NEW BRITAIN — Last year as many students had their noses buried in a textbook, E.C. Goodwin Technical High School had a different plan for its students.
A group of juniors worked together to build an “E-House,” a learning laboratory next to the school that emphasizes clean energy and allows students to be better prepared for the work force.
On Tuesday, the Connecticut Technical High School System unveiled the E-House, which is the first of nine to be built in the state.
“I think that what you are going to see today is going to blow your mind and knock your socks off,” Principal Mary Moran told the audience that had gathered at the school on Slater Road.
The space was constructed by the students and staff in the carpentry, electrical, HVAC and plumbing classes at E.C. Goodwin.
“Our students are now better prepared than people working in their fields today,” Moran said. “This will result in many job opportunities for the kids.”
Working on the E-House was also a way to keep students motivated and engaged.
“It was great. It helped me coming to school a lot more, just knowing we were doing work,” carpentry student Toby Bourn of Bristol said.
The E-House is set up with displays showing different forms of insulation, heating/cooling, photovoltaic and electrical systems. The building is equipped with solar panels.
“When we started out, it was for training students in renewables and energy efficiency,” said Ray Mencio, education consultant at the state Department of Education. “Then we thought of creating a lab where students can see installations of it.”
Sections of the space are able to be removed and replaced so that future students will be able to learn from the building just like this year’s seniors did, and the school can add new technologies in the future.
Connecticut Light & Power donated an electric-vehicle charging station, which was placed in a parking spot next to the E-House.
The E-House project cost approximately $35,000, money that was also used for training instructors in the technical high school system so they can properly teach their students the new clean-energy curriculum.
The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority Fund, which draws from a surcharge on electric bills as well as from the Federal American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, and the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, which draws from the public benefits charge on electric bills, provided the money for building the E-House.
“The kids are very, very into it because it is technology and they love it,” Mencio said. “They did a very good job.”
For more information, visit www.cttech.org.