U.S. Embassy Delivers Renewable Energy Tech, STEM Curriculum to Local School

U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Usha Pitts (center left) poses for a photo in front of the EnergiTree and EnergiSeedling, along with St. John’s College Principal Junann Lewis (center right), Primo Energy CEO Ned McMahon (far left), and St. John’s College science teacher and U.S. Embassy program alumnus Fathe

On March 24, 2021 the U.S. Embassy delivered sustainable energy technology and curriculum to St. John’s College in Nassau. The donation underscores the U.S. government’s commitment to spreading innovative approaches to combatting climate change, and to helping children learn about sustainability while also teaching valuable Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills.

The Embassy partnered with an American renewable energy company based in California (Primo Energy) to facilitate a donation of two state-of-the art renewable energy devices and a project-based STEM curriculum: an EnergiTree and an EnergiSeedling.

U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Usha Pitts highlighted how the donation reflects the United States’ broader commitment to combatting climate change and to working with partners in The Bahamas to foster solutions to our shared climate challenge. Speaking directly to the students, Chargé Pitts spoke of her own experience in college—when she realized the importance of conservation, the environment, and climate—and expressed her hope that the EnergiSeedling would be a similarly inspirational experience for the students at St. John’s.

The EnergiTree is a patented renewable energy device that can generate up to 2.5kW of energy—enough to power USB charging stations, lighting, speakers, WiFi routers, etc. Meanwhile, the EnergiSeedling is a smaller version of the device that can serve as a powerful learning resource in the classroom, along with a STEM based curriculum. Primo Energy installed both devices at St. John’s College, providing over 900 students a valuable tool with which to learn about sustainable energy and STEM subjects.

St. John’s College’s renewable energy program, under the leadership of Father Shazz Turnquest, has been an example of STEM education and sustainability for almost half a decade. Father Turnquest spearheaded a “Green Lightning” Solar Car Project in 2017, established the St. John’s College Energy Academy, and has partnered with the Ministry of Education and Bahamas Power and Light to bring STEM education and sustainability to inner city youth in New Providence.

Father Turnquest is also an alumni of the U.S. Embassy’s prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP); he traveled to the United States to learn about Entrepreneurship and Technology in 2019.