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Students learn about renewable energy during outreach event

  • Student constructing wind turbines during a breakout session. Photo by Steven Herppich.
  • Students constructing wind turbines. Photo by Steven Herppich.
  • Students constructing wind turbines with the help of Richard Vallery, Physics Department chair. Photo by Steven Herppich.
  • Photo by Steven Herppich
  • Photo by Steven Herppich

Posted on October 25, 2016

More than 70 middle school students from 27 local schools learned about the impact of energy use and its effect on the environment, during an interactive outreach event October 22 at Grand Valley.

During "Energizing Our World," students participated in various sessions where they engaged in hands-on STEM activities to learn about solar, wind and hydropower. From constructing their own wind turbines to testing the power of flowing water, the lessons highlighted the benefits of renewable energy, the best sustainable practices and the applications of renewable energy in various fields of study.

The Regional Math and Science Center, Physics Department, Geology Department and Office of Sustainable Practices sponsored the event.

"Energize Our World provided an experience to middle school students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to learn about renewable energy," said Diane Miller, RMSC program coordinator. "The Regional Math and Science Center strives to inspire students to be excited about learning while empowering them to become informed citizens."

Also on hand was an 18-foot, solar energy-producing module designed and built by a team of students from the Padnos College of Engineering and Computing. The "Solar on Wheels" unit consists of eight solar panels and a collection of solar shingles. The portable module, which was financially supported by a $55,000 grant from Consumers Energy, has the capacity to emit four kilowatts of electricity.

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