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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, March 10, 2014, 5:50 am

Education: PG&E awards $15,000 to Vintage High

Also: College of Marin professor honored; Solano CC goes solar; Union Bank, RCU boost financial literacy

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    Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has awarded a $15,000 “Bright Ideas” grant to two teachers at Napa’s Vintage High School, recognizing both for “innovation in renewable energy education.”

    Eric Gneckow, Business Journal Staff ReporterThe award, presented to teachers Heather Brooks and Chris Auld, is the fourth for Vintage High School’s Green Technology Pathway program. The increasingly popular curriculum, which offers an occupation-focused alternative to traditional physics instruction, received $10,000 during the prior year’s funding cycle and has been awarded a total of $30,000, according to PG&E.

    PG&E has awarded over $2 million to California schools to date in support of renewable energy-focused education.

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    The legacy of former College of Marin Professor Gordon Chan, who died from Lou Gerhig’s disease in 1996, has continued with a national teaching award and recent donation to the college’s science museum.

    The National Association of Biology Teachers will present the first “Professor Chan Two-Year College Award for the Engaged Teaching of Biology” this year. The organization will announce the winner on March 15, awarding $500 toward travel to their annual professional development conference and $1,500 of educational software and technology.

    In addition, Mr. Chan’s surviving family has donated $25,000 for the purchase of a display cabinet at College of Marin’s science museum. The college has named its marine biology collection for Mr. Chan.

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    Solano Community College District hired Sunpower Corp. to install a parking canopy solar photovoltaic system with a combined base load production capacity of 2.8 megawatts. The system was brought online in late February, and will offset more than half of the annual electricity demand at the main Fairfield campus and two other sites.

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    Union Bank, NA, in partnership with Operation HOPE and the Sonoma Valley Boys & Girls Club, completed its third offering of a five-week financial literacy program in February. The program, Banking on Our Future, is targeted for high school or middle school students. Union Bank volunteers Robin Gold and Molly Fedorchak served as instructors in the program.

    Meanwhile, Redwood Credit Union it gearing up to offer its own financial literacy academy, a program operated in partnership with the Sonoma County Office of Education and Sonoma County high schools.

    Over 350 students have graduated from the ten financial academies offered since 2009. Classes are free but space is limited, with more information available at redwoodcu.org/life-planning-education/banking-finance-academy. The course begins on March 18.

    Submit items for this column to Business Journal Staff Writer Eric Gneckow, eric.gneckow@busjrnl.com.

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