Keep up to date on with the Institute for Energy's recent activities and published work.
Mother Earth News Fair - September 15-17, Somerset County
The Institute helped coordinate a Great American Eclipse viewing station at the campus mall clock on August 21 along with the SFU Science Outreach Center and Department of Biology. Hundreds turned out for the event! Despite a few clouds from time to time, it was a great experience, as documented by the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, WJAC-TV, and the university's Facebook Page.
Our tiny classroom project was featured in a back to school article in the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat on August 19.
Michael Sell visited the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library on August 8 for the second time this summer to speak about solar energy and provide hands-on activities. He was also interviewed by WTAJ-TV!
The Institute is pleased to announce that the Tiny Classroom Big Impact Project is officially underway!
Read more in this official release >The release
received coverage in the Altoona Mirror on July 30.
On July 26, Michael Sell visited the Hollidaysburg Area Public Library to speak about solar energy. He demonstrated a number of ways in which solar energy can be utilized before participants were able to try hands-on activities like lighting a light and running a motor connected to solar panels. The event was part of the "Build a Better World" summer reading program.
Energy Camp: Supercharged! was held at SFU from July 10 to 13. Eleven fourth to sixth graders explored the amazing world of energy during various activities and a field trip to several energy sites. Activities including making energy from mud, testing model wind turbines, driving solar cars, taking core samples, building circuits and much more.
Michael Sell visited the Lily Washington Public Library in Lily, PA to speak about solar energy and provide activities to summer reading program student participants. Children ages three to 10 were able to see solar cars, grasshoppers and other solar powered devices operate in the sunlight.
Michael Sell visited students at Saint Michael School, Loretto, and Clarion Area Elementary School, Clarion, to discuss renewable energy and energy efficiency.
"Two Energy Sprout Winners Have Continued Success" - Read about our REACH webtool (Renewable Energy Assessment Clearing House) in this news release from the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund.
Institute staff attended the THRIVE: Sustainable Economy Summit in Indiana, PA on April 21, 2017, which brought together policymakers, business people, farmers, educators, students and other members of western Pennsylvania communities for a discussion about a sustainable economy. Allison Rohrs served as a speaker on an energy innovators panel. She specifically focused her remarks on the Institute’s Pennsylvania wind maps and how they can be used for assessments. Michael Sell spoke as part of a panel on sustainability education and community engagement.
Allison spoke to students at Penn State University about energy policy on public lands.
Michael spoke to students at Juniata College about renewable energy resources.
Allison and Michael served as judges at the 2017 PA KidWind Challenge.
The Institute participated in the Earth Day Carnival at SFU and an Earth Day event at the Logan Valley Mall, educating community members about energy, providing demonstrations, and promoting the Institute's resources, including our wind maps and assessment programs.
Institute staff attending the kick-off meeting to the Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future project in Harrisburg, PA on March 2. The state organized project aims to increase the amount of electricity generated by solar energy in Pennsylvania to 10 percent by 2030.
Michael Sell visited with students from Portage Area High School, C.W. Longer Elementary School, and Penn-Mont Academy. The Institute was also present at an outreach event at the Logan Valley Mall.
Allison Rohrs and Michael Sell were presenters at the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau Region Four Farm Day, held at the Pasquerilla Conference Center in Johnstown on February 16. Institute staff spoke about the implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy systems on the farm as well as possible funding opportunities. The Institute also had a table display to educate the approximately 100 people in attendance.
The Greater Johnstown Water Authority invited Allison Rohrs and Michael Sell to speak at the February 23 meeting of the Cambria County Water Partnership Steering Committee in Johnstown. Institute staff talked about renewable energy opportunities for water authorities. Dr. Joseph Goodwill, Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering and Dalton Mack, a senior Environmental Engineering major, also attended. Institute staff toured the GJWA’s Saltlick Reservoir water treatment plant following the presentation.
Michael Sell attended the Advanced Wood Energy for Schools, Businesses & Communities Workshop organized by the Pennsylvania State Wood Energy Team on February 17. Held in Phillipsburg, PA, the program included a number of presentations on biomass resources and utilization potential. The event concluded with a tour of the West Branch School District’s recently installed biomass boiler, which uses wood chips as its primary source of heating for the school.
Michael Sell spoke at the Patton Public Library about infrared energy and its uses for improving energy efficiency in buildings.
On January 31, Michael Sell attended a meeting of the Pennsylvania Biomass Energy Association in State College, which included updates on the state’s biomass industry and planning of educational events for 2017.
Visits to the Keystone Farm Show and Pennsylvania Farm Show helped staff stay up to date on agricultural issues that can affect farmers and energy projects.
Institute staff gave a presentation on the benefits of infrared technology at the Science Outreach Center’s “Science Cafe: Cosmic Cocktails” event on January 5, 2017. Allison Rohrs and Michael Sell discussed how infrared cameras can be used in a variety of applications, with a focus on building energy assessment scenarios. They demonstrated ways to reducing air leaks and heat loss by showing imagery of locations where insulation could be increased and weatherstripping could be added, among other examples. Michael appeared on WTAJ-TV's Central PA Live to briefly demonstrate infrared technology.
