Elementary Students Learn About Renewable Natural Gas with Help from SoCalGas Engineers and College Scholars
Nov 3, 2017
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- To interest students from underserved neighborhoods in STEM subjects, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and Great Minds in STEM leaders spent today with about 100 fourth graders at Sunny Brae Avenue Elementary School in Winnetka, where Great Minds in STEM team members, SoCalGas engineers, and college students engaged students in hands-on STEM challenges related to natural gas pipeline safety and renewable natural gas. Photos of the event are available here.
SoCalGas sponsored the program, "Viva Technology Student Day," created by Great Minds in STEM, a Los Angeles County-based national non-profit that focuses on student populations underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields.
"These experiences show students that we need cutting-edge science to meet California's energy needs in the future," said Jimmie Cho, SoCalGas senior vice president of gas operations and system integrity. "We want to get students excited about the science of capturing renewable methane from sources like farm operations, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. Using that biogas both reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and creates additional renewable energy."
"Creating innovative hands-on activities engaged the students while highlighting that STEM is all around us and has important real-life applications," said Rene Amel Peralta, education programs coordinator for Great Minds in STEM. "Students gained new experiences that show how civil engineering and physics concepts keep the natural gas distribution system safe, and how we can use the methane created in normal biodegradation for our everyday energy needs."
SoCalGas engineers and students from California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA), California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and College of the Canyons (COC), who serve as role models, motivated the fourth-grade students through the STEM challenges.
The elementary students learned how renewable natural gas can be produced from waste like lawn clippings and unused food. They extracted and purified compounds from strawberries to help them visualize how various components are created when organic material biodegrades. To demonstrate some of the civil and mechanical engineering principles needed for natural gas pipeline integrity, the students learned how to build a dome with everyday materials.
The program included the selection of activity winners, and raffles awarding educational incentives to the students.
About Great Minds in STEM
SoCalGas has served communities in California for 150 years and is committed to being a leader in the region's clean energy future. The company has committed to spending $6 billion over the next five years to modernize and upgrade its gas infrastructure, while also reducing methane emissions. SoCalGas is working to accelerate the use of renewable natural gas, a carbon-neutral or carbon-negative fuel created by capturing and conditioning greenhouse gas emissions from farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. The company is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.
SoCalGas is Committed to Renewable Gas
SOURCE Southern California Gas Company
For further information: SoCalGas, Melissa Bailey, (213) 244-2442, firstname.lastname@example.org; OR Great Minds in STEM, Rene Amel Peralta, (323) 262-0997, Ext:222, email@example.com