Day at the Dam shows KMS students hydroelectric power

Bill Harris, founder of Harris Energy Group, guides a group of Kingsford Middle School students on a tour of the Cataract Hydroelectric Plant operations in Gwinn.

KINGSFORD — Three classes of eighth graders from Kingsford Middle School had the opportunity recently to participate in a Day at the Dam tour of the Cataract Hydroelectric Plant operations in Gwinn.

This is the second year Jaclynn Kreider took the students out on three separate day trips. Kreider said she found the tour fascinating. “The kids enjoy being outside and they enjoy hiking, but you get those few kids who are really interested in the mechanics of producing electricity.”

The Cataract Dam located on the Escanaba River is owned by Renewable World Energies, a division of the Harris Energy Group. Bill Harris, founder of the company, led the tour at the dam, walking the penstock, to the powerhouse.

KMS eighth grader Logan Galbraith said he has been on several dam tours and is pretty educated on the process. He enjoyed walking outdoors. “As long as there is water, we will have hydro-electric power,” Galbraith said.

Harris agreed noting that water power is near perpetual because the system to generate hydro-electric power is so simple.

Kingsford Middle School students walk the penstock to the powerhouse during a tour of the Cataract Hydroelectric Plant. The Cataract Dam is on the Escanaba River and owned by Renewable World Energies, a division of Harris Energy Group.

He added that he believes that getting youth outside and involved in outdoor recreation is the first step in connecting them to the environment. ” It lays the groundwork for them to become environmental stewards.”

Programs like Day at the Dam help students develop a concern for environmentally-friendly production and teaches them to recognize the benefits of maintaining and improving this nations hydroelectric facilities.

Day at the Dam is funded by the Renewable World Foundation, a not-for-profit v501(c)(3) organization.


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