Press Room

Millbury Junior High Students Develop Elementary Science Curriculum, Recycling Program as part of Wheelabrator Symposium

120 students from 12 middle schools “Working Together to Build Sustainable Communities” present environmental projects at first Symposium hosted in Maryland

MILLBURY, Mass. — (April 8, 2015) — A team of Millbury Junior High School students are developing an elementary science curriculum and recycling plan as part of an environmental education program sponsored by Wheelabrator Technologies’ Millbury energy-from-waste facility.

The project is part of the annual Wheelabrator Symposium for Environment and Education, whose theme this year is “Working Together to Build Sustainable Communities”. The Symposium challenges middle school students, working with teachers and Wheelabrator volunteers, to research, develop and implement long-term solutions to local environmental issues. It also incorporates STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) concepts and provides students with an interdisciplinary view of environmental issues and solutions.

The Millbury team will join students from 12 other schools throughout the Northeast, Florida and Mid-Atlantic in presenting their work to a panel of educators, environmental experts and Wheelabrator employees in Baltimore from May 4-7. The Millbury students will also present their work at the Elmwood Street Elementary School at 1 pm on April 30 and to the Millbury School Committee at 7 pm on May 13.

“Teaching is a great way to learn. By developing these elementary school programs, the students are learning about both the environment and education, raising awareness among younger kids about the importance of environmental sustainability, and improving their community,” said John Hillier, a Millbury Junior High School science teacher assisting the students. “The Wheelabrator Symposium has proven to be a powerful tool for teaching STEM and a great opportunity for kids to develop skills such as researching, working on a team, meeting deadlines and public speaking that will serve them throughout their educational careers and beyond.”

The students’ work on the elementary science curriculum includes developing a reading list, creating worksheets and teaching teachers how to use small-scale models of alternative energy devices such as wind and water turbines as instructional tools in the classroom. The students are also developing a program to recycle white paper for the Elmwood Street Elementary School. The participating students meet every Monday after school and in smaller groups on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

"The Wheelabrator Symposium reflects our belief that environmental stewardship must be grounded in fundamental science and that businesses can help educators raise awareness about environmental sustainability through real-life, hands-on experiences,” said Pete DiCecco, the plant manager of Wheelabrator Millbury. “We are so proud of the work our Millbury team is doing this year."

Wheelabrator’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond its day-to-day energy-from-waste operations and includes corporate social responsibility programs designed to foster environmental awareness, education and community engagement. For 21 years, the Wheelabrator Symposium for Environment and Education has been a cornerstone of the company’s efforts to help build sustainable communities and inspire the next generation of environmental leaders.

Headquartered in Hampton, New Hampshire, Wheelabrator creates clean, renewable energy from everyday residential and business waste. Wheelabrator has a current platform of 15 energy-from-waste facilities, four independent power-producing facilities, four ash monofills and three waste transfer stations. Wheelabrator has an annual waste processing capacity of over 7.4 million tons, and a total combined electric generating capacity of 768 megawatts — enough energy to power more than 645,000 homes. Wheelabrator facilities also recover metals from ash for recycling into commercial products. For more on Wheelabrator, www.wtienergy.com.