The Second Annual Energy Expo puts the Energy Academy on display

The Expo introduces students of all ages to the Academy


Aiden Owen

Sophomore Jacob Hausman at the expo.

Last Thursday, April 25, students from all three Mead area schools presented dozens of projects in the Second Annual Mead Energy Expo. While most of those with a project were in high school, the younger presenters drew some attention.

“It’s great seeing how middle school and elementary students are participating in the Academy,” said Nathan Betsch, a senior who researched energy industry management information systems. Molly Caylor, a junior, echoed the same sentiments while working on a solar car for the ‘Solar Rollers’ race, saying, “It was a good experience meeting children getting into the Academy.”

One of these younger students was Aiden Johnson, a second-grader, whose project was on wind-powered lights for sports fields. He explained how the turbines would power the lights at night while indicating a model he had made of the system. Aiden was one of the many students who made projects based on renewable energy.

Chris Zavakos, a senior, modeled a geothermal-based temperature control system, which would use radiant heat from the floor to heat a house. “A radiant geothermal heating and cooling based house could be 100% efficient,” he claimed, explaining how the system is based upon the temperature difference between the surface and underground.

While most of the Expo was based upon renewable energy, oil and gas still made an appearance. Thomas Jacoby, a sophomore, looked into oil and gas wells near Mead. “I tried to figure out of production from 2 different wells was similar,” he said, “and they were not.” He went on to explain how, based on various conditions in an area, oil and gas wells have different production levels.

Additionally, Sam LaRue, an environmental scientist from Anadarko, was also in attendance, discussing the partnership between the Energy Academy and Anadarko Petroleum. He sees Anadarko’s involvement as a way to expose students in the Academy to the vast array of potential careers in the oil industry. LaRue himself works to mitigate the impact of drilling, so joining the industry, he says, can be “a good way to make a difference.”

The success of the Expo at drawing the interest of students and adults alike can be attributed to the vast number and diversity of projects, and will likely make it a staple of Mead High for years to come.