Comments Off on Middle school energy program deemed success

Through a pilot program with Missouri River Energy Services, every 5th grader in Worthington participated in an educational program about energy.

On Wednesday morning, Worthington Public Utilities Manager Scott Hain was on hand to deliver certificates of completion.

And from the students’ reactions, Hain said the program was a success.

“The kids certainly seemed excited about it,” he said.

The program was offered through Missouri River Energy Services (MRES) — the company that provides electricity to Worthington — was free of charge to this and the other four communities who volunteered for the program.

Students were given a guide and a workbook, plus a kit. The kit was full of light bulbs, nightlight and thermometer to allow the students to have take-home activities to supplement the in-class work.

At the completion of the project, Hain presented certificates in the Worthington Middle School classroom.

“When asked ‘Who wants to talk about what they learned?’ at least half or more of the hands in the class came up,” Hain said. “Everyone was anxious to share. The teacher said she’s rarely seen any curriculum or project or anything that the kids got so engaged in. It sounded like it was a smashing success. We’re encouraged by it.”

No decision has been made if the program will continue — that will be determined by the evaluations. However, money has already been set aside for more participation next year.

“The teachers are going to complete the evaluation forms and get those sent back to the company, which ultimately will make their way back to Missouri River,” Hain said. “I know MRES hasn’t made a final determination on continuing the program for next year. I know funds have been budgeted. This was the pilot, so it was offered to us at no cost. The plan going forward would be Missouri River would offer the opportunity to more of their member communities on a 50/50 cost share basis.”

That means there would still be some cost for WPU.

Would Hain support spending the money to continue the program?

“Absolutely,” he said, without hesitation. “Certainly after the response and the comments I received (Wednesday) morning, it’s something we certainly would remain engaged in.”

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