For the third year in a row, the Green and Renewable Energy Workshop (GREW) was held at Lewis University. A collaboration between middle-school teachers in the Joliet 86 School District and Lewis faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education, the two-week workshop aimed to provide teachers from all disciplines ideas and techniques for increasing their students’ achievement by working with issues related to sustainability and green energy.
Twenty-five teachers from Gompers Junior High in Joliet participated in this year’s event, which was held in the new Science Center from June 17 to June 27. The participants represent many different departments at Gompers, including Math, Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, Health, and Art. They worked with Lewis faculty from the Sciences and Education on a variety of activities, including lecture-and-discussion sessions, hands-on laboratory experiments, group presentations, and field trips. The overarching goal of these sessions was to increase the teachers’ understanding of green and renewable energy issues while giving them ideas for teaching the essential content of their classes using these issues as a context.
The program was led by Dr. Ray Klump, Chair and Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science, and Dr. Lauren Rentfro, Assistant Professor of Secondary Education.
Among the many activities the teachers enjoyed during the workshop, they had an opportunity to write computer programs in Scratch and Python as well as to learn about the basics of cyber security. Specifically, they learned how encryption and authentication relate to the security of the electrical grid.
They also visited several sites, including Argonne National Laboratory, a wind farm in Shabonna, Illinois, the ComEd Training Facility in Rockford, and the Thanks Jordan Raw Vegan Café in Lockport.