Equipment investments will fuel student learning opportunities and help create pathways to green and STEM careers
DAVIDSON, N.C., Aug. 14, 2023 – Marissa Community Unit School District 40 and Trane® – by Trane Technologies (NYSE: TT), a global climate innovator, announce energy-saving infrastructure upgrades and the debut of an innovative industry-recognized certification program that is the first of its kind to be offered in Illinois K-12 schools. The program gives high school seniors real-world data analytics experience and an advantage when entering the STEM workforce after graduation.
The district chose Trane to implement the infrastructure upgrades in their junior and senior high school buildings as part of their commitment to improving student learning environments. The upgrades, which include HVAC equipment and new state-of-the-art building automation controls, will help to create a more comfortable academic environment, reduce rising energy and operational costs, replace outdated systems and address deferred maintenance.
In addition to comfort and efficiency, the equipment upgrades will make a direct impact on student learning. Beginning in the 2024 school year, high school seniors will be able to take part in a data analytics education program that is the first of its kind in Illinois. The program will leverage the energy usage data from the controls system to offer hands-on STEM learning experiences that will be woven into curriculum of two science electives. The real-world projects will give students practical skills that will help bridge the gap between classroom instruction and the needs of the workforce.
The program also prepares students for two Data Analytics Certifications through the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3), which allows students to earn additional, third party, industry recognized credentials. Trane will fund students’ testing costs as part of its commitment to creating pathways to green and STEM careers in support of Trane Technologies’ Sustainable Futures program.
“When we started collaborating with Trane on the infrastructure upgrades, we were excited to see how that investment could help us make an even deeper commitment in our students’ future success,” said Jeff Strieker, superintendent, Marissa CUSD. “The data analytics certification program will give our students a leg up when it comes time to enter the workforce. We are thrilled that we can make such a big difference thanks to our partnership with Trane.”
The environmental sustainability benefits resulting from the upgrades are also compelling. The district is expected to realize a reduction in energy usage of roughly 72,000 kWh in electricity annually. This equals nearly 51 metric tons of reduced carbon emissions, the equivalent of more than 130 thousand miles driven by an average passenger vehicle or more than 10 homes’ electricity use each year.
“We are proud to work with Marissa CUSD 40 on these two initiatives to support the local community,” said Jessica Gagliarducci, account manager, Trane Commercial. “As part of Trane Technologies, Trane is committed to environmental sustainability and to uplifting our communities and to STEM student education. Our collaboration with the district is the perfect convergence of the two.”
Supporting the surrounding community was very important to the district and an effort was made to use local labor on the equipment installation. Neal’s Heating and Cooling, the local contracting company chosen shares that commitment and has deep roots in Marissa.
“We are so proud to collaborate with the school district and Trane on this project,” said Travis Middendorf, owner, Neal’s Heating and Cooling. “It is especially rewarding to know that the work we’re doing will have a lasting impact on future generations, and even on my family. My son helped with the equipment installation over the summer and is pursuing his love of STEM this fall as a Marissa high school senior.”
The $1.3 million energy-savings project was funded through a grant from local utilities, Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds and facilitated through Trane's exclusive contract with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Education Purchasing Program (EPP).