4-H Discovery Camp allows youth to explore energy solutions

posted on July 26, 2012 4:06pm

CONTACT:.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), MSU Extension program leader, 517-432-7604, OR
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), ANR Communications, 517-432-1555, ext. 141

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Today’s youth are poised to make great advances in formulating new energy solutions. At Michigan 4-H Discovery Camp, July 9-13 at Michigan State University, 41 young people had the chance to explore energy alternatives using Michigan’s natural resources.

“The Discovery Camp was a great success – the youth were able to interact with researchers and industry leaders to see what new technologies are being used to address issues that affect both their communities and their futures. What’s more is that they were able to do it in a variety of hands-on settings,” said Jacob DeDecker, MSU Extension program leader.

Designed for youth ages 13-19, the five-day camp explored how Michigan’s abundant natural resources and growing agriculture industry are changing the face of energy by offering alternatives to fossil-based fuels. Through hands-on experiments, youth worked alongside Michigan’s leading bioenergy scientists collecting data, conducting experiments, making biofuel and learning about innovative research.

Youth toured the following facilities:

·        On-campus labs – East Lansing, Mich.
Observing cutting-edge research centered on turning biomass into biofuel, youth learned about new technologies that play a significant role in the future of energy.

·        Kellogg Biological Station – Hickory Corners, Mich.

Participating in hands-on research of a new biofuel crop, youth took part in discussions of water quality and quantity needs, greenhouse gas emissions and sustainable production practices.

·        Zeeland Farm Services – Zeeland, Mich.

To learn the importance of processing raw commodities, youth toured the commercial production facility and watched soybeans processing for biodiesel and food-grade oil.

·        Carbon Green Bioenergy – Lake Odessa, Mich.

Youth observed and helped facility employees turn corn into ethanol.

·        Gratiot County Wind Farm – Breckenridge, Mich.

Youth visited an operating wind farm and learned how harnessing the wind could affect the future as well as how much energy wind farms generate.

·        MSU Power Plant – East Lansing, Mich.

Youth toured the plant and saw how conventional and alternative energy sources are being used to power MSU.

The 2012 4-H Discovery Camp is an MSU Extension program and was sponsored by the Michigan Corn Growers Association and the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee.

Michigan 4-H involves more than 185,000 young people and 25,000 adult volunteers and operates through a partnership between county governments, MSU Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 4-H youth are involved in a variety of programs including entrepreneurship, environmental education, healthy lifestyles, citizenship, personal development, and science and technology.

For more information, contact Jacob DeDecker at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 517-432-7604.

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