The 4th grade students at Killip Elementary School have been studying alternative energy systems to determine what energy source would be the best for their school and neighborhood. The three teachers (Mrs.’s Hansen, Hart, and Taylor) have over 90 energetic students participating in this unit! Note that they will soon have a fourth teacher to reduce class sizes.
Three Flagstaff STEM Professionals presented three 25-minute sessions to the classes. Kelly Paduchowski from Prometheus SOLAR brought in a large solar panel, and talked to the students about the great solar energy potential in Arizona. Kelly is a Project Manager at Promethus Solar. She is also a certified photovoltaic installation professional. Kelly has been highlighted in a previous post when she represented Prometheus at Willow Bend Environmental Education Center.
Ken Kotalik from Primus Wind Power brought in a wind turbine and talked to the students about having both gride-tied wind power and also off-the-grid wind systems that could also include solar panels. Ken is the Director of North American Sales, for Primus Wind Power. He has been working in and around the renewable energy field for 15 years and he built his own passive and active solar straw bale house in Flagstaff.
Lucas Bair, from the Grand Canyon Research and Monitoring Center of the US Geological Survey, showed a video on hydropower and illustrated to students how a dam works to generate electric power. Lucas is an environmental and natural resource economist with expertise in water resource and energy economics and policy. His research includes natural resource valuation and decision and benefit-cost analysis with a focus on resources in Glen and Grand Canyons along with large river systems such as the Sacramento-San Joaquin and the Brazilian Amazon.
STEM City and Killip Elementary School thank you for your educational and engaging presentations to the students! Stay tuned, as the students are now finalizing their reports on which of these three alternative energy sources should be used to power their school and neighborhood!