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Morrisville State helps train students for renewable energy trade

MORRISVILLE, NY— Morrisville State is involved in a new effort to help train high school students in the renewable energy field.

The college hosted a renewable energy workshop that focused on training teachers how to install solar thermal systems that will generate hot water. Eleven high school and BOCES teachers, representing more than 30 school districts, gathered for the intensive four-day workshop, two of which were held recently at Morrisville State’s Renewable Energy Training Center (RETC) under the direction of Dr. Philip Hofmeyer, assistant professor of renewable energy.

Two days of the workshop were held at Tech Valley High School in Rensselaer, training teachers to focus more on incorporating renewable energy, including wind energy, solar photovoltaics, hydro energy, and basic electrical theory, into their new common core classes, Hofmeyer said.

The workshops were part of a $200,000 NYSERDA grant for a Questar III BOCES project titled, “Improving Bridges for Clean Energy Training from High School to College and Career.”

The workshops were part of a collaborative effort among educators from the high school level at Questar III BOCES in Castleton, and Tech Valley High School, plus educators from Morrisville State, SUNYIT, SUNY-ESF, as well as businesses including MESO Inc., of Troy, and KidWind of Saint Paul, Minn., to more effectively train high school students in renewable energy and sustainability by weaving virtual education with hands-on education.

Morrisville’s RETC is specifically assisting with renewable energy curriculum development, determining equipment needs and training teachers how to use the equipment.

“Morrisville offers outstanding facilities and instructors for this training which is essential for teachers to be able to know how to use and also teach the use the equipment,” said Dr. Glenn Van Knowe, project manager and research scientist at MESO, Inc.

During the workshop, high school instructors were given a lab manual, presentations, and classroom exercises that Hofmeyer created as part of the grant. The grant will also pay for materials to incorporate these hands-on activities into their coursework.

“As part of the grant, high school students at Tech Valley and Questar III will also be able to enroll in our online Renewable Energy Resources class (RENG 102) to reinforce the bridge between high school and college in clean energy,” Hofmeyer said.

Morrisville State sets the world in motion for students. Curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology. Lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs, the college was named to the 2012 President’s Higher Community Education Service Honor Roll. The college was recognized, by U.S. News and World Report, in its top tier Best Regional Colleges list and ranked second among regional colleges nationwide for outperforming its anticipated graduation rate. Visit www.morrisville.edu to experience, Morrisville in motion.