DP&L and Vectren Energy Fair inspires students to be energy efficient

Published: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 7:53 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 23, 2017 @ 7:53 AM

The Dayton Power & Light and Vectren Energy Fair teaches elementary students how to become more energy conscious.
The Dayton Power & Light and Vectren Energy Fair teaches elementary students how to become more energy conscious.
Dayton Power and Light Company (DP&L) and Vectren Energy Fair 2017

Lights, thermal cameras and plenty of excited reactions! The DP&L and Vectren Energy Fair was an illuminating experience as hundreds of students from all over the Miami Valley gathered on the University of Dayton River Campus earlier this month for the annual Dayton Power and Light Company (DP&L) and Vectren Energy Fair.  

Facilitated by the Ohio Energy Project (OEP), the Energy Fair allows 100 high school students to teach younger students, through hands-on exploration stations, about how energy is a part of their everyday lives, and ways to become more energy efficient. This year, high school instructors came from Twin Valley, Twin Valley South, Oakwood, Greenview, McClain, Valley View, Lehman Catholic and the Dayton STEAM Academy. Nearly 300 younger students in grades 4-6 were in attendance from Troy Christian, Kemp, Russia, Ascension, J.E. Prass, and Edison.

>>> RELATED: PHOTO GALLERY: 2017 DP&L and Vectren Energy Fair  

“Someday these students are going to be grown-ups and paying their own bills,” said Kara McMillen, DP&L residential program manager. “We at DP&L get really excited when we have the opportunity to educate our future customers on energy efficiency and saving money.”  

During the five-hour event, students explored the Energy Carnival, rode the Energy Bike, and experimