On October 6th, Kelsey Applegate and Taegen Kopfler represented Encore Renewable Energy as exhibitors at the Women Can Do annual conference organized by Vermont Works for Women. The Women Can Do conference is a career exploration event for high school girls and gender expansive youth, held at Vermont Technical College in Randolph, VT. Encore had a table in the Indoor Action Expo, where they met with students and ran through a short solar design activity.
Lilly Kuhn, Taegen Kopfler, and Kelsey Applegate created this activity to familiarize students with the solar design process and different types of careers and activities within the solar industry. The students were given a set of rules and considerations for the process, shown a laminated map of a parcel of land, and then asked to place laminated module pieces on the map to create a solar array. They were also given dry erase markers to draw in additional aspects of the design, including an access road, a point of interconnection, and a laydown area. Definitions and images of the technical terms used in the rules were provided as well.
The event was a success, with hundreds of girls and gender-expansive youth from across the state in attendance. Groups of students filtered through Encore’s table, bringing curiosity and openness with them. Kelsey and Taegen walked through their activity with students, teachers, and mentors, and had some great conversations around the importance of solar and how it is developed in Vermont.
Encore is proud to be a part of an event informing young folks who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM about technical career opportunities. Many of these jobs are in high demand as Vermont transitions to a cleaner economy, and the Women Can Do conference is a great example of a way to advance inclusivity in this transition.