PUD helps pay for 2 science education projects in Mukilteo schools

By Nicholas Johnson | Jan 25, 2017

Voyager Middle school science teacher David Watt says grant money from Snohomish County PUD allows his eighth-graders to get out of the classroom to see how electrical energy is made.

“I work at a school that has a high free- and reduced-price lunch population and my students don’t get a lot of opportunities to get out and see new things,” Watt said. “I want to expose them to opportunities they might not have thought they had. This gives them a chance to see something more in the world and hopefully it stimulates their brains to explore new ideas.”

The PUD this month gave about $6,000 in mini-grants to some 13 science education projects in schools around the county, including two in Mukilteo.

Watt will receive roughly $500 toward his annual class field trip to the PUD’s Woods Creek Hydroelectric Project as well as a visit to a salmon restoration project site.

“It’s valuable for students to see that while we have hydroelectric power, there are consequences to having certain kinds of power generation,” he said. “These rivers, while they produce energy, also produce wildlife that’s important to their ecology.”

Carolyn Henri, a science docent working with K-2nd-grade students at Mukilteo Elementary, will received roughly $5000 for a project in which students use solar cells to power motors, fans and music boxes, giving them hands-on experience with a renewable energy source.

Neil Neroutsos, spokesperson for the PUD, said the agency has been awarding the mini-grants for about 25 years in an effort to help schools incorporate energy and water education into their curriculum.

“These things are memorable for students,” Watt said. “In the end, we want them to see how electrical energy is produced, how the PUD does this, and see how it’s an alternative to fossil fuel energies.”

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