4-H Cornell retreat participants study energy use, efficiency, careers
Submitted by Shawn Reeves
From June 29 to July 1, youth and adult leaders from 4-H groups across the state met at Cornell University. One group spent the entire time studying energy efficiency, energy use, bio-fuels production, and career-related information. This track was called "Energy efficiency in homes & global warming," and it was presented by the Design and Environmental Analysis department at Cornell, supported by the Cornell Cooperative Extension, with a little help from EnergyTeachers.org.
Tuesday, participants learned about solar power, including angling a PV panel so it was able run a power drill directly. They also learned about insulating and air-sealing homes, and other topics to prepare for an energy audit.
Wednesday, the group participated in an energy audit of a local home, running a blower-door test, counting electrical appliances, looking for leaks, counting and evaluating windows, dating large appliances and equipment, and making physical measurements. Students then entered measurements in a Lawrence Berkeley Lab's free Home Energy Savers software, determining, through modeling, the best possible energy-saving and environmental upgrades available.
The group also toured Cornell's bio-fuels research lab, learning about the equipment, people, science, engineering, technology, and money required to create innovations in the production of fuels from plants.
Thursday, the group played a Jeopardy-style game answering energy-related questions about the environment, households, and appliances. Then they rode Cornell Cooperative Extension's Energy Bike, an electricity-producing bike connected to an array of light bulbs, fans, a hair-dryer, and meters. Finally, participants watched and discussed a presentation about "green jobs" and New York State.
More about the annual 4-H Career Explorations can be found here: