Lincoln-Way teachers attend "Smart Grid for Schools" conference
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

On Thursday, September 22, 2016, five Lincoln-Way science teachers attended a “Smart Grid for Schools” conference, which provides educators with tools to incorporate energy-based, hands-on activities into their curriculum. The conference also teaches educators how to be smarter consumers of energy and offers an opportunity to learn how energy is created and brought to homes.

“I am so excited that smart powered homes will provide students with the opportunity to see first-hand not only how home devices use different amounts of energy, but also how the cost of utilizing that energy varies depending on the time of day,” says chemistry teacher Catherine Sieber. “The hands on knowledge that the students gain from this experience will make them more conscientious citizens and consumers.”

The Smart Grid conference was designed by Illinois State University for teachers of math, science, and technology (CeMaST). Teachers Mike Beckett (Lincoln-Way East), Kendra Will (Lincoln-Way East), Maria Wilson (Lincoln-Way East), Catherine Sieber (Lincoln-Way Central), and Jillian Hofferica (Lincoln-Way West) attended the three-hour long conference at the Tinley Park Wingate by Wyndham in order to assist with strengthening the Lincoln-Way science curriculum. Teachers received a $200 stipend as well as the opportunity to bring learning materials to District 210.

Teacher Maria Wilson says that information gathered from the conference will be helpful for her students to apply classroom lessons to “real world” scenarios. “The materials will allow my students to construct a town and realize all the components that take electricity from the power plant to a house. Students will have a greater appreciation of why and what causes their televisions to turn on.”

Teacher Jillian Hofferica was a first-time attendee of the conference, and is already eager to attend more. "This was such an incredible experience," she says. "As a Special Education teacher in Physical Science, anything that can be hands-on really brings the lesson to life for the students. They will be able to set up little cities and actually power them to explore how the world works with energy transfers: a great experience for both teachers and students!"