Erin Gockel

Tibbetts Middle School
Farmington, NM

Project Description:

Gockel’s winning project, “Wanted: Energy Experts”, was developed to help the next generation ensure ample energy supplies for the future. During the yearlong project, eighth-grade students at Tibbetts Middle School will participate in problem-solving activities and question the world around them. For the first step of the project, students will get an understanding of what the sources of energy are, forms of energy, and how fossil fuels become the products we see today. They will learn this by reading, researching, and learning from experts in the community. Experiments will be conducted by the students to learn about topics including the scientific method, alternative sources of energy, and the differences between renewable and non-renewable energy. During the second step, students will research and experiment with petroleum-based fuels, oils and gas in the San Juan Basin, conservation, and transportation fuels. Gockel, who lives in Durango, CO, hopes each student will become an expert on energy by understanding what products fossil fuels become, making informed decisions about energy, knowing the advantages and disadvantages of fuel sources, and seeing that energy is everywhere. She also hopes they will be inspired to find out how they can help with the energy crisis the country is facing.