By Felicia Farnsworth
South Highlands Middle School hosted the Green Energy Fair on Thursday, August 12, from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Local businesses and universities were in attendance to teach the students different ways to use energy.
The man in charge of the Green Energy Fair was an 8th grade STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) teacher, Anwar Walker. His booth housed the centerpiece to the fair, a Greenhouse Bus. In collaboration, this bus was put together by the 8th grade Sustainability Club, through virtual meetings, with the University of Alabama in Huntsville, AgScience and Welding Programs from Bullock County High School, and the STEM Program at South Highlands Middle School.
The Greenhouse Bus resources its energy through solar panels. “We are very excited about the Greenhouse Bus Project. This project is changing the paradigm in offering STEM education. This project gave us a chance to connect all schools with STEM activities,” stated Career Tech Director Dr. Marvin Lowe.
“The University of Alabama in Huntsville helped financially by providing over 90% of the materials for this project.” Other participants included the non-profit (501C3) Alethia House, where Ms. Janet Langford promoted drug and alcohol awareness through Alethia House’s Substance Abuse Program.
Tuskegee University’s Dajuan Hinton, a Master’s Graduate with aspirations of becoming a Veterinarian in the fall of 2022, was there to show the students Sustainable Development and teach them strategies to keep the earth beautiful. Hinton stated, “We have to keep the earth clean and beautiful because we only have one planet.”
Local business owner, Gwen Franklin, was there promoting her store, Back in Union Springs Embroidery. Helping Franklin was Chandra Ferrette and Ahnna Green. CVS was also in attendance. Pharmacist Cindy Cannon and associates were there to give COVID vaccines (Pfizer) to students 13 years and older with their parent’s permission. James Mungin represented Meharry Medical College.
Mungin is a virologist, someone who studies viruses, and was there to show students how to perform DNA extractions with a mock sample. South Green Alliance representative Brian McGee, EDS, taught Energy Efficiency and Auburn University’s S.C.O.R.E. (South Eastern Center of Robotics Education) team; Dr. Veronica Morin, Cara Brittain, Mary, Lou Ewald, and Jennifer Spencer were in attendance as well.
Their booth allowed the students to create a bracelet keepsake that taught the students about sun exposure through UV beads. They also taught them about radiometer science, conduction of electricity, and solar-powered robotics. This fair generated a fantastic audience with South Highland Middle School students and community members in attendance.