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Lake Land College’s Energy Innovation Conference draws record crowd

March 6, 2014
More than 800 individuals gathered recently at Lake Land College for the 7th annual Energy Innovation Conference. The event drew a record crowd of attendees, presenters and local vendors, filling the college’s West Building with exhibits and presentations ranging from hydrogen fuel cells to rain gardens and hydroponic growing systems.
The event covered a wide array of topics such as geothermal heating and cooling, solar and wind energy, technician and job training, sustainable industry information and projections, bio-mass, sustainability, do-it-yourself projects, and green businesses. Actor and environmentalist, Ed Begley, Jr. was the keynote speaker.
During his presentation, Begley discussed his sustainable lifestyle and offered solutions and ideas on how others can build a greener life for themselves. 
“I grew up in L.A. in a cloud of smog; it was awful. But, in 1969 when the Cuyahoga River caught fire, I really felt compelled to do something about how we were impacting our environment,” said Begley. “It’s been a lifelong journey of taking small steps to reduce my carbon footprint. Along this journey, I’ve realized that the way I live not only reduces my energy consumption and lasting impact on the earth, but it’s helped by pocketbook. Living in a sustainable manner has shown me unlimited returns.” 
According to attendees Steve and Betty Rudolphi of Watson, they attended the event because they are interested in bringing more sustainable practices into their lives. 
“I am very concerned with climate change and this [conference] is a great way to find the resources and likeminded people to help me make bring energy innovation and sustainable living practices into a reality,” said Steve Rudolphi. 
Additionally at the conference, several area school districts participated in the annual Energy Fair. The goal of the middle and high school Energy Fair is to encourage students to be entrepreneurial thinkers in the area of alternative and renewable energy sources and practices for the future.  Categories for Energy Fair projects included those investigating alternative or renewable energy resources and energy conservation. 
In the junior division, first place went to Alex Carter from Cumberland Middle School for his project on powering a gaming device with thermoelectric power during a power outage. Second place went to Drew Warner, also from Cumberland Middle School, for his project about optimal thermal insulation materials.  
In the senior division, first place went to Megan Moran and Natalie Burrell from Neoga High School, for their project energy efficient LED Christmas lights. Second place went to Joe Goldstein and Kaleb Henderson, Neoga High School, for their project on length and gauge efficiency in extension cords. Third place went to Brittany Deters, Neoga High School, for her project on measuring efficiency insulation materials. 
New to this year’s conference was a Maker Competition for Lake Land College students. The Maker Competition was designed to showcase forward-thinking projects, created by students, that explore new technologies and innovative experimentation as it pertains to energy production. 
This year electronic engineering technology students, Rick Crouch, Cowden, and his teammate Travis Stanford, Arthur, teamed up and took home first place with their home-built solar hot water panel. Second place went to electronic systems specialist student, Tim Landing, Humboldt, for his home-built hydrogen fuel cell. 
To learn more about the Lake Land College Energy Innovation Conference, visit 

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