Annual Tri-State-hosted energy conference for educators wraps up

Richard Rhoads and other plant personnel at J.M. Shafer Station recently welcomed educators for a plant tour.

Richard Rhoads and other plant personnel at J.M. Shafer Station recently welcomed educators for a plant tour.

School is finally out  for nearly 50 educators from across Tri-State’s four-state member service territory. They signed up to participate in the third annual three-day NEED (National Energy Education Development) conference held last week (June 25-27) at headquarters.

It is hosted and sponsored by the association and its member systems. Vernon Kimball, a retired school teacher and NEED instructor, conducted most of this year’s program along with plenty of support and guest appearances from Tri-State staff.

The primary goal of this conference is to promote energy industry knowledge among the educators in the hope that they will be more likely to include this topic in their classroom curriculums this fall. The lessons presented are S.T.E.M. certified, so they comply with education standards.

Nearly 50 teachers attended this year’s Tri-State-hosted NEED conference.

Nearly 50 teachers attended this year’s Tri-State-hosted NEED conference.

Ultimately, this knowledge could translate to a better understanding of what it takes to produce affordable electricity, as well as prompt greater interest in career opportunities in the electric industry among the youth living in communities served by Tri-State’s member systems.

Gigi Dennis, senior manager of external affairs, is the organizer of this event. Dennis said she was pleased with this larger than ever turnout and the fact we have educators from all four of the states that comprise the G&T’s member service territory.

Tri-State’s Brad Nebergall provided the instructors with an overview of the association.

Tri-State’s Brad Nebergall provided the instructors with an overview of the association.

“Many other Tri-State staff members had important roles in making this a successful event,” she noted Among those contributing to this conference were Brad Nebergall, senior vice president of energy management, who provided a brief but comprehensive overview of Tri-State’s generation and transmission operations, along with some details on Tri-State’s renewable portfolio.

Richard Rhoads, plant manager of Tri-State’s J.M. Shafer Station, and his staff, hosted tours of the northern Colorado plant for the visiting teachers, while Riley Moore, generation engineering manager, accompanied the group to help provide insight on plant design and operations.

Tri-State also provides each conference attendee with a comprehensive package of lesson plans, experiments and other learning materials that can be used in their classrooms.

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