GOOD MORNING CLASS! We flipped the script and put science, math, technology, and trades teachers in the classroom for our two day Energy Education for Educators, E3, program.

St. Cloud was the perfect lab to learn about all things energy and what industry and governments are doing to ensure a bright future for the energy workforce. St. Cloud Technical and Community College served as our home base and started off our experience with a tour of their $2.5 Million grant funded “Advanced Manufacturing Training Lab” designed to leverage community partnership for workforce training and classroom learning.

Teachers  exploring SCTCC Grant Funded Expansion

We then spent time learning about the fundamentals of generation, transmission, and distribution. Our faculty helped our educators explore how solar farms operate and what makes wind turbines generate in the classroom before we took our first field trip.

Blattner Energy welcomed us to their office facility in Avon, MN. The LEED platinum certified building to showcased their over 100 years of expertise in innovation, commitment to safety, and their nation wide portfolio of engineering and construction projects.

teachers over looking solar arrays in the roof of Blattner Energy

Our educators then got the opportunity to explore the unique value and traits that electric coops bring to the energy mix thanks to Stearns Electric. We where able to learn more about the coop operating model, services and benefits of being a coop member, and what opportunities and enhancements are coming to greater Minnesota’s energy grid.

teachers at Stearns electric community solar garden

The next morning we returned to SCTCC to dive into the classroom resources and tools the Energy Center offers educators on our trailer and in classroom presentations. Educators worked hands-on with equipment later in the day and were able to build their own labs and collaborate.

teachers gathered around a circle learning about how to use a solar pathfinder

We then got back on the road to see the ways the City of St. Cloud is creating energy to meet the city’s goal to achieve 100% carbon neutrality by 2028. First stop: the city’s anaerobic digestion facility powered by waste water.

educators between two large brick tanks that are part of an anerobic digestor

The next stop with the City of St. Cloud utilities was the municipal hydro damn.

We wrapped the day in class answering questions from our day of industry tours and recapping the offerings for educational and workforce opportunities the Minnesota State Energy Center of Excellence offers to the state. We are so grateful for the partnership of teachers, industry, and governments helping us inspire and educate the future of our energy workforce.

Energy Education for Educators or E3 is a completely free opportunity hosted by the Energy Center of Excellence each summer. To stay informed on our next offering please email us at [email protected]