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Power Grid Workshop for Educators

Join New Ulm Public Utilities and REcharge Labs in a FREE hands-on workshop exploring a functional power grid model! All local educators are welcome. 


Why a Power Grid workshop?


The Power Grid Kit is an interwoven system like the one it models. As a platform for exploration it has limitless pathways for understanding energy and its political, social, economic, and environmental impacts and opportunities. This can be a lot for an educator or facilitator to tackle while planning activities for students or participants. At REcharge Labs, we believe in building the capacity of educators so they can feel empowered to make their own decisions on how to use the kits. We offer a Power Grid Workshop so that educators can feel confident using the Power Grid Kit. New Ulm Public Utilities owns a Power Grid Kit for educational outreach. Here's your chance to test it out!




  • Learn about the physical components, how they work and how they go together.




  • Participate in activities using the Power Grid Kit that demonstrate the basic electrical generation, transmission, distribution, and load system




  • Have fun making a Solar Rover, and learn how electric vehicles and solar power work on the grid.




  • Create a model house with loads, and connect it to the Grid.




  • Learn about power storage, basic circuitry, voltage, current, resistance, and how to use a volt meter




  • Explore ways to break up the Power Grid Kit into multiple systems for larger class sizes or different experiments.




The Power Grid Kit is a modular platform for K-12 students to explore how the electrical grid functions. In addition to demonstrating traditional power generation resources, the Power Grid Kit also allows students to explore the impact of solar and wind power along with electric vehicle charging, smart grid technology and energy efficiency.


The Power Grid Kit's accessible wooden block design makes it easy to demonstrate how the grid and its components work together to bring electricity to our homes and businesses, while also exploring core science standards and the challenges of new technologies.


Check out the Power Grid Kit in more detail here.


When arriving, please use customer entrance. Pass by the front desk and go into the large conference room. 


AGENDA


8:30 AM  Welcome, morning coffee, snacks, and introductions


Let’s get to know each other and see what we know, or think we know, about the power grid.   We will also go over the agenda and expectations for the day.


9:00 AM  Why a Power Grid Kit?


What is the purpose of a Power Grid Kit? Why was it developed? What are the most important concepts we want students to understand when exploring the power grid? Where are we at in the development of this kit and where do we want to go.


10:00 AM  Exploring Power Grid Kit Components & Draft Lesson Materials


Let’s get familiar with Power Grid components and how they connect and function.  Once we are comfortable with the parts we will explore draft activities around loads, transmission, generation and simulating events.


12:00 PM   LUNCH (Please bring a lunch)


 1:00 PM   Solar House Activitiy 


Build a solar powered house with energy storage, solar panels, lights and motors! Get comfortable with basic circuitry and learn how to troubleshoot common issues. Add the houses to the Power Grid! 


3:00 PM   Next Steps, Evaluations and Goodbyes


About REcharge Labs: REcharge Labs helps learners to creatively explore energy concepts around wind, solar, EVs and the Power Grid. The company strives to engage and inspire today’s students, educators, makers and tinkerers to become innovative renewable energy leaders of tomorrow by offering the Power Grid Kit and professional development for educators. REcharge Labs also provides community outreach to partnering companies, energy developers, museums, and state agencies.


About New Ulm Public Utilities: The New Ulm Public Utilities provides electric, water, district energy, natural gas, and wastewater service to residents and businesses in the New Ulm area. It is our continuing endeavor to serve the public as a nonprofit organization providing our customers with high quality, safe and efficient services at the lowest possible cost, while promoting conservation and responsible management of resources. The quality and availability of these basic necessities of life sustain our customers and promote the well-being and growth of the community.


Workshop sponsored by:New Ulm Public Utilities Banner


New Ulm Public Utilities building