St. Margaret students learn about state's major energy sources

By By Nichole Osinski / American Press

St. Margaret Catholic School

eigth-grade students contacted local and state companies to get a better

understanding of how

energy in Louisiana works. On Thursday, representatives from

Central Crude, Lake Arthur Butane Co., Entergy, Groendyke Transport

Inc., City of Lake Charles Solid Waste Division and Agrilectric

Power spoke to the students.

“This is so important because it can have an economic impact on our state and nation,” said eigth-grader Mark Ebersole. “For

some of these you can get cleaner results and not have as much pollution in the air.”

The energy fair is part of the National

Energy Education Development Project. St. Margaret has been

participating in the NEED

Project for 14 years—this is their 10th fair. NEED was established

to encourage energy awareness through community networking.

Students were taught about the U.S.’s

10 major renewable energy sources—solar, biomass, wind, geothermal,

hydro-power—and

nonrenewable sources— petroleum,natural gas, propane, coal,

uranium. Each company spent about 15 minutes with groups discussing

how they are connected to these sources.

Students were responsible for doing

research on area companies and inviting the them to the school. St.

Margaret teacher Judy

Reeves said students learned how energy produces electricity as

well as the different types of kinetic and potential energy

through a science of energy activity.

In conjunction with the fair, students have also been studying biomass and the amount of money that is saved through recycling.

Several students learned for the first time what happens in the process of throwing away garbage.

“Understanding about the landfill was a little shock for some of them,” said Reeves. “Because you don’t think about where

your trash actually goes once it’s in the truck.”

Student groups were informed about the importance of crude oil in Southwest Louisiana. Representatives also touched on the

environmental side of their work and how the companies are trying to be more conservative.

A spokesperson for Groendyke Transportation explained to students how they now use energy-efficient tires for better mileage.

The company has also implemented LED lights and added automated transmissions and auxiliary power units on sleeper trucks

to save energy.

“It’s amazing to find out what all the companies are doing besides producing their energy,” said Reeves. “It’s the way they’re

trying to conserve energy at their own facilities and they’re bringing that to the kids.”

Taking the information gathered on Thursday the eigth-graders will present what they learned to the community on April 20

at Tuten Park. They will put on another energy expo for students in first through sixth-grade on April 22.