Wednesday, March 4, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Prep program teaches green jobs, life skills

Rio Vista High School sophomore Nate Mills, left, and junior Jordan Fonbuena lay out a length of black hose in their renewable energy class this spring. The hose was used for a solar heater their class built for a project. Brad Zweerink/McNaughton Newspapers photo

Rio Vista High School sophomore, Nate Mills, left, and junior Jordan Fonbuena lay out a length of black hose in their renewable energy class last week that will be used for a solar heater their class is building for a project. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic)

By
From page A3 | June 16, 2013 |

By Heather Ah San

RIO VISTA — Rio Vista High School students Jordan Fonbuena, Cody Big, Rafael Vega and Kim Guggemos get to go to school every morning and use their hands for something.

Hint: It’s not for writing.

The high school’s renewable energy class emphasizes hands-on projects — not textbooks — to teach students about the green industry. And the hands-on learning approach makes sense. The class isn’t just preparing students for a test, it’s preparing them for life.

Class instructor Jim Bard is teaching his students the skills necessary for a job in renewable energy. His class covers a large scope of green professions, including wind energy, electricity, solar thermal energy, solar power and hydrogen fuel cells.

The program started at Rio Vista High during the 2011-12 school year with the help of funding from EDF Renewable Energy, which operates windmills in the area. The company provides the class with guest speakers, curriculum development and sometimes takes the students on field trips.

Bard helps develop the students’ mechanical skills by having them build projects either by hand or on a computer. Just recently, he had students figure out how to build a solar hot water heater using a black hose.

“These are good ways to get everyone involved,” he said.

The curriculum initially emphasized wind energy and working on wind turbines. Wind energy was a natural fit as the training could directly lead to a job with EDF Renewable Energy.

But the class has grown to encompass other alternative energies such as solar energy or hydrogen fuel cells. Bard is testing what the students have learned during the year by having them “build” a green building using AutoCad.

Some of the students said the class has interested them in career opportunities in the renewable energy industry.

Fonbuena said he really wants to pursue wind energy, possibly at EDF, after he graduates.

“It’s a growing industry. … It’s just going to keep growing,” he said.

Guggemos said she’s found it interesting that the skills they learn in class can be used in everyday life, not just for their careers. One example, she said, was when Bard taught them about weatherization and different ways they could make their house energy-efficient.

“Some of us prefer to use what we learn in practical application,” she said. “It can be applied to everyday life.”

Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Creek, praised the class on the floor of the House last week.

“Here you see the green technology — wind energy — coupling up with education to provide middle-class jobs. It’s a great example,” he said.

— Reach Heather Ah San at [email protected]

Comments

comments

McNaughton Newspapers

.

News

Davisite competing for breast cancer ‘Survivor of the Year’

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Cool musicians, hot jazz at Coconut Grove fundraiser

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Guilty verdict in child abduction case

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
Moore featured at two climate talks this week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Talk breast cancer with oncologic surgeon

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

DPNS offers open house Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Public input sought Monday on Northstar Pond

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Veggie gardening, composting are workshop topics

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Documentary on immigration issues will be screened

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Visiting prof will discuss Armenian genocide

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Holmes plans open house Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Nominees sought for Bill Streng Business Award

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Museum brick sales to end this month

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Prostate cancer group looks at massage

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Closing education gap will lift economy, a study finds

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Applications due for Rotary’s leadership camp

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Project Linus meets March 11

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Breakfast with the Bunny tickets on sale now

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

It was music to our ears

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Thanks for pet drive support

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Story was an ad for NRA

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Athletes just want time to do their homework

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Let’s not delete Giovanni Barovetto from Davis history

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Low-flow toilets in our parks?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

.

Sports

DHS girls lacrosse coach likes her 2015 squad

By Dylan Lee | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Hawkins enters the home stretch of brilliant UCD career

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Blue Devils girls stay undefeated ahead of league opener

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Blue Devils drop softball opener

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Cousins returns to lift Kings in New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
San Jose crushes Canucks behind Nieto

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
.

Features

Ringing in the Year of the Sheep with dim sum

By Ann Evans | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
.

Arts

 
French-Algerian guitarist weaves acoustic spells at The Palms on Friday March 6

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

California Honeydrops drop in for ‘Down Home’ tour

By Landon Christensen | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Merna Petersen

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, March 4, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B6