This summer, DTE supported Kettering University’s nine-day summer camp focused on renewable energy and sustainability. Students from 6th to 12th grade participated in the camp, which included several energy-related field trips, like tours of DTE’s Lapeer Solar Park and Sigel Wind Park.
“Providing our summer camp students with more in-depth discussions and experiences around renewable energy than they would traditionally receive in the classroom is a unique aspect of our program,” said Dr. K.J. Berry, a Kettering professor who runs the camp. “To see the students grow from where they started and see their enthusiasm for what they’ve learned at the end of the program is worth the effort.”
Part of this enthusiasm comes from the real-life learning experience of viewing wind and solar parks up close, an opportunity most of the students hadn’t had before. DTE wind and solar technicians taught the students how the parks generate energy; how energy is transmitted from the parks to where it is needed; and the importance of solar and wind power as a hedge against global warming and climate change. The students were even able to climb inside a wind turbine to get a better look.
“The students came away from these tours with not only a better technical understanding, but a social understanding of what their responsibility is for our energy future,” said Dr. Berry. “Their generation will be called upon to respond to climate change, and our goal for this camp is to get students excited about studying energy and potentially working in the energy industry in the future.”
DTE has sponsored this camp, and additional energy education programs at Kettering, for about 10 years. Dr. Berry said DTE’s support is invaluable, and he hopes to maintain this partnership as the university continues to expand its energy education offerings.