Dominion Resources, an energy company based in Virginia, recently announced a plan for $1 million in educational grants. The grants will focus on outstanding environment, energy and workforce development programs in K-12 schools within the company's geographic footprint.

The focus is to encourage students and future generations to learn how to protect the environment, create sustainability and energy security through advanced technology. The programs will spread across business, energy, engineering, skilled craft, environmental and technical studies, all of which will be geared to impart quality education.

Dominion's announcement comes at an important time, when schools are intensifying their environmental studies. In the last decade, an increasing number of K-12 programs have been geared toward incorporating energy and environment education into the curriculum.

In many states, efforts are also on to make them a part of the mainstream education. Massachusetts is working with federal agencies and school boards to use clean energy as an integrating framework for STEM lessons. Wisconsin now has a dedicated program called Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program, or KEEP.

Outreach programs like the one conducted by the Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences have touched the lives of students across the country. The various comprehensive programs for K-12 students and their teachers are aimed at providing basic knowledge of Earth, energy and environmental sciences. This will help prepare them to be vanguards for the planet in the future as well.

Efforts in these subjects are being duly awarded by many organizations, including the White House. The White House Science Fair, which celebrates the STEM competition winners from across the country, has dedicated segments like the Climate Education and Literacy Initiative, showcasing the growing important of environment as a subject.

Other initiatives to engage young minds include the EPA Food Recovery Challenge for K-12 schools and special projects like the Miami Science Barge.

One of the latest participants in the former project is Bates Elementary School in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The program will focus on improving its sustainable food management practices and report its results.

The latter is an innovative project for schools in the Miami area, focused on climate change and sustainability in South Florida. Inspired by the Manhattan Science Barge, this project hopes to build rapid awareness for the environmental sustainability.

With built-in labs and a classroom for students, the 120-foot-long solar-powered Miami Science Barge will show students how to save water, land and energy and help the economy in the process. With brands like Whole Foods getting on board, it is expected to reach more students and fast.

What is your school district doing to join this movement?