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High school science students impressed by visit from UOIT’s Clean Energy Research Lab

CERL's Diego de Andrade (Science Without Borders exchange student from Brazil) explains sustainable energy research at UOIT to Grade 10 science students at Oshawa's Maxwell Heights Secondary School. Below right: Andrea Miller (left), Grade 10 science teacher at Maxwell Heights receives renewable energy kits from Ed Secnik, Research Laboratory Manager, CERL, UOIT.  Top banner image: Maxwell Heights Grade 10 academic science class.
CERL's Diego de Andrade (Science Without Borders exchange student from Brazil) explains sustainable energy research at UOIT to Grade 10 science students at Oshawa's Maxwell Heights Secondary School. Below right: Andrea Miller (left), Grade 10 science teacher at Maxwell Heights receives renewable energy kits from Ed Secnik, Research Laboratory Manager, CERL, UOIT. Top banner image: Maxwell Heights Grade 10 academic science class.

High school students gained a unique understanding this spring about sustainable energy research underway at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).

The team at UOIT’s Clean Energy Research Laboratory (CERL) was invited to visit three area high schools to showcase hydrogen as a potential future energy carrier, along with the university’s ongoing research to develop other renewable energy technologies. The school visits were developed through CERL’s outreach efforts to local school boards.

Since 2010, CERL has been leading an international consortium to advance the production of hydrogen through clean production methods such as the splitting of water molecules into their hydrogen and oxygen components.

Through the assistance of Sandra McEwen, Science/Technology Program Facilitator with the Durham District School Board, CERL was able to host a group of high school science teachers for a tour during a professional development day in February. That successful workshop led to visits in May by CERL to Maxwell Heights Secondary School in Oshawa, Pine Ridge Secondary School in Pickering and J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate in Ajax. In all, 100 students met with CERL research leaders.

CERL outreach visits to Durham Region high schools

“UOIT and CERL are delighted by the tremendous response to this outreach initiative, which underscores the university’s firm focus on advanced manufacturing, sustainable energy and smart communities,” said Dr. Michael Owen, Vice-President, Research, Innovation and International. “UOIT is seeking the answers to tomorrow’s challenges through innovative research today, and we are very supportive students exploring courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM-based programs). This was a tremendous opportunity for these young students to gain an understanding of how UOIT is leading research into the development of hydrogen as a practical alternative as a renewable energy source.”

Following the CERL workshop all of the visitors received a renewable energy kit to conduct their own simple renewable energy experiments in the classroom. CERL is hoping the success of the tour will lead to more students getting an opportunity to explore clean energy research at UOIT, and perhaps become UOIT researchers themselves in the years ahead.

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