Energy Tour Energizes Teachers
“One of the best, educational, thought provoking tours I have taken in 25 years of teaching,” said one teacher after having participated in Bluegrass Greensource’s fourth annual energy tour, sponsored by the Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence.
Teachers from Central Kentucky joined BGGS for two days of touring sites related to renewable and nonrenewable energy. The tour gave teachers firsthand experience with a variety of energy resources and facilities and deepened their knowledge of the content they are teaching for the Next Generation Standards.
Dr. Bruce Pratt of Eastern Kentucky University’s Center for Renewable and Alternative Fuel Technologies started the tour with an overview of energy sources used to produce electricity, and the pros and cons of each. Harlan County High School was a popular stop on the tour with its renewable energy features. The school has incorporated many high performance energy features, such as: day lighting, geothermal HVAC, energy recovery units, low-E insulating glazing, occupancy sensors on lighting, high efficiency lighting, and light colored roofing.
Teachers also learned about coal extraction while touring TECO Coal in Hazard. After a training session, teachers were taken into a deep mine shaft and had the opportunity to view the mining process firsthand. The history and impact of the coal industry in Harlan County was highlighted during a Kentucky Coal Mine Museum tour led by retired miner Al Feher.
The tour is intended to broaden teachers’ knowledge of energy-related topics while providing a balanced and unbiased view of each resource.
During this school year, Greensource Educators will be working with each teacher who participated in the tour to offer energy lessons and plan energy related field trips for their students. For more information, contact Pattie Stivender at pattie@bgGreensource.org.