Students are taking “hands-on” to a whole new level

E-House tour at E.C. Goodwin Technical High School

Earlier this week Pat Ciarleglio and Ray Mencio, both with the Connecticut Technical High School System, served as tour guides for staff members from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) and the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund (CEEF) who came to the technical high schools to witness the early fruits of an exciting new educational/workforce development program developed for these schools. The program provides curricula and hands-on projects focused on renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. It is funded with grants from CCEF’s Learning for Clean Energy Innovation – Tech (LCEI-Tech) program and the CEEF.

An exciting hands-on component of the program is the construction of E-Houses. Students at E.C. Goodwin in New Britain, Oliver Wolcott in Torrington, and Grasso in Groton are working to construct E-Houses, which feature the latest renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

Through CCEF’s LCEI-Tech program, these technical high schools have been able to immerse themselves in solar technology. Although the schools had previously been required to teach solar technologies, they had not secured the funding to implement updated and comprehensive solar technology lessons – until the launch of LCEI-Tech.

LCEI-Tech grants have helped to train instructors, develop new curricula, purchase new solar textbooks and obtain solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal systems. (Similarly, the CEEF has contributed funding for energy efficient technologies and curricula.)

The program underway at the technical high schools is an exemplary model of hands-on education. Students are able to read about solar panels and how they are installed in their textbooks and then they are able to go outside and install them on their E-House.

The frame of the E-House at E.C. Goodwin is up, and soon the students will be able to install the solar panels (which will be removable so that students from throughout the technical high school system can repeat the experience). The students with whom we met are very enthusiastic about their new curriculum and materials, and their teachers are extremely appreciative for the hands-on instructional opportunity.

In the future, the technical high schools hope to build E-Houses at three other locations. The CCEF looks forward to following the progress of these inspiring students and teachers – the future green workforce of Connecticut.

Please visit the Connecticut Technical High School’s website to read more about the E-Houses and their solar PV and solar thermal training.

Jocelyn Anastasiou
Project Associate, CCEF

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