For the City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Mid-State Renewable Energy Technician instructor Ben Nusz is the recipient of the 2017 Energy Educator of the Year Award.
Nusz was recognized for his continued involvement and outstanding commitment to educating his students and community about the value of renewable energy. The award was presented by the Wisconsin K–12 Energy Education Program (KEEP) in Madison at the Celebration of Excellence in Environmental Education Awards Banquet on April 22.
Nusz was also awarded a $500 grant that will be used to help support his ongoing energy education efforts. Within the last four years Nusz has given his Mid-State students the opportunity to design 10 renewable energy systems and then have local K–12 students assist in installing these systems at local public schools. Nusz’s expertise in renewable energy and his contributions to his community have allowed it to become more sustainable and energy efficient, with lasting impacts for years to come.
“I am delighted to see Ben’s dedication and commitment to energy education being recognized statewide,” said Chrystal Seeley-Schreck, Education Director of Agriculture and Natural Resources for the Wisconsin Technical College System.
Nusz’s recent projects included a solar installation at the Central Wisconsin Environmental Station with assistance from grades 1–5 students from the Tomorrow River Community Charter School.
“I’m proud to say that these sustainable energy systems will provide a lasting educational tool for the schools, bring awareness about renewable energy and save $400–500 per year in energy costs and over $30,000 over the life of each system,” said Nusz. “It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to reach so many students with these projects and to be able to share my passion for the environment.”
Nusz has worked as an instructor at Mid-State since 2008 and brings more than 12 years of experience in the renewable energy industry to his teaching role. He is the former vice president of the Board of Directors of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association and co-authored the book Solar Water Heating: A Comprehensive Guide to Solar Water and Space Heating Systems. Nusz also lives in a solar-powered home he designed and built himself.
For more information about Mid-State’s Renewable Energy Technician program, visit www.mstc.edu/programs.