Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Summer Energy Institute & NEED

By Robert A. Jones 
Technology Education Teacher 
Kenney Middle School 
Hannibal School District 

There are approximately 500 middle school and high school teachers throughout 
New York State that have the privilege to attend the Summer Energy Institute held either 
at SUNY Oswego or Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES from 1974 to 2004.  Funding 
for the institute came from National Science Foundation, Niagara Mohawk Power 
Corporation, New York Power Authority and Entergy Corporation.  PrimarilyDr. Merlin 
Kleinbach, Dr. Roger Hinrichs, and Dr. Carlton Salvagin of SUNY Oswego coordinated 
the institute with several other educators helping throughout the years. 

The program was a mixture of hands-on projects, teamwork activities, lecture, 
demonstrations, field trips that all evolved around energy content.  Emphasis was always 
placed on how to integrate energy lessons and activities in to existing curriculum to help 
meet state and national requirement. Projects have included the design and testing of a 
model solar house, home energy audits, wind powered vehicles and building a device to 
boil water using the sun.

Energy is a topic that is constantly changing and evolving.  Some factors to 
consider are the political atmosphere, environmental impacts ofenergy sources, and the 
search and research for new energy technologies.  The Summer Energy Institute is no 
longer but in New York State there is a program that is similar. It is having a large impact 
on the future of energy in technology education curriculum in New York State and 
several other states. 

The program is the (NEED) National Energy Education Development project.  
The program has been around for 26 years, but New York State has only participated in 
the last two years training teachers. There are numerous modules that are linked to 
national standards k-12, they cover a large variety of energy topics, updated yearly, and 
are hands-on based. Funding for this project has been provided through (NYSERDA) 
New York State Energy Research and DevelopmentAuthority. Todd Rogers, a NEED 
trainer has been instrumental in training teachers throughout New York State. He is often 
seen at many of the technology education conferences.

This article is part of a series that Steve Poydock has been gathering and sending over to me for the blog. We will be posting them each week, however we are looking for more contributions. Please consider sending an article of 200-300 words describing your MST, STEM or other TechEd program which have used during the past 25 years.

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