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Two decades of green power innovation

Taking part in the Maryborough RACV Energy Breakthrough for 20 years has given Rochester Secondary College teachers James Strate and Jennifer White reason to celebrate.

JASON SMEATON May 13, 2014 3:10am

Rochester Secondary College teachers James Strate and Jennifer White will this year celebrate 20 years of being involved in the RACV Energy Breakthrough. Photo: submitted


It’s 20 years since Rochester Secondary College teachers James Strate and Jennifer White began the school’s involvement in the extra-curricular Maryborough RACV Energy Breakthrough.

To celebratethe milestone, a reunion will be held for past and present students, teachers and supporters on October 4.

Energy Breakthrough encourages participants to design, build and test environmentally friendly vehicles or machines using the latest technology.

The two teachers have taken a group of students to the event every year since they started.

Mr Strate said they had never thought about how long they would take part in the event, but Mrs White said they were proud of their 20-year involvement.

When asked why they maintained their involvement, they simultaneously answered ‘‘the students’’.

‘‘The student interest is what drives us,’’ Mrs White said.

The pair said Energy Breakthrough brought together students of all year levels and interests and gave them a sense of growth and responsibility outside of the classroom.

‘‘So much (of Energy Breakthrough) is student involvement,’’ Mr Strate said.

Mrs White said students were encouraged to be involved in all aspects of Energy Breakthrough and, for many, the experience highlighted skills they didn’t realise they had.

‘‘We gain satisfaction from seeing student success and growth,’’ she said.

A group of past students is organising the reunion and are encouraging people involved with Energy Breakthrough to attend.

‘‘James and Jennifer really want to see everyone that has been involved in Energy Breakthrough from the past 20 years,’’ organiser Rachell Poole said.

‘‘We would like to give them this opportunity.’’

For information on the reunion, join the Rochester Secondary College Energy Breakthrough 20th Year Reunion Facebook page, or contact Ms Poole on 0400844614.

The vehicles and machines will be demonstrated in Maryborough in November.

Jason Smeaton

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