Power vs. Guidelines and Profit - a Project

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What: Field trip of Brad Schoon's ILabS class at J. D. Darnall High School, Geneseo, Illinois.

When: November 3, 1998, during the second quarter Earth Science segment of ILabS.

Where: Muscatine Power and Water Plant in Muscatine, Iowa, on the Mississippi River.

Why: To introduce a unit of study on energy production and its effect on the environment, enabling students to see the immense scale of coal consumption, energy production, and emission control taking place at this type of facilty.

The assignment: Students were presented with operating data and three questions to solve, just like ones that are solved at the plant in order to produce power and meet emission guidelines at the least possible cost - REAL LIFE!

The students are ready to depart the bus and begin the tour.

Welcome to the Muscatine Power and Water facility in Muscatine, Iowa.

We were all disappointed to find that Homer Simpson didn't work in this control room! These workers didn't seem much busier than Homer at the moment, but if a malfunction occurs, they'll break out the technical manuals and go into the plant to fix the problem.






400,000 tons of crushed coal are loaded into each of these hoppers - only partially visible above the student. They are refilled several times each day! From here, the coal is blown into the furnaces for burning. The heat produced boils water; the resulting steam turns the blades of enormous turbines. It is the turning of these turbine blades that generates electricity at the facility.




Elizabeth Heiberger, who teaches the chemistry portion of ILabS, and our ARISE/ILabS Coordinator, Jenny Young are shown leaving the plant. They accompanied Mr. Schoon and the class on the trip.