Across the state of Michigan, DTE wind and solar parks are generating clean energy for homes, schools, and businesses alike. It’s not often you get to see one of these parks for yourself – but with DTE’s virtual field trip, you can visit a wind or solar park any time you want, from the comfort of your own home. Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sC9SEgYUm28 for the virtual field trip.
DTE developed the virtual field trip for use in 6th – 9th grade classrooms, but with stunning visuals and vital information about the role renewable energy plays in creating a cleaner future, the video is suitable for students of all ages. They’ve even created a shorter version of the field trip that caters more to an adult audience.
Tanya Whelan, STEM Coordinator at Holy Redeemer Grade School in Detroit, had her students watch the field trip and then participate in a “fireside chat” with some of DTE’s renewable energy employees.
“The virtual field trip was the perfect way to show our students some real-life solutions to climate change,” said Tanya. “Having the opportunity to talk with DTE employees was an added bonus, because the students were able to ask more detailed questions about the wind and solar parks and the careers available in the renewable energy industry.”
Cathy Mikesell, who teaches fourth grade in the Woodhaven-Brownstown School District, used the virtual field trip while working with students virtually during the pandemic. Her students loved watching the climb up the wind turbine tower, a section of the video that was filmed by attaching a GoPro camera to a technician’s helmet to capture his journey up to and outside of the nacelle.
“Learning about DTE’s wind and solar parks in this way kept the students engaged, and it just fit in so nicely with the rest of our energy curriculum,” said Cathy. “The virtual aspect made it much more accessible – in-person field trips can present various challenges, such as expense, timing and even parents who don’t feel comfortable with their children traveling.”
Continuing to grow their renewable energy portfolio is a core element of achieving DTE’s goal to keep energy affordable and reliable while reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050. DTE created the virtual field trip to help young people learn more about clean energy and to challenge them to think about actions they can take now – and in the future – to combat climate change and help protect the environment for future generations.