At the wastewater treatment plant in Mankato, they were able to identify when half-time of yesterday’s Super Bowl occurred without having to watch the game. No, they weren’t listening to it on the radio or tracking it on their cell phones-all they had to do was watch the influx of water that occurs in their facility about an hour after half-time. The 30 YES! students and coaches from Mankato West High School, Sleepy Eye Public High School, and St. Mary’s High School (Sleepy Eye) who attended the Variety Tour in Mankato Winter Workshop learned this and more during the various tours they attended.
After introductions and talking about what each of the students wanted to learn that day, we heard from Michelle Palm, Southeast Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) Coordinator. She informed the students about recent initiatives related to energy in the southeast region of the state that have been facilitated by CERTs. She also mentioned that upcoming seed grants for technical assistance for energy efficiency or renewable energy projects offered for SE MN through CERTs.
The Mankato West YES! team then explained the process through which organics recycling was brought to their school this year and the role they played in the process. We also watched a tour of the Full Circle Organics facility in Good Thunder, where the Mankato schools’ organics are taken to be composted.
Next we toured the aforementioned Mankato wastewater treatment plant where students learned all about what happens after you flush. The students were fascinated by the process and had lots of great questions for our wonderful tour guide, Josh Gad. Finally, the students explored the first LEED certified hotel in Minnesota, the Courtyard Marriott in Mankato. The students were impressed by the hotel and enjoyed learning about how the hotel achieved LEED status while keeping in mind what travelers are looking for in a hotel.
The students enjoyed the day and left with many great ideas and information that they can bring back to their schools and communities!