Hundreds of students see energy firsthand at REACH - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hundreds of students see energy firsthand at REACH

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RICHLAND, WA - More than 600 eighth grade students from throughout the mid-Columbia region got to leave the classroom today and experience energy firsthand, from hydro and nuclear power, to wind, solar, natural gas and more.

Reporter Rex Carlin spoke with school faculty, volunteers, and event partners from energy agencies in the Tri-Cities area, who all told him this is about educating kids in a hands-on environment about a topic that - in this area especially - provides jobs and educational opportunities for the people who live here.

The students went through almost a dozen stations run by the Benton Conservation District, Benton PUD, Benton REA, Bonneville Power Administration, Cascade Natural Gas, City of Richland Energy Services, Energy Northwest, and Franklin PUD. These representatives showed the eighth graders demonstrations simply not feasible in a classroom setting.

"I really want them to walk away with excitement about the sciences and mathematics, so that when they're in the classroom, they can see, 'hey, this applies to what's going on in real life. It really applies to the electricity going into our house, "said David Elkins, assistant principal at Highlands Middle School.