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Glencoe Ninth-Graders Create 50-year Energy Plans

PGE Manager of Construction and New Facilities and Glencoe alum Jake Lang talks to current Glencoe freshmen about energy principles like Ohm’s Law and how it shows up in their everyday lives.

June 26, 2019 - This spring, freshmen at Glencoe High School had a unique opportunity to design solutions to a real-world problem in their Physics class: how to generate enough energy for the next 50 years in a manner that adequately accounts for impacts on the environment, land use, climate, air quality and, of course, cost, while also phasing out energy from coal by 2035.

The project came about after a discussion around STEM education between PGE President and CEO Maria Pope and Hillsboro’s former City Manager, Michael Brown, last year. Subsequent meetings were held between representatives from PGE, the Hillsboro School District, and the Portland Metro STEM Partnership, which ultimately led to the development of a pilot program at Glencoe in May 2019. 

That program kicked-off in early May when PGE representative Jessie Lee presented at an all-9th grade assembly to introduce the project, talk about career options in energy, and showcase current technology. In the weeks that followed, eleven PGE analysts, engineers, and strategists volunteered to visit classrooms to lead hands-on energy planning activities with the students, answer questions, and provide guidance. One of the volunteers - Jake Lang, was a Glencoe graduate himself! After graduating in 1994, he earned an internship at PGE and has been working for them ever since. He is currently serving as a manager of new construction and facilities.

When asked about the most rewarding part of talking to students about their plans, Lang replied: “Getting them to think about how their wishes and plans will meet resistance, and how to still achieve their goals while compromising in the process.”

By all accounts, the partnership was a great success, and all parties look forward to continuing the program in the future.