- Monday, January 23, 2023
Energy Efficiency in Juneau for STEAMfest
Students from across Alaska came together for a weekend of fun and learning during a three-day STEAMfest in Juneau facilitated by the Teaching Through Technology Alliance. STEAMfest is a celebration of science, technology, engineering, art, and math through experiential learning.
T3 coaches and students from Haines, Wrangell, Seward, Kipnuk, Brevig Mission, Sitka and North Pole convened for an introduction to the philosophies of T3, such as employing a growth mindset, design thinking and community partnership.
The T3 educators ran programming on Raspberry Pi coding, drone flying, 3D printing and energy efficiency. George Reising, ACEP’s program developer and the T3 Alaska curriculum director, debuted the new curriculum strand specifically focused on energy efficiency.
The Intro to Energy curriculum is designed to introduce learners to energy concepts, skills and systems critical to understanding their community energy grids. Through a model of play-based learning, students build their energy vocabulary, understanding of circuitry through bread boards and soldering, and energy awareness. Their tools included watt meters, thermometers and infrared cameras.
“Every community in Alaska needs people to develop and maintain their energy systems. This course is a first step to empowering students to become future leaders in addressing their community’s energy needs,” said Reising.
The teaching staff was joined by Roxanne Mourant of Educating for Leadership and members of the Juneau Icefield Research Program team, who encouraged students in their learning and presented opportunities for future involvement. In addition to classroom-based learning, students enjoyed a rare sunny afternoon at Juneau’s Mendenhall Glacier, learned to luge sled at Eaglecrest Ski Area, explored downtown Juneau’s museums and restaurants and toured the University of Alaska Southeast’s Juneau campus.
Students developed friendships that will span the state, and the coaches similarly made valuable connections to inform their teaching — both contributing to a contagious enthusiasm for the program.
“The T3 STEAMfest was one of the best professional development experiences that I’ve had as a teacher,” said Timothy Nick, the T3 coach at North Pole High School. He emphasized the unique value of learning technology curriculum alongside the learners, watching troubleshooting and new teaching strategies in action.
T3’s Juneau STEAMfest affirms a commitment from avid students and educators to continue their journeys in technological learning, play and partnership across Alaska.
For more information on T3, please visit https://t3alliance.org/.
2023 Teaching Through Technology Alliance STEAMfest participants learn about Mendenhall Glacier near Juneau. Photo by Adam Low.