Two local teachers recently returned from a teacher training course that provided practical hands-on

tools for furthering the energy education of their students. Teachers Donald Blumenstein, 6-8th grades at Scott Highlands Middle School, and Monica Foss, K-5th grade at Cedar Park Elementary, attended “Energy Education in the Classroom” sponsored by Great River Energy, Maple Grove, and its 28 member cooperatives. Dakota Electric Association

is a member cooperative and purchases wholesale power from Great River Energy.

Through hands-on activities and class discussions, Blumenstein and Foss learned how to enhance students’ understanding of what energy is, where it comes from, and how it affects their lives.

“At the Great River Energy training, I learned much more about Minnesota’s energy production and consumption — the solutions, problems and trade-offs,” Foss said. “The energy- related teaching resources we received will be used well in the classrooms.”

The teacher training course is part of the popular Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program (KEEP). Attendees included a broad range of teachers specializing in a variety of fields, including science/mathematics, social studies, language arts and more. KEEP staff, along with faculty from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, provided energy education tools to help teachers easily build energy education into their classroom curriculum.

Participants received, among other items, a graduate credit from the UWSP and a 400-page activity guide full of course outlines and adaptations. Great River Energy provides the opportunity annually to teachers in its members’ service areas.