Halsey Street came about as a result of the Green Jobs Movement. Our services were born out of the need to create innovative green job training programs in inner-city communities that taught community residents how to generate renewable energy or how to live healthier more sustainable lives. Toward that end, our services have included helping community groups, small businesses and individuals in the development of rain water collection systems, compost collection systems, and the conversion of restaurant waste vegetable oil into biodiesel fuel.
To expand our outreach, we began to develop curriculums to train participants on the basics of Environmental Stewardship, Biofuel Production Techniques, and Installing Solar PV Systems. In addition, we have worked with Community Action Organizations to build “Hoop Houses” and aquaponics systems (based on the Will Allen Verma-culture Farming System).
When Ford and General Motors committed to producing an all electric vehicle fleet by 2030, which would reduce CO2 emissions in the US by 1/3, Halsey Street developed an electronic circuits and robotics curriculum.
How can educators prepare students for jobs that haven’t been created yet? In October of 2020, General Motors and Ford gave us the answer by announcing that they will make all their gas and diesel light-duty vehicles electric by 2030. In addition, the Internet of Things (IoT) Revolution, which uses Arduino electronic circuits and the cloud to connect our devices (e.g., the smartphone to a refrigerator, or a stove, or a car, etc.) is in full bloom.
Out of this revelation, a team of Halsey Street educators developed an “Electronic Circuits and Robotics” course to introduce nine to 13-year-old participants to electronic circuits, robotics and C++ computer programming. The ten projects in the course are divided into six academic steps, which engage students in hands-on activities and enable the instructor to teach across disciplines. The six steps include: (1) Exploring key words, (2) Performing the math calculations, (3) Building the electronic circuit, (4) Programming the circuit with C++, (5) Answering the What If and Why Not Questions related to the project, and (6) Programming the bonus coding assignment. Thus, the vocabulary words, math assignments, programming assignments, and the what if and why not questions work in harmony to help the student master the subject material.
Developed a “Solar Panel Installation Basics Curriculum” in partnership with the LB Electric Company and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. This interactive course focuses on the study of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells, modules, and system components; electrical circuits; PV system design and sizing for use on homes; solar electric products and applications; and understanding energy conversion from sunlight to electricity, and working with solar conversion equipment. The 112-hour course was designed to give students the book knowledge and hands on experience to gain an Entry Level Solar Panel Installer Certificate of Completion from the Electronics Technicians Association, International (ETA® International).
Developed the “FlexTIM Critical Thinking and Writing” course in conjunction with the Rutgers University Economic Opportunity Fund program, as an interdisciplinary English/Social Studies course designed to prepare urban students for the rigor of college academics. The course focuses on helping students analyze social issues, improve reading comprehension and develop critical thinking skills using a proven annotation technique combined with the Critical Inquiry Method. The course also uses syllogistic structures to help students make logical inferences from direct and indirect stated ideas ‒ and challenges them to build logically consistent, concise and coherent arguments in their essay writing and speeches.
Developed the “Introduction to Biofuels Course” for Hawaii Community College to provide students with an introduction to the production methods used to capture bio-based fuels. Emphasis was placed on the basic chemistry of various forms of biofuel production, proper production and fuel quality testing methods, safe handling and use guidelines, and the social, environmental, and economic impacts of biofuels. In addition, students created income-expense business reports based on developing a local waste vegetable oil conversion center and an E-85 ethanol energy cooperative. Upon completion of the course, students were also able to demonstrate the ability to produce and test biodiesel and ethanol fuels that meet ASTM standards for commercial quality biofuel.
Developed the “Environmental Stewardship Curriculum” for the New Jersey Environmental Federation’s Urban Environmental Institute. The focus of this interactive course is on teaching inner-city high school and college students about the issue surrounding environmental sustainability, environmental justice, and how to scientifically test the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land we occupy. In addition, students study the implication the burning fossil fuels, using chemical pesticides and the impact that human waste is having on the various eco-systems of our planet.