There’s a lot of energy coming from the new Eastern Iowa Community Colleges Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC) and its Interactive Learning Lab.
That’s because the lab is devoted to teaching energy in all its many forms, complete with interactive displays designed specifically for teaching area grade school through high school students.
The center is located on the first floor of the Mississippi Plaza office building, 201 Harrison Street, directly across the street from the Figge Art Museum. In addition to the learning lab, the center includes office space and classrooms.
The lab was made possible through a variety of funding sources including more than $1 million in grants from the US Department of Education and the Iowa Office of Energy Independence. An additional $50,000 was provided by the Scott County Regional Authority.
Visitors to the lab have the opportunity learn from a variety of different hands-on displays and a mini-theatre. The displays include: Energy is Everywhere; Living With Energy; Sun, Earth, Wind and Water – The Renewable Energies; Bio Energy; Green Technologies; Energy Jobs; and Energy Careers.
ATEEC was established in 1994 and is a national center of excellence within the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education program. ATEEC provides educational resources for colleges and K-12 classrooms. It also works with business and industry to identify emerging technologies, enhance technical training, create opportunities for collaboration and educate the workforce.
The new center includes a Local Leaders section in which area business can highlight their green products and services. ATEEC will work closely with area business leaders to assist in attracting new employers to the area.
Eastern Iowa Community College has a long history in providing environmental related training for its students. The Health, Safety and Environmental Technology (HSET) program was created more than 20 years ago with funding from the Environmental Protection Agency. The college provides both HSET training and re-training for area business and industry and an online HSET career program for individuals seeking employment in the field.
The college initiated its Renewable Energy career program in 2009. Located at the college’s Blong Technology Center, just off Interstate 80 north of Davenport, it trains technicians to work in such areas as wind, solar and biofuel energy.