Tuesday, May 18, 2010

NEED Youth Awards Ceremony in Frankfort, KY

First, I want to apologize for such a late posting of this AWESOME event regarding the ETCA! The late posting has nothing to do with my lack of excitement, but I have had strep throat all weekend and have pretty much been useless. OK, enough excuses. I spent most of the day today contacting the Senator's office and scheduling a tour of the Capitol, trying to get a tour of the White House, filling out forms that were due yesterday to ensure our registration, and finally brainstorming on how in the world we are going to raise about $4000 by June 4th! I have faith that the students will lead a few good fundraisers and I hope to get some community and school district donations to help with the trip expense.

While we were at Frankfort, the First Lady, Jane Brashear, wanted to talk specifically with the ETCA students! She invited us to the Governor's mansion after she has some panels installed on the mansion itself! I knew she meant business, when a guy in a black suit with an earpiece on asked me for one of my business cards so that contact could be made by the First Lady! Wow!

Now that we have reached the Frankfort goal, our next big event for the year is a field trip to Cooper Station Coal Plant in Somerset, and then on to Laurel Ridge Landfill where the gases from trash (methane) is burned to generate electricity. So the students will experience electricity generation from a renewable and non-renewable standpoint. This trip is planned for May 26th, so be looking out for photos and comments regarding this trip! Meanwhile, fundraising will continue and the focus on Washington will become greater and greater!

I am so proud of our students! I can't wait to grow with them as we attend the National NEED ceremony as a team of people striving to make a difference in our world.

Signing out...Heather

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

East Kentucky Power Representative Speaks to ETCA Members

Nick Comer, a representative of East Kentucky Power (EKP) spoke to ETCA members at both Adair and Russell County High Schools last Friday, May 7th. He talked in depth about electricity generation and how electricity gets to our homes. One topic that he spent a significant amount of time on the topic of a renewable energy program in which EKP is a partner with University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. There are about 20 farmers in the state of Kentucky that are growing 5 acres each of a native Kentucky grass called switchgrass. Switchgrass has about 70% of the BTU rating as coal. They are studying the harvesting, pelletizing, conveying, and burning of this grass in their boilers. They are investigating issues such as any residues left in the boiler due to the switchgrass, conveying the pellets, percentages of switchgrass to be added in with the coal, etc. It was a very interesting presentation. Mr. Comer spoke to my sophomores last year as well. This time last year, they were just receiving the switchgrass in bales, much like hay. This year, the pellets have been made! What progress! It was very interesting to me to hear the presentation this year and compare it to last year's speech! The students really enjoyed it! They also did well on their quizzes yesterday!