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NLC participates in Let’s Talk Energy Week!

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DAWSON CREEK – Energy conservation was the hot topic to celebrate during “Let’s Talk Energy Week” at Northern Lights College (NLC) last week.

The College participated in the Canada Science and Technology Museum’s Feb. 21-28 initiative to encourage discussion and awareness about energy conservation by inviting elementary and junior high school classes for a tour of Energy House on the Dawson Creek Campus.

Energy House is a multi-use facility that is both a Centre of Excellence for Clean Energy Technology and a Leed® Platinum-certified facility.

On Feb. 26 vice-principal Josh Kurjata’s Science 9 class from Central School visited Energy House for an in-depth tour of a diverse range of clean energy technologies including solar, biomass, geothermal, and wind turbine.

“We have had some teachers do tours through Energy House before and they had nothing but great things to say – we want to expose the students to some alternative forms of energy production and use,” said Kurjata, whose class is working on a project that centers around the question:  “Is BC Hydro’s Site C dam project the answer to energy production in the province of BC?”

On Feb. 27 both School Districts 59 and 60 were invited to send grade 6/7’s to participate in a full day of energy conservation events. Students were given outdoor and indoor tours, and enjoyed a pizza and cupcake lunch before getting hands-on with activities led by NLC instructors Rick Hall and Stephen Janssen.

“Today we led activities for about 60 kids. I think it is a really great idea to introduce them to how energy is produced and how it is conserved as well as getting them interested in the possibility of trades futures like carpentry, wind turbine, and electrical,” said Hall, who teaches Automotive, and the mechanical portion of the Wind Turbine Maintenance Technician program.

Hall’s colleague agreed with the promotion of energy conservation to the younger grades.

“I think it’s great to get students in here and teach them how to keep things energy efficient. Understanding how heat is transferred and how we can stop this transfer in our homes means that they can comprehend that opening a door or a window to cool the place off is less energy efficient than just turning down the thermostat and insulating your house better,” said Janssen, Carpentry instructor.

The elementary students from Ecole Frank Ross in Dawson Creek and Bert Ambrose in Fort St. John wrapped things up with a fun scavenger hunt designed by NLC student recruiter Tricia Hotchkiss. Students were given a sheet of Energy House symbols that describe various technologies and equipment in the facility and were asked to locate each of the signs for participation prizes. Students were also given clean energy colouring sheets created by student recruiter lead Megan Gorecki, which can be seen on NLC’s Facebook page.

Ecole Frank Ross teacher Thera De Greef said, “I am really thankful that NLC planned this day for our students. I think the students are highly engaged, interested and active. They are really enjoying themselves and learning a lot at the same time.”

North Peace Secondary School’s dual credit coordinator Laurie Petrucci accompanied teacher Paula London’s Bert Ambrose class said, “By bringing elementary and middle school children, we are showcasing what the Peace offers as well the educational opportunities available to them. These kids can both train and stay in the north. With an event like this, these kids get hands-on opportunities and exposure to all the great things we are doing in the north.”

Student recruiter Rachel Casponi thoroughly enjoyed the experience as part of NLC’s Recruitment team, who led the Let’s Talk Energy Week events.

“It is so exciting working with young students that have been well-prepared and educated for an event.  The students who participated had a wealth of background knowledge and were excited to talk and learn about energy conservation and using renewable resources to generate power.  The NLC instructors provided interactive activities that were engaging and fun, and very educational,” Casponi said.

For more information on Let’s Talk Energy Week, visit