Conservation workshop energizes Graysville Elementary pupils

Conservation workshop energizes Graysville Elementary pupils

May 28th, 2013 by Kimberly McMillian in Local Regional News

Josh Mooneyham, Will Travis, Jacob Hall and Jeremy Cox, from left, listen as a fellow Graysville Elementary student asks a question of John Davis, of Crossville, Tenn., after his presentation on how a biodiesel system is used and maintained.

GRAYSVILLE, Tenn. - For Graysville Elementary School fifth-grade student Tanner Turner, the slide show presentation about energy conservation hit close to home.

"[I learned] how to save water and electricity," Tanner said after the recent presentation on renewable energy at City Hall in Graysville, Tenn.

Representatives of the Tennessee Renewable Energy Economic Development Council, the Tennessee Valley Authority and Aries Energy discussed the benefits of water conservation, renewable energy and alternative fuel options. Members of the city maintenance crew from Crossville showed the third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students how a biodiesel system works.

Robin Heriges with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation's sustainable practices office told the students they were her "energy deputies," which sparked murmuring among the 97 students attending.

In unison with Heriges, the students recited, "I promise to look for energy thieves in my house."

Erin Finsel with Aries Energy showed the students how "the grid" of energy connectivity was similar to how power lines connect homes together, and how the midday sun helped to generate the power for solar panels that is used after nightfall.

Aries Energy President Harvey Abouelata sparked enthusiasm among the students when he said that Lenoir City-based Wampler's Farm Sausage used solar panels and had provided the hamburgers for lunch.

Warren P. Nevad, the development council's executive director and a managing consultant with the University of Tennessee's Municipal Technical Advisory Service, gave examples of alternative fuel options for vehicles, such as ethanol, biodiesel, electricity and natural gas.

Graysville Mayor Ted Doss said the workshop would "give them a taste" of renewable energy practices, and he hoped it would generate more discussion with student's families.

Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at