South Dakota students take energy trail excursion

South Dakota Youth Excursion

At the old dragline bucket overlooking the Antelope Valley Station and the Great Plains Synfuels Plant.

Thirty-eight high school students recently had the opportunity to learn more about their local electric cooperative and where energy comes from during the South Dakota Rural Electric Association’s (SDREA) Youth Excursion. The SDREA has been putting on the program for more than a dozen years. Brenda Kleinjan, SDREA director of communications and member relations/editor, has been organizing the trip since 2000.

South Dakota Youth Excursion

Two students pose in the Antelope Valley Station model room.

“Touring gives students the hands-on, first person experience of learning where their power is coming from. I hope they have their eyes opened, they start looking at career opportunities, and they see there are a variety of good paying jobs in the Dakotas that will allow them to stay close to home or the areas they want to be in,” she says.

Each of the cooperatives in South Dakota chooses whether to participate in the Youth Excursion. They set up their own criteria for deciding which students will attend the trip. For many of the cooperatives, it is simply an application process, while some do a random drawing. Other cooperatives send everyone who applies. The participating cooperatives pay all costs.

Watch the video featuring Kleinjan and the students as they tour the plants.

Look for more about the Youth Excursion in the September- October issue of Basin Today.

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