Thursday, June 7, 2012

Students Tour Jeffrey Energy Center


Do you know how electricity is produced?  Some students from Topeka Public Schools know first-hand after touring the Jeffrey Energy Center near St. Marys.   The students from Topeka High, Topeka West and Highland Park High Schools are taking part in the Westar Energy Summer Partnership in conjunction with Youth Entrepreneur of Kansas.
The students put on hard hats, safety goggles and ear protectors as they toured the largest coal-fired plant in the state.  They learned how coal is burned to heat water which produces steam that turns the turbine generators that produce electricity.  Thirty-six thousand tons of Wyoming coal is used each day and 24,000 gallons of water is used in producing electrical power for much of eastern Kansas. 
Besides the tour, students learned about the role environmental factors play at the coal-fired plant as well as the possible employment opportunities in the utility industry.  It was an eye opening experience for the students.  “I was pushed by my teacher to give this program a look and once I looked into it further I found this was a great opportunity for someone like myself searching for a future career,” said Topeka High student Zach Burkett.   Luis Garcia, who attends Topeka High and who is interested in the engineering field saw the tour and program as a great opportunity.   Superintendent Dr. Julie Ford joined the students on the tour.  “It was great for the students to be able to apply some of the things they’ve been learning in school especially in their science and chemistry classes.  I was also really impressed with the training of Jeffrey workers that was explained to the students.”
The tour and student summer program are part of the on-going partnership between Westar Energy and Topeka Public Schools.