to changing incandescent light bulbs in Pleasant View Magnet School in Lansing to more energy-efficient compact fluorescent lights. Students designed experiments, made movies to illustrate their research findings, and produced raps to educate teachers and fellow students.

"The GET City project is an outstanding example of university-community collaboration. Dr. Calabrese Barton has achieved a significant amount of support in a short amount of time," said Hiram E. Fitzgerald, associate provost for university outreach and engagement. "The model is now being piloted in other states, and we look forward to GET City partnerships that continue to evolve and positively impact youth and the communities in which they reside."

Beginning in 2012, the OSCP Award-winning partnership also represents MSU in the competition for the regional Outreach Scholarship W. K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award and the national C. Peter Magrath University/Community Engagement Award. The GET City collaboration was named an Exemplary Project for both award processes.

Learn more about the OSCP Award at outreach.msu.edu/awards/oscpa.