By Kyle Woosley
Being from Kentucky, a state where over 90 percent of our energy comes from coal combustion, it can be hard to even consider the alternatives. But one of the new clubs on campus, the EKU Energy Club, has made educating the students at Eastern in all areas related to energy.
Bruce Pratt, Ph.D., director of EKU Center for Renewable and Alternative Fuel Technologies (CRAFT), said his office has been in charge of “facilitating the development of the energy club on campus.”
The Kentucky Energy Club, located in Lexington, is in charge of establishing CRAFT chapters at different universities, including the University of Kentucky, Center College, Morehead State University and Ashland Community and Technical College.
“I’m basically here to help students market themselves and provide resources,” said Bree McCarney, coordinator of the Kentucky Energy Club. “They decide who they want to hear and what they want to talk about.”
“It gives students the opportunity to apply what they’re learning in school and get involved,” said Adam Kinion, 22, microbiology major from Houston and vice president of EKU Energy Club.
The top priority of the club is to educate the community about energy and the alternative ways to obtain it, said Kendra Hargis, 23, forensic biology major from Lexington and presiding of EKU Energy Club.
“I think it’s a good environment to learn about energy,” Hargis said. “You can make better decisions about what you want in the future.”
The club soon hopes to complete service projects and is currently looking into doing activities with Model Laboratory School in order to educate children on energy using kits provided by CRAFT.
“They can learn about energy while they do them,” Hargis said.
Though the club focuses on the science-related topic of energy, members of the club are very diverse in their areas of study.
“We’ve got students in all disciplines from the sciences to English majors,” Pratt said. “It’s open to all students.”
McCarney said she hopes to introduce the students to all of the energy opportunities across the state.
“Students are very cognitive of energy issues and they want to bring awareness to the campus,” she said. “I think we’re going to do some pretty cool stuff.”
The club hopes to become more involved outside the campus conducting trips and tours based on alternative sources of energy, including a solar panel house located on the University of Kentucky’s campus.
As of now, the club has 10 core members, but Hargis became involved in the club before it came to Eastern, she said.
“I have actually done research with CRAFT and learned about it [Energy Club] through them,” Hargis said.
The club is trying to gain a larger audience and is even considering asking professors to provide extra credit for attending events, she added.
“We’re hoping to gain a broader audience and attract more people,” Hargis said.
EKU Energy Club is providing their recent Energy 101 Series to the public and bringing speakers to Eastern to speak on different energy sources in Kentucky.
EKU Energy Club meets every Tuesday at 5 p.m. in Noel Studio Breakout Rooms 3 and 4. For more information on the organization, visit www.craft.eku.edu/insidelook/eku-energy-club.