Focusing on sustainability and feasibility, the AYA Instruments, Inc. Energy Discovery Zone (EDZ) program uses actual professional equipment and systems to educate students about concepts such as conventional and alternative energy while giving them the chance to use what they learned in the real world.
The Energy Discovery Zone includes:
- SOLAR POWER STATION PLATFORMS: AYA Instruments, EDZ’s parent company, installed custom-designed sustainable energy platforms at the Community Day School and West Allegheny Middle School. A trifold brochure is available.
- DAVIS WEATHERLINK: WeatherLink is a professional-grade weather detection system that provides access to both local and world-wide weather data collection and analysis.
- MOBILE STEAM CLASSROOMS: AYA is converting buses into mobile classrooms. Pictures of a similar bus are shown to the right.
- SUSTAINABILITY CURRICULUM: The primary focus of EDZ is the creation of a K-12 curriculum to support the alternative energy installations.
- EMPLOYMENT FOCUSED LEARNING PLATFORM: EDZ is developing an all-in-one learning platform that utilizes cutting edge technologies designed to teach students critical thinking and interpersonal skills. The purpose of this program is to help them gain employment while learning about sustainability. Proposed areas of training include industry-specific skills such as modifying vehicles like the mobile classroom for increased sustainability and utility.
The Solar DC Microgrid System Education Program in the Millvale Food+Energy Hub offers opportunities for students, visitors, and the community at large to examine the emerging role of renewable DC energy in promoting sustainability and reducing the damage caused to our environment and health by energy generation. The Hub’s state-of-the art microgrid, coupled with an advanced power control system for the building, building automation, and educational dashboard, serves as a learning tool for a wide range of abilities, age ranges, and interests from the casual to highly technical.
The images at the top of this page show the control panel in the basement and solar panels on the roof of the Millvale Food+Energy Hub.
FDPA is an all-volunteer organization working to eliminate gerrymandering in Pennsylvania. Visit Fair Districts PA for more information.
Here’s info about the fight against political corruption in Pennsylvania
EXECUTIVE SERVICE CORPS
Joe McLaughlin volunteers as a technology consultant with the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management Executive Service Corps.
The DC HEaRT (Humanity, Energy, and Regional Transformation) initiative is a partnership among the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz Graduate School of Business, Swanson School of Engineering, and School of Social Work, as well as the Narottam Lalbhai Rural Development Fund and Ahmedabad University. As part of the Direct Currect (DC) powered Bioshelter laboratory in Homewood, DC HEaRT created a set of lesson plans to be used in conjunction with the program. Read about the trip DC HEaRT personnel made to India to lay the groundwork for a partnership meant to use Indian engineering expertise to help scale up the Bioshelter.
ElderBots, a program created by the Carnegie Mellon University Quality of Life Technology Center (now defunct), promoted informal intergenerational contacts through the use of a small, appealing, low-cost, mobile robot named EB. Participating organizations and facilities serving older adults were teamed with local high schools that recruited students to visit the older adults, interacting on an informal basis through the use of EB.
Joe McLaughlin was the Robotics Educator for the Carnegie Science Center roboworld, the world’s largest permanent robotics exhibition.
MILLVALE COMMUNITY LIBRARY
“More than a library – an agent of positive change”
Joe was a founder of the Millvale Community Library, the first new library in Allegheny County in over 40 years. He also served as technology consultant in the years preceding the library’s certification as a member of the Allegheny County Library Association.