Over the past two years, our community has increasingly focused on ways in which we can become more sustainable, adopting practices that help us reduce consumption, support the environment and conserve resources. This led to the creation of SustainableNIST, a committee comprised of not only faculty, but also students and parents, which has initiated numerous projects to raise awareness within our community and drive change.
This drive to become more conscious global citizens and responsible members of our communities has aligned to the similar evolution of our curriculum, and our service programmes in particular. NIST service groups are student-initiated and student-driven, and they reflect a wide range of interests all joined by a common goal: enriching the lives of others.
One such group, Solar Generation, formed this school year and has already made an impact within a few short months. Their passion for shifting our community to sustainable energy sources has led to the installation of our first solar panels on the roof of our Creative Arts Building. As we begin to track energy savings provided by this, we will further expand the project by donating the equivalent amount of the savings back to the group, hopefully leading our school to be entirely self-sustainable within the coming years.
Learn more about Solar Generation in their own words:
NIST is located in the heart of Bangkok, a diverse community in such a concentrated urban area. In this vast sea of different beliefs and culture, we all share four main values: integrity, caring, community and growth. NIST is an active hub of development and has continually spearheaded projects in different communities. In school, we are educated about issues that undermine global development.
However, as a small group of friends who grew up in a metropolitan environment, we never got to experience these matters firsthand. Last year we visited Knapor, a small rural Cambodian village on the outskirts of Siem Reap. Although it may seem like a Cambodian tourist sight, the citizens of the village currently struggle with access to basic necessities like energy, education and transportation. Our initial intentions were to work on other projects; however, after witnessing the prevalence of these issues, we wanted to take the opportunity to make a difference.
As we thought about how to start an initiative that would lead to global impact, we realized that such large-scale changes are produced over time. Considering that our aspirations resonated with our NIST community values, we decided to instead start working toward urban sustainability in a community closest to us: our school. Our plan was able to raise capital and secure subsidies for 80 PV solar panels. In installing these panels at NIST, we also provide many educational opportunities for students considering study in a related field or are simply interested in sustainability, which may inspire and lead to similar projects in the future.
As pioneers for a sustainable future, we aim to expand our project within our campus and beyond. We have future prospects for transforming the Knapor community, the NIST community and the Bangkok community into a solar driven area. We hope others follow us in working toward a Solar Generation.
Ainesh, Pete, Prize & Punn (Year 13)