Educators spend summer learning about energy

November 6, 2019
Educators spend summer learning about energy
Kim Kessler, left, and Jim Bruegenhemke,
both sixth-grade science teachers in the Wentzville School District.

After completing the two-day Energy in Today’s Classroom course this summer, Kim Kessler was anxious to share what she learned with her students.

“I am more eager to build a more robust curriculum which includes understanding the need for renewable energy,” said Kessler, who is a sixth-grade science teacher at Crossroads Elementary in the Wentzville School District.

Kessler was one of two teachers sponsored by Cuivre River Electric Cooperative (CREC) to attend Energy in Today’s Classroom held July 30-31 in Columbia. She was joined by another sixth-grade science teacher from the Wentzville School District, Jim Bruegenhemke, who teaches at Boone Trail Elementary.

Missouri’s electric cooperatives, including CREC, support the program offered through the University of Missouri. The class covers energy basics, sources, production, power generation and transmission, economics and energy efficiency. Attendees tour the University of Missouri’s power generation station and Boone Electric Cooperative’s community solar array.

The Energy in Today’s Classroom program is designed to support the state’s educational standards and provides teachers with a background in energy and energy production.

Kessler said the course was well planned and beneficial to teachers.

“I teach sixth-grade science and our curriculum includes thermal energy and weather which encompasses renewable energy,” she said. “The power plant tour was really interesting and the information shared about how the power plant and co-ops are looking to renewable resources gave rise to thoughts of ways we could share that knowledge with our students.”

There is no cost for teachers to attend Energy in Today’s Classroom. All expenses, including course materials and lodging, is paid for by CREC. The co-op tries to send two educators each summer.

Teachers who successfully complete the course receive one hour of graduate course credit. The graduate credit is equivalent to 15 hours of professional development.

The course is ideal for middle school and high school educators who have a background in science, math, agricultural science and building trades.

Teachers interested in attending Energy in Today’s Classroom can contact Chris Ryan at or call 800-392-3709.


Share this story