Ohio Energy Project


Ian Sample

Evening Street 5th graders participating in a student led lab during the Ohio Energy Project.

Abigail Karagory, Writer

For the 2nd year in a row, Worthington has invited the award winning Ohio Energy Project back to 8 elementary schools, allowing for students alike to teach one another about science. Through the OEP, students analyze the idea that when they teach other students, they learn best.

The OEP has been working with teachers and students since 1984 on sources and forms of energy, energy efficiency and conservation, and the environmental and economic impact of energy. With the hands on labs, students can learn from 5 separate categories relating all back to energy. Within those 5 categories there are detailed subcategory stations to cover all that the future energy consumers need to know.

According to the OEPs mission statement, “We facilitate students’ and teachers’ understanding of the science of energy and its efficient use to empower the next generation of energy consumers. We will distinguish ourselves as the premier energy education resource for students, educators and business partners.”

Executive Director, Debby Yerkes, and Education Coordinator, Shauni Nix, were able to supply high school students with the proper equipment and training needed to make each visit successful. “The idea is to really build student leadership in the area of energy education,” stated by Nix. As elementary and middle school children are being brought up in a world of technology, they must start with a solid foundation on energy and how it affects our everyday lives.

Renewable energy is important because of the benefits it provides. Not only does it have an extreme impact on our planet, but it can help shape jobs and the economy. According to the Renewable Energy World, “Most renewable energy investments are spent on materials and workmanship to build and maintain the facilities, rather than on costly energy imports. Renewable energy investments are usually spent within the United States, frequently in the same state, and often in the same town. This means your energy dollars stay home to create jobs and fuel local economies, rather than going overseas.”

Besides the free tee shirts and pizza that the high school volunteers receive following the OEP event, TWHS Materials Science teacher Ian Sample said, “I think it’s a unique experience for high school students because it allows them to reverse their typical roles. Ultimately, my goal everyday as a teacher is just to excite students about science, build curiosity, and allow students to explore the world around them in their own way. The awesome thing about the OEP is that I can take a step back and allow my students to take the lead and make all of that happen for themselves. It’s always such a humbling experience to see my students embrace that role and bring energy, personality, and kindness to their younger peers.” Teachers and students hope to host a 3rd Ohio Energy event next year, showing up and teaching at all 11 Worthington City Elementary Schools.