MA voc-tech school hosts energy fair
Submitted by Shawn Reeves
Upton, MA. June 7, 2007
Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School, Upton, MA, held a fair this morning to explore renewable energy. Vendors and organizations display energy efficient vehicles, renewable energy systems, financial incentives, and innovative ideas for saving energy.
Each period, dozens of students entered the gymnasium, sitting in hybrid cars, talking to Whole Foods, meeting renewable-systems installers, and trying activities like a competition to see who could make the most efficient wind turbine.
Quote from Tom Belland, HVAC teacher at the school:
"For many of these students this is their introduction to energy alternatives. Kids of all ages need to understand that the world energy situation is changing and that it will affect their lives.
"The teachers were just as interested as the students and were kicking the tires on some hybrid vehicles. Our goal with this expo was to raise awareness--I think we succeeded in doing that.
"It is impressive to see all the companies and organizations donate their time and resources to our school. Next year we hope to open this event to the public and have students running the show."
EnergyTeachers.org brought a bicycle generator that showed how little power is used to light a compact fluorescent, as well as how to charge a car-battery with a bike. The network of teachers also brought solar cookers and cooked rice outside the gymnasium door. Stephen Masse, BVT Junior said "I thought it was great to see all the new technology for alternative resources. I especially liked the bicycle generator at the EnergyTeachers display. I didn't have a lot of time to look at the cars but all my friends were talking about them."
New England Biodiesel brought a biodiesel-powered Jeep, and Westborough Toyota brought a Toyota Camry Hybrid. Blackstone Valley students showed an electric pickup truck.
The school maintains two solar arrays on its roof and demonstrates several energy efficient and sustainable features. Exhibitors enjoyed lunch at a student-run restaurant on site.
School web pages:
Article about a recent grant for green curriculum at the high school:
List of exhibitors:
New England Biodiesel
Mendon Greenhouse and Floral
Alternative Energy Store
Central New England Solar Store