News: Logan Elementary solar energy demonstration
Story by Sgt. Barry St. Clair
FORT BLISS, Texas - The first-grade class at Logan Elementary learned about solar energy Feb. 25 in a demonstration sponsored by Balfour Beatty Communities.
Mason Crawford, a volunteer science teacher, shared the energy story with the use of toys as props in an interactive storytelling style that first graders could relate to.
The solar panel demonstration at Logan Elementary was part of a two-day event highlighting the U.S. Army’s largest solar power collection in a housing project.
BBC has partnered with the Army to manage privatized military housing. They have contracted with a solar company to install solar panels on Fort Bliss homes to produce up to 28 percent of the electrical energy used in homes at Fort Bliss.
Tabitha Crawford, senior vice-president for sustainability and innovation with BBC, introduced Mason Crawford by saying, “Today we are going to talk about sustainable energy sources like wind power and sun or solar power, and tomorrow we are kicking off the largest solar community built to date here on Fort Bliss.”
Mason Crawford, also Kentucky pumpkin farmer, explained in an interactive display of toys the need for sustainable energy sources for conservation, financial and national security reasons.
“What is energy?” asked Crawford of the first grade class. “Energy is what makes things work.”
The demonstration showed the mining of coal, transportation by train to the power station, transmission by the power grid, and then the relay into the neighborhood as power comes into the home for use in keeping on the lights and the television.
Strip mining has become popular as coal sources become deeper in the ground and the impact on the environment combined with the loss of trees is negative. Also, the emissions from burning coal for power puts carbon into the air we breathe. The kids connected quickly with the compound effect of loss of trees that produce oxygen, with the carbon emissions that lower air quality.
The first graders enjoyed the interactive display presented by Crawford, and made a commitment to turn off power sources when not in use to conserve energy.