Keeping It Green at Oakton

Your source for the most current sustainability news from Oakton Community College


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Eclipse 2017: Check it out on campus!

On Monday, August 21, 2017 we will have the awesome opportunity to observe a solar eclipse. What an amazing way to celebrate the first day of classes for Fall semester! Though our area is not in the path of totality (where the moon completely covers the sun), we will be able to see about 86% coverage.  If you plan to be on campus that day, please join us in viewing this awe-inspiring sight.

partial-solar-eclipse-clouds

(image copyright bigstockphoto.com/Solarseven)

In our area, the eclipse will begin around 11:53am and end around 2:41 pm with maximum coverage around 1:19pm. Members of Oakton faculty and staff will be available with approved safety solar eclipse glasses** on both campuses from 12:45pm through 2:00pm.

Des Plaines Campus: Walkway between the Lee Center and the Enrollment Center entrance of the main building.

Skokie Campus: Near the flagpole on the Mulford side of the building.

We hope you’ll join us for this amazing experience! If you cannot make it, you can check out a live stream of the eclipse from Astronomy Magazine here. And you’ll also be able to note a drop in our energy generation from our solar panels on campus!

**Please remember that looking directly at the sun even when it is is 86% covered is NOT safe and you could suffer long-term vision damage if you do not take proper precautions. Only use ISO 12312-2 certified glasses from reputable vendors for viewing the eclipse or utilize indirect methods such as pinhole viewers to observe the changing shadows instead. Pinhole viewers, regular sunglasses, or film are not suitable for direct viewing of the sun! This short video from the American Astrological Society (AAS) is super helpful for understanding the eclipse and associated safety precautions. **

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Margaret Burke Lee Science and Health Careers Center IS OPEN!

PVpanels

We are thrilled to announce that the new Margaret Burke Lee Science and Health Careers Center is open for students! Despite the weather, the new building creates a warm and welcoming space for students and faculty.

This video walk through showcases the lovely spaces, but the addition of furniture, artwork and (of course) PEOPLE makes it so much more vibrant. The Lee Center is now home to classrooms for our Science and Health courses and includes biology, chemistry and physics labs, faculty offices, student lounge areas and a state of the art simulation hospital. Keep an eye out in spring as we install our educational displays that highlight many of the great sustainability features of this building (for which we are expecting LEED Gold Level certification!). Some of the features include:

  • Radiant heating using a closed looped system,
  • Light meters and occupancy sensors which help to control how much artificial light is being used,
  • Energy wheel system in our lab spaces that reduce the need for standard HVAC equipment,
  • Construction and décor made from repurposed and recycled materials,
  • Locally sourced building materials,
  • High-efficiency elevator
  • Outdoor classroom,
  • Native landscaping featuring prairie plants which will provide usable habitat for local wildlife,
  • Bioswales in our specially designed and newly resurfaced parking lot to help manage stormwater runoff and…
  • A 23.6 kW photovoltaic array to produce solar power for the building. The array has been producing power in the building for several months. Its real-time energy production and the building’s energy usage can be viewed at any time via our Dashboard.

We cannot wait for you to visit, enjoy the natural light and beautiful views of the Des Plaines campus…and take a class or two!


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Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC)–Internships Available

The Environmental Law & Policy Center (ELPC) is headquartered in downtown Chicago, with staff across many Midwestern states. Their multi-disciplinary staff consists of public interest attorneys, policy analysts, MBAs, communications specialists, grassroots organizers, and support staff. To meet ELPC’s top-rate staff, go to http://www.ELPC.org/staff. For more information on ELPC’s impact in the Midwest, go to http://www.ELPC.org/impact. – See more at: http://elpc.org/jobs/#sthash.3UQYfEEf.dpuf

Current listings include:

  • Media Relations Manager
  • Field Organizer Fellowship
  • Development Officer
  • IT Associate
  • Associate Attorney/Public Interest Environmental Law Fellow

Internships are available in:

  • Sustainable Business
  • Legal
  • Communications
  • Science and Policy

View full details HERE.


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STEM Challenge Opportunity! Cash Prizes!

From the Illinois Green Economy Network:

The National Science Foundation just announced a Community College Innovation challenge, for teams of community college students led by a faculty mentor and joined by an industry representative. The teams have to identify a real-world problem and propose an original, innovative solution, via a brief proposal and a 90-second video. Solutions must be STEM-based and fall within one of the following themes: Big Data, Infrastructure Security, Sustainability (including water, food, energy, environment), Broadening Participation in STEM, Improving STEM Education. Teams may apply online (website linked below) from September 15 through January 15, 2015.

Ten teams will be selected to take part in a competitive Innovation Boot Camp, with their travel expenses paid and $500 granted toward further refining their idea. First, second, and third place teams will be selected from this Boot Camp. Student members of the first place team will be awarded cash prizes of $3,000 each, $2,000 each will go to the student members of the second place team, and $1,000 each to the student members of the third place team.

This is an exciting opportunity for our students! Please share!

More information on the themes, the Challenge, and on how to apply can be found on the challenge website: http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/communitycollege/