21 February 2013

the energy challenge.

Next time you flip the switch, turn the dial, or clap your hands to turn on the light, think about the origin of electricity. Where does electricity come from? If you took it upon yourself to seek the truth via Google or if the answer was a no-brainer, then pat yourself on the back because some people believe that electricity comes from the wall. Blogger may be the wrong social medium, but #literallynotjoking #knowledgeispower #justsayin

The condensed answer: electricity can be derived from a variety of energy sources. Commonly, power plants in the United States burn coal, oil, and natural gas (fossil fuels). The combustion of fossil fuels causes an exothermic chemical reaction to release heat. A boiler converts this heat energy into high-pressure steam for turbines to create mechanical energy. Finally, generators use the mechanical energy to produce electrical energy.

Around this time last year, while I was conquering the final academic semester, one of my professors offered me the opportunity to initiate a challenge. Along with my fellow colleagues, we developed the first student-derived, student-taught, general education course at James Madison University. I'm not an expert of energy, but I am a proud graduate of JMU who believes in sustainability and pursues environmental stewardship. Read about me and my green friends --> ISAT students to teach class challenging their peers to save energy.