Energy Day Draws Thousands in 10th Year Anniversary

By Angela Jardina

After a 2-year hiatus, Houston’s Energy Day was back in full swing October 15, celebrating its 10-year anniversary at Sam Houston Park.

Hosted by the Consumer Energy Education Foundation (CEEF), Energy Day drew thousands of attendees in a community-wide effort to inform about all things energy. The festival also included a drawing of raffle tickets and scholarship giveaways toward student education.

“The only way you can really give the best kind of education is if you reach people when they are young, when they are still forming the ideas about science, about the applicability of science—really get them to understand the whole value,” UH Vice President of Energy and Innovation Ramanan Krishnamoorti said.

The festival brought out companies, educators, and organizations from as far as Wyoming, and UH’s Division of Energy and Innovation was one of the biggest hits – and booths – of the day, with droves of activity through the event thanks to interactive games and experiments for the K-12 crowd. NASA and H-E-B were among some of the more popular stops.

The UH Department of Physics was a fan favorite as well, thanks to assistant professor Greg Morrison’s energy transfer experiments drew quite the audience.

“Hopefully, we were able to expose a lot of children to science and the application of science in the world,” physics student Courtnee Staine said.

In addition to STEM-related activities, the trails of Sam Houston Park was packed with educational experiences for students of all ages, including developmental business skills, land acquisition and the latest endeavors from fellow Houston-area universities’ engineering and science departments.

Krishnamoorti saw Energy Day as a major example for the importance of energy education, drawing upon his own experiences as a youth to drive home the need to find, share and ultimately innovate solutions for the future.

“Part of my passion comes from where I come from,” he said. “I came from India, where we didn’t take energy for granted. For four or five hours a day, you would lose power routinely. On the worst summer, days there would be no electricity, or you would go to get gas for your cars, and there would be these long lines because there was gasoline shortage, so you have to understand that you couldn’t take it for granted. Part of what I saw when I got to the U.S. is that we take [energy] for granted. Energy is a means to an end; it’s not an end within itself.”