Empowering Kids: Energy Choices for Tomorrow at C2E2

On Tuesday June 20th, 2023, the Center for Clean Energy Engineering (C2E2) hosted an exciting event aimed at empowering young minds and educating them about sustainable energy sources and the importance of making informed energy choices. Titled "Empowering Kids: Energy Choices for Tomorrow," this program was specifically designed to introduce middle school students to potential career pathways in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Approximately 70 enthusiastic students from schools in Hartford, East Haven, Wallingford, and Waterbury participated in the event. The program focused on providing the students with a holistic understanding of sustainable and non-sustainable energy sources, the challenges posed by climate change, and the ongoing research initiatives at C2E2.

During the program, the students were engaged in a variety of interactive sessions and demonstrations. They had the opportunity to witness firsthand the assembly and functioning of a fuel cell, gaining insights into this clean energy technology. Additionally, they learned how to assemble a coin cell battery, similar design used in watches, bathroom weight scales, and other devices. The importance of maintaining cleanliness during the assembly process was highlighted through the use of a glovebox, emphasizing the significance of proper handling in scientific research.

Furthermore, the students were introduced to advanced scientific tools such as scanning electron microscopes and high magnification optical microscopes. They learned about the crucial role these instruments play in cutting-edge research conducted at C2E2, enabling scientists to analyze and understand materials at a microscopic level.

The program also provided an opportunity for the students to explore topics related to energy distribution and transmission. They learned about inverters and the smart grid, gaining insights into the technologies that enable efficient power management and delivery. Wireless power transfer, a fascinating concept of transmitting electricity without physical connections, was also introduced to the students.

As part of the program, the students were introduced to the animation of power in space, broadening their understanding of potential future energy sources. This session allowed them to envision the possibilities of harnessing energy from space-based systems.  To add to the excitement, the students were served popcorn, popped using solar power, and hot chocolate, showcasing sustainable energy applications in a fun and tangible manner.

"Empowering Kids: Energy Choices for Tomorrow" at C2E2 successfully provided middle school students with an enriching experience, exposing them to the world of clean energy, research, and STEM career opportunities. The event not only sparked curiosity but also encouraged the students to contemplate their energy choices and the impact they can have on shaping a sustainable future. C2E2's commitment to inspiring and educating the next generation of scientists and engineers was clearly demonstrated through this engaging program.


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