Lincoln-Way East physical science classes welcome guest speaker
Friday, October 14, 2016

On Thursday, October 13, 2016, science teachers Maria Wilson and Kendra Will welcomed guest speaker Brad Pnazek to their classrooms. Pnazek, an employee of Invenergy LLC, spoke to physical science students about the process of harnessing wind energy through turbines.

Pnazek is a project development manager for Invenergy LLC, North America’s largest independent, privately held renewable energy provider. The currently company hosts 77 projects in natural gas (7), storage (5), solar (7), and wind energy (58).

“We develop, build, operate and own energy generation facilities across the country,” he said. “Those facilities can be a natural gas plant, a wind farm, a solar farm, or a battery storage installation.” Pnazek is responsible for the evaluation of the criteria necessary to build new facilities.

Pnazek described the process of planning for and constructing wind turbines. In Illinois, over four hundred Invenergy wind turbines exist and are maintained by 40 employees. These employees plan for, erect, and monitor the turbines, as well as expand Invenergy’s imprint by finding and evaluating future sites for additional projects.

"This presentation allowed students to know jobs related to energy are available. Union workers as well as those with an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree are all important for these projects to be successful," says teacher Maria Wilson.

Pnazek used every-day analogies to describe how wind energy is harnessed and distributed, relating real-world scenarios to the lessons in Wilson and Will's physical science classes. He also discussed careers that are available for those interested in alternative energy.

"The vocabulary and lab experiences our students learned this year parallel with what Mr. Pnazak discussed. It is great being able to show students how the content we focus on in class is used in the real world."