MCC Cares: Weatherization Project

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Project Overview

MCC Cares is a service-learning project that brings together MCC students studying the industrial trades, MCC instructors, and other various students who will observe and document the project as part of their coursework. Through the program, MCC Cares is offering a service at no cost to elderly residents to help them stay safe, independent and in the comfort of their own homes. This quarter, students’ main goal is weatherization in the home, supporting MCC’s mission to go green and to preserve the environment. Weatherization is the practice of protecting a building and its interior from the elements, particularly from sunlight and winds and modifying it to reduce energy consumption. These changes will optimize energy efficiency and improve the residents’ living conditions.

The program is also a service-learning opportunity for students. Service-learning enhances students’ learning by using their skills to help someone or the community. It is learning that is “hands on.” Students will know what it is like to be on a work site. They will share in the experience of helping the elderly as a service to their community. The clients are registered with the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging. Their mission is to help elderly Nebraskans, who are on fixed incomes, live independently for as long as possible in their own homes.

The project will take a whole quarter to work on four houses; each of the four houses should take an estimated three weeks to finish. During week one, the industrial trades students will perform a blower door test, which will put out an initial energy analysis, helping to find air leaks. Week two will involve installing new insulation or doors and weather-stripping or caulking around windows and doors. Week three will involve a post-energy analysis. All homes involved will be located in Omaha. Money required for this project is provided by Lowe’s through Skills USA. This is the second time that MCC has received a grant from Lowe’s for this project.

∗ Project description provided by the ENGL 0960 class.