Columbia Gas of Ohio and the University of Findlay are teaming up to implement the “Waste to Energy Education: Applications for Future Energy Leaders” program at local high schools this fall. This 12-month program encourages students to reduce their carbon footprint, become energy leaders of tomorrow, and prepare for productive STEM careers.
The program also includes a competition in which student groups in 12 area high schools will challenge one another to develop the most efficient biodiesel using waste oil. The winning high school team will receive a $500 stipend to be used toward purchasing additional science equipment for energy-related curricula. Winners will also be invited to present their findings to logistics and transportation business leaders and agricultural producers in Northwest Ohio during a special event in spring of 2019.
Columbia Gas and the University of Findlay will host a kickoff event on Wednesday, June 20 at 2 p.m. in Brewer Frost Science Center on the University of Findlay campus. A biodiesel reactor, owned by UF and to be used by students, will be displayed. Speaking will be University President Katherine Fell, Ph.D.; Vice President for University Advancement Marcia Latta, Ed.D; and Cheri Pastula, communications and community relations manager for Columbia Gas of Ohio.
High schools interested in taking part in the program should contact Timothy Murphy, Ph.D., associate professor of Environmental Safety and Occupational Health Management and department chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 419-434-4588.
Funding for this program was made possible through a $45,000 NiSource Charitable Foundation Grant. In close collaboration with NiSource employees and community partners, the foundation provides funding and encourages volunteer support for organizations in the areas of community vitality and development; environmental and energy sustainability; learning and science education; and public safety and human services. NiSource is the parent company of Columbia Gas of Ohio.
“Columbia Gas and NiSource are proud to invest in Ohio and the 1.4 million customers we serve. The Waste to Energy program that the University of Findlay is working on is such a great opportunity for students to explore science and engineering and turn it into a practical application. We are very excited to see what ideas the students come up with,” said Dan Creekmur, President, Columbia Gas of Ohio.
Murphy said the program will fill a persistent knowledge gap. “Energy and how we harness it is a topic that many students, at both the university and high school levels, do not understand,” he explained. “With this Waste to Energy program, the University will be able to educate hundreds of students as to where the energy that we use in our daily lives comes from, and how we can improve our energy future.”
Columbia Gas of Ohio, headquartered in Columbus, is one of the seven energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI). Serving approximately 1.4 million residential, commercial and industrial customers, Columbia Gas of Ohio is the largest natural gas utility in the state. More information about Columbia Gas of Ohio is available at www.ColumbiaGasOhio.com
University of Findlay cultivates the potential within each student through academic excellence, transformative experiences and a supportive community. The University is known not only for science, health professions, animal science and equestrian studies programs, but also for cultivating the next generation of business leaders, educators and innovative thinkers through a dedication to experiential learning, both in and outside of the classroom.
Established in 1882 through a joint partnership between the Churches of God, General Counsel and the City of Findlay, the University of Findlay has nearly 60 majors leading to baccalaureate degrees and offers 10 master’s degrees, a doctor of pharmacy, an Ed.D. and a doctor of physical therapy. More than 4,000 students from several countries are enrolled at Findlay. With its robust international student population, Findlay’s campus offers global experiences to students from all over the world. In addition, our faculty and staff strive to create a supportive community in which our students grow and find their path to a meaningful life and productive career.