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Algoma Teachers Attend KEEP Program

Wisconsin teachers will have plenty of energy-related materials to share with their students this fall because of a commitment to improve energy education in schools. On June 16 and 17, Sturgeon Bay Utilities hosted the K-12 Energy Education Program (KEEP), a statewide energy education training course.

Two teachers from Algoma schools participated in the course and learned approaches to leading renewable energy hands-on activities and discussions. Lucinda Massey (St. Mary’s) and Donna Shulze-Straka (Algoma Elementary) gained classroom-based strategies for analyzing energy information and creating techniques to enhance students' understanding of renewable energy.

Massey and Shulze-Straka each received an electricity monitor to take back to their schools to teach students the basics of household electricity consumption. These monitors were donated by Algoma Utilities. Both teachers received tuition scholarships from Algoma Utilities and Focus on Energy.

The KEEP course is designed for teachers who want to bring renewable energy concepts into their classroom, offering the next step in renewable energy hands-on activities, classroom discussions, and classroom-based applications. The course provides renewable energy curriculum designed for use in K-12 classrooms. Pat Arndt, an adjunct faculty member of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point as well as a science teacher at Berlin High School in Berlin, Wis., taught the course at Sturgeon Bay Utilities.

“The main concept, which the course teaches, is that renewable energy options are available, doable, practical and the key to the sustainability of our energy future,” said Arndt. “The course breaks down the many misconceptions about renewable energy and gets students and teachers personally thinking of their own energy needs, consumption and how renewable energy options could meet those needs.”

In addition to the KEEP course, Sturgeon Bay Utilities hosted a variety of interactive learning activities for teachers, including:

  • The display of Sturgeon Bay Utilities’ plug-in hybrid electric vehicle
  • Tours of Sturgeon Bay Utilities’ wastewater treatment plant
  • Educational demonstrations of solar energy readouts, featuring the dual-axis tracking Solar Flairs at the Sturgeon Bay Fire Station
  • Overview of utility programs
KEEP is a partnership between Focus on Energy and the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. For more information, contact Algoma Utilities at (920) 487-5556 or visit their web site.