Modified from “Klein Collins Students Power Up for Energy Plant Tour” by Jessica Williams, Klein ISD Multimedia Content Specialist

Principal Ken Noack set out to inspire the next generation of engineers by giving Klein Collins environmental science students a backstage tour of the inner workings of the central plant, boiler, and electrical rooms we designed for their high school.

Environmental Science teacher Ms. Elizabeth Broussard and her class just began their unit about renewable and nonrenewable energy with a special focus on the different processes that transform one form of energy into another.

Ms. Broussard felt the best way to enhance the unit was to apply the curriculum to a real-world experience, and Ken jumped at the opportunity to exhibit our Ownership Values and acquaint students with the engineering profession.

“Part of our mission is to contribute meaningfully to our communities, invest in future engineers, and create opportunities for all to succeed,” Salas O’Brien CEO Darin Anderson said. “Many times, that starts with simply introducing engineering career paths and specializations to students who wouldn’t otherwise get exposure to the possibilities available to them.”

For Ken, sharing his knowledge of engineering with these dedicated students was a rare opportunity he thoroughly enjoyed.

“It was a pleasure getting to visit with such bright students interested in seeing the hidden treasures in the central plant, boiler, and electrical rooms,” he said. “I hope it planted a seed for future engineers.”

Students were grateful for the knowledge shared by the engineers regarding the processes undertaken to plan and design the high school, information regarding how Klein Collins strives to be energy efficient, and a newfound understanding of the many processes and machinery helping our school run each and every day. 

“It was very interesting to learn the distance water travels here at Klein Collins and the process of cooling that water so it can be used into AC,” Junior Sasha Ramos said. “I enjoyed the tour and learning more about what powers our school.”

Following the tour, Ms. Broussard hosted a question and answer session in her classroom for students to ask the experts their burning questions concerning all things energy and engineering. 

“I felt incredibly grateful to have Ken Noack, Leslie Schroeder, Molly Rall, and Kevin Wieghat join my AP Environmental Science class today. What started as a simple question regarding how the school processes energy turned into a memorable experience for myself and my students,” Ms. Broussard said. “It was a unique experience to not only see the massive transformers, boilers, coolers, and energy panels, but also leave this day with a new comprehension of how they run. As a teacher, I was most excited to see the faces of my students as they walked into the maintenance rooms and heard them ask questions about how they run.”

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