Kean University Hosts Newark East Side, Franklin High School Students in Lesson On Renewable Energy

UNION, N.J. — New Jersey high school students learned about wind and solar power and other renewable energy in workshops hosted by Kean University’s School of Environmental and Sustainability Science in Union, New Jersey, this summer.

Officials say the 40 students from Franklin High School in Somerset and East Side High School in Newark took workshops on fuel cells, solar panels, wind power, and the energy use of “green” buildings. They tried new software tools and conducted hands-on experiments in the laboratory to understand the application and impact of renewable energy.

The students also visited Kean’s giant aerobic composter, which processes campus food waste into a vibrant, organic compost that is used in a variety of landscaping applications and helps Kean reduce its carbon footprint.

“The workshops are designed to inform not only traditional science students but also students whose interests might lie elsewhere, say in the liberal arts,” said Kean Professor Dongyan Mu, Ph.D., who developed the program. “We need to show our young people the many important ways education in sustainability science can be integrated into a broad array of careers to benefit the planet earth.”

Educating students about essential developments in renewable energy is part of Kean’s outreach program to raise environmental awareness and spark interest in studying sustainability science. Kean offers a Bachelor of Science in Sustainability Science as well as a minor in the field.

Kean’s sustainability science graduates work in academia, government, media, health care, pharmaceuticals and other industries, preserving the planet and promoting environmental protection, social responsibility and profitability, Mu said.

This is the third year Mu has run the program at Kean via a grant from Constellation, an Exelon company based in Houston that works to offer renewable energy options whenever possible.