Energizing Education

Learn more about Mead High's Energy Academy

Energizing Education

Lucas Hale, Editor

For the past two years Mead High School has participated in an exciting new program designed to give its students resources and experience that will be a competitive advantage in the Energy field.

I had a chance to sit down and talk with Mr.Pratt, the captain of our Energy Academy initiative. Upon arrival he quickly directed my attention out the library windows to the construction site in front of our cafeteria.  “Our Wing,” he informed me, “it should be done by Spring of 2018.”

Construction on our new wing is in full swing
Construction is progressing quickly

After some quick salutations we got right down to business.  Many students know about the Academy, but few really understand the program.The first myth surrounding the program Mr. Pratt wanted to take care of was the thought that our Energy Academy was only useful to students interested in the Energy field. “The program offers a wide breadth of roles to students, there really is a huge variety of jobs that this program relates to. I strongly encourage any interested students to come talk to me [Pratt].”

The sentiment is clearly echoed by Pratt’s students, I sat down with a few from a class in the second year of the program: Corey Boaz, Ethan Watkins, Sydney Bell, and Tyler Gibbs. When I asked what they were really learning Bell told me “ it’s not just Energy, it’s life skills”, Watkins added  “We’re just always adding to our Resumes.”

The program, implemented in 2015, is tailored to give students resources that are not available to the usual student. This includes an advanced curriculum, frequent guest speakers, and field trips to places most students would never have the chance to visit.

“We’re actually planning a trip tomorrow to the USGA TRIGA Nuclear Reactor in Lakewood,” Pratt informed me on the Monday of our interview, “we’ll also be stopping by the Tri-state Colorado Energy Grid, so that students can really see the commerce side of the Energy Field, the buying and selling.”

Pratt went on to describe to me the process to decide how much energy needs to be bought or sold at a certain time, “Technicians will examine data and see how much energy will be needed, and then they buy that amount. So if they see that it will be hot, and houses will need to run their A/C, they will buy more energy for that period.” Pratt used this opportunity again to point out the versatility of our program, “See, there are so many roles for students in and out of the energy field.”

Corey Boaz told me, “we have a lot of guest speakers, and not much homework.” So, don’t worry kids, you won’t be doing homework constantly, Watkins agreed adding, “there’s still work but we mostly finish in class.”

“To realistically get in you need to be a sophomore, So for any freshman interested, get involved.” Pratt finished our interview by attempting to remind students that time is an asset.

Mead High’s Energy Academy is a refreshing new resource for our school that will enrich the lives of many students to come, take the resources extended to you, here is a final quote from Tyler Gibbs, “Honestly, just do it, even if you don’t want to go into Energy. They’re just good skills to know.”