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Watt's in the News - Volume 31

BTU Crew Newsletter Volume #23: Everything Must Go Somewhere

In several newsletters over the past few years we have shared how the study of energy hits all of the STEM subjects and includes developing an understanding of politics and environmental policy, too. We want and need affordable energy in various forms to meet demands in our daily lives, but where and how this energy is produced and delivered can sometimes create challenges. Addressing these topics involves an essential skill needed across all industries…communication. Class discussions around this topic can provide a great opportunity to practice communication skills and to look at issues from a variety of perspectives.

One of the Commoner's Laws of Ecology states, "Everything must go somewhere."  Most would agree that we need power plants, landfills, highways, sewage treatment plants, etc, but the challenging part becomes...where should they be located? It often leads to opposition referred to as "NIMBY", meaning Not In My Back Yard. The government has the power of Eminent Domain as granted through the 5th Amendment of the Constitution, but is needing energy in various parts of the country "public use"? We have talked about the comparison of producers and consumers as it relates to life science and physical science, but in cases like the ones below, what about the people/property owners in between?  

Sometimes the best learning experiences take place when there isn’t a right and wrong answer as students are challenged to think critically and to clearly communicate their thoughts on topics impacting us locally, at the state level, and nationally, too. Energy is certainly one of these topics.

Have a great week!

Dan & Bill

Tate Honaker

Meet Dan WhislerTrane Educator in Residence

Tate Honaker

Meet Bill NelsonTrane Educator in Residence

Learn more about Trane's STEM Education Programs