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Untapped Potential

How we adapt to the next two decades of energy demand and infrastructure will dictate the course of the planet for the next millennia. During the 2021-2022 school year, a dedicated group of Friends students and their teachers examined, firsthand, the energy sector in the northeast, and learned about fossil fuels and emerging renewable energy technologies around them. Students engaged deeply with the intertwining interests of energy generation in this country, as well as the social equity issues surrounding them.

Through this global education immersion program, 15 Upper School students attended four weekend excursions across the Northeast—each with a specific energy focus. Students experienced the raging waters of Niagara Falls, two coal mines and a ghost town in central Pennsylvania, a nuclear power facility in southern Connecticut, and the largest offshore wind turbine project in the US, off the coast of Block Island.

Trip leaders Leitzel Schoen (Dean of Co-Curricular Programs), Matt Dilley (Science Teacher), and Peter Kalajian (History Teacher) introduced students to the technology, politics, past, present, and future of renewable energy in the United States. Students also explored the possibilities of clean energy generation right here at Friends Seminary; sharing their ideas with the Head of School and Board as a capstone project.

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