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St. Margaret Catholic School eigth graders learn about energy usage in Louisiana from a representative of Entergy. (Nichole Osinski / American Press)

St. Margaret Catholic School eigth graders learn about energy usage in Louisiana from a representative of Entergy. (Nichole Osinski / American Press)

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

Last Modified: Thursday, March 28, 2013 9:55 PM

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.

Posted By: Judy On: 3/29/2013

Title: The best school in Lake Charles

Wow go SMCS

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