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Student Summit to Teach High Schoolers About Energy Production

As new options for energy production become available, it's increasingly important for informed decision-making by the public regarding energy production.

The Carnegie Science Center’s Chevron Center for STEM education and career development will host high school students from across the region Friday to educate them in a wide variety of technologies used for energy production.

The Student Energy Summit will give 9th through 12th graders the chance to learn about wind, solar, nuclear, coal, natural gas and hydropower energy from industry professionals.

“What we really want them to think about is looking at all of these (energy options) as a broad spectrum, a broad portfolio of what would be an ideal energy solution for our region,” said STEM program director Linda Ortenzo.

The students will be divided by energy source to participate in a hands-on workshop that will help them learn about their assigned technology. The students will then share what they’ve learned with their classmates and post their recommendation for the region’s energy use to a website designed specifically for the summit.

 “The ultimate goal of the energy summit is to have these students become informed and empowered citizens of the region,” Ortenzo said, “and hopefully to also consider some opportunities professionally in these various fields in which Pittsburgh is such a global leader.”

Pennsylvania is becoming a national leader in energy efficiency, closing the gap between production and consumption faster than most American states.

The summit will feature a Career Café to let students network with industry professionals and learn about job opportunities within the different fields. According to Ortenzo, STEM hopes to turn this into an annual event to improve public knowledge of energy consumption going forward.