By Teresa Barber-Tournaud
Before watching the UConn women’s basketball team outshine Louisville, on February 9th a group from the UConn Extension 4-H Program in Litchfield County visited the Center for Clean Energy Engineering. The group consisted of 4-H club members, club leaders and family members ranging in age from 7 to 70. This group had a particular interest in seeing how UConn is researching the energy problems of today and tomorrow. Fifty-six 4-H participants were onsite to learn about energy, sustainability issues with fossil fuels, and the basics of clean, renewable energy. The Connecticut 4-H youth program seeks out opportunities for teaching young people that science can be fun through early STEM exposure by offering fun hands-on activities that foster skills and character development in science, citizenship and healthy living.
Presentations on clean and sustainable energy, lab demos on fuel cell technology and polymers, and a tour of the center were given by Sapna Gupta and Alan Harris, graduate students of Materials Science and Engineering Department (MSE) and officers of the newly-formed University of Connecticut chapter of the professional fraternity Keramos. Keramos is dedicated to developing leaders in the fields of science and engineering, with a focus on the use of ceramics in modern life. Next-generation ceramics are a fundamental component in tomorrow’s energy systems, from fuel cells to gas-turbine engines.