WVU students celebrate the earth

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April 21, 2011 by David Perry, Industries of the Future–West Virginia Student Intern

Electrical Engineering student and WVU Solar Decathlon Team member Alex Roberts demonstrates how to cook smores with the power of the sun by using a solar-powered oven.

Morgantown, W.Va. — The Green on the Green Eco Jamboree was held on Apr. 21 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. as a part of West Virginia University’s Earth Month.

The Jamboree featured presentations by several organizations, including ones on energy efficiency and recycling by Industries of the Future-West Virginia and alternative fuels by the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium.

Both are programs of the National Research Center for Coal and Energy, or NRCCE; clean energy and environmental protection by the WVU Sierra Club; solar-powered housing by the WVU Solar Decathlon Team; and sustainability by WECAN, WVU’s sustainability program.

The organizations at the Eco Jamboree tried many different things to attract student attention. The NRCCE had students shoot aluminum cans through a basketball hoop with a recycling bin underneath it to stress the energy efficiency benefits of recycling.

They also made hand-held electric motors from D-cell batteries, magnets, paperclips and turning wire to demonstrate electric drive vehicles. WVU’s Dining Services gave out trail mix while WECAN gave out water bottles with facts about sustainability on the side to promote their sustainability pledge.

The Solar Decathlon team, who hopes to enter a competition to design and build a house that relies on solar energy, roasted marshmallows with solar power and made s’mores for students while recruiting members for the team. The students must submit a competitive proposal to become part of the national competition which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.For more information about the WVU students’ team, contact Brian Neff at bneff@mix.wvu.edu.The Sierra Club had its member, junior wildlife and fisheries management major Shane Brodnick, dress in a polar bear costume and play guitar for the students to raise awareness of the threat of global warming on the polar bear population.“It’s really great to see the amount of effort people are putting into environmental awareness,” said Brodnick. “We’re really proud of this event and hopefully we can make more people aware of the ways they can help protect the environment.”
Junior social work major Amelia Minder, a member of the WVU Young Democrats, said, “I’m amazed at how this event has grown from when the Young Dems organized it last year. It’s pretty awesome to see all the clubs and organizations that work so hard to improve the environment in West Virginia together.”

CONTACT:  Angela Shock, (304) 293-6520