On June 4, two school buses filled with more than 40 students and teachers from CPS Morton School of Excellence arrived at IIT to visit the WISER/Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation living laboratory for education and research initiatives in energy and sustainability. The trip was organized by CPS faculty members Rosalind Ali (math department) and Kendra Mallory (science department) to coincide with a unit on sustainability and renewable energy technology recently completed by Morton School’s sixth, seventh and eighth graders.
Led by Ph.D. electrical engineering candidate Mehdi Ganji, the group toured the 8 KW wind turbine, solar canopy and electric vehicle charging station and learned about IIT’s installed microgrid and battery storage systems. They watched a live demonstration of the campus composter by John Wachowski, facilities department field operations supervisor, and Jerry Doyle, vice provost for student access and diversity, welcomed the students to IIT and encouraged them to continue to explore their interest in renewable energy technology through degree programs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) areas.
Commenting on the great value of bringing classroom lessons to life, Ali stressed “how very important it is to expose students at a young age to these concepts and experiences.” She added that the members of the Morton School faculty hope to incorporate the IIT living lab tour on an annual basis as the demonstration component of the renewable energy and sustainability unit.