Community members in Blair County were able to learn about wind energy during a presentation by Michael Sell, project coordinator, on December 15, as part of the monthly Cosmic Treats program held at the Hollidaysburg Area Community Library.
Students from area schools visited Saint Francis University as part of Science Day on November 22. The Institute presented "The Power of Wind (and Other Energy Sources)," which was followed by hands-on wind and solar activities - pictured.
As part of PA CareerLink's "Careers in Demand" week, Michael Sell visited Richland High School seventh graders on November 1 to speak about wind energy and provide a hands-on activity with the institute's model wind turbines. Wind turbine technician was ranked as the "fastest growing job in America" by Forbes in April 2016. On November 3, eighth grade students learned about the rapidly growing solar energy industry and participated in a hands-on solar electricity experiment and solar-powered car race. Our activities have been made possible by the PA Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Education grants, including a recent $2,710 award for solar energy outreach.
Allison Rohrs, Institute Director, was named a 2016 Women in Energy Leadership
award recipient by the Pittsburgh Business Times!
The Institute presented an exhibit titled "Energy on the Farm" at the 2016 Hollidaysburg Community Farm Show, in Blair County, in mid-September. It was recognized with a second place award in the general agriculture theme division. Visitors were able to learn tips about energy efficiency and renewable energy, including ways to save money on lighting and irrigation as well as different ways to use solar and wind energy on the farm.
Participants in the SFU Science Outreach Center's
Solar 5K race were able to learn about wind energy as they explored the solar system on September 17. The Institute represented the planet Neptune, which is home to the fastest wind speeds in the solar system, over 1,000 mph!
Institute was awarded $3,000 for its third place finish in the statewide Energy Sprout competition held during the Energypath Conference at Penn State University on July 28. The award recognizes the Institute's proposal to develop the REACH interactive online tool, which aims to help Pennsylvanians have a one-stop shop for renewable energy information. Thank you to the Sustainable Energy Fund and West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund for organizing this competition. In addition to the award, Michael Sell attended the Passive House camp and intern Courtney Cruse participated in the Biomass Camp. The Institute also represented the university in the exhibition hall on Thursday and Friday.
Students in grades four to six learned about the amazing world of energy at Energy Camp! Activities included building generators, melting marshmallows with solar energy, experimenting with model wind turbines, building wind powered cars and anemometers, measuring electrical usage and air quality, cookie mining, and more. Participants also saw energy in action during a field trip to local energy sites like the Patton Wind Farm and Prince Gallitzin State Park. Allison Rohrs, director, spoke about her experiences as a wind turbine technician. A concluding activity tasked each child to use their newfound energy knowledge to design their own island, complete with a house and other attractions of their choice, such as a castle, amusement park, stores and more. The students also had to determine how to power their property. Thanks to EverPower Wind Holdings for supporting our program!
Learn more about the Science Outreach Center's summer programs.
June 2016Institute staff toured Pittsburgh's new Energy Innovation Center.
The Institute participated in the semi-finals of the
Energy Sprout community competition, presented by the West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund and Sustainable Energy Fund. Our idea was selected to move on to the final round, which will take place at Energypath in July!
The Institute was
awarded $100,000 from the USDA's Rural Energy for America Program to provide individualized assessments for improving energy use to agricultural producers and rural small businesses throughout Pennsylvania. Read
Congressman Bill Shuster's congratulatory message. In addition, the Penelec Sustainable Energy Fund, administered through The Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, provided $17,000 matching funds for the project.
Quantum Quest Fest at Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center brought 300 students together to learn about a variety of science topics. The Institute spoke about wind energy and demonstrated how this resource can be used to do work (such as lifting weights) and generate electricity.
The Institute participated in the SFU Science Outreach Center's R-SPACE program for second graders at C.W. Longer Elementary School, Hollidaysburg.
Michael Sell visited students at Saint Michael School, Loretto, and Saint Patrick School, Newry.
Approximately 50 Career and Workforce students in 8th grade at Johnstown Middle School learned about electricity and wind energy production before participating in a hands-on activity. The presentation was a precursor to a trip to the Patton Wind Farm the following day.
Kite Day - Hollidaysburg Area Public Library - Will Hillenbrand, author of Kite Day, was on hand for a PA OneBook program. SFU's R-SPACE provided a planetarium and wind activity and there was also craft activity.
The SFU Earth Day Carnival was held at the JFK Lounge on Tuesday, the 19th. More than 450 were in attendance!
The Institute visited MetLife Johnstown's Earth Fair on Earth Day to educate employees about sustainable topics, like energy use.
Sixth grade students at Penn-Mont Academy spent an April morning learning about wind and solar energy during a presentation and hands-on activities with Michael Sell.
New solar curriculum will be developed thanks to a $2710 grant provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
Michael Sell visited fourth grade Girl Scouts in Duncansville to discuss energy efficiency and conduct an audit with them.
Michael Sell served as a judge at the 2016 PA KidWind Challenge. See
Pennsylvania Wind Farms [.pdf] - A Listing of farms, locations, number of turbines and more
research page to learn more about our work!
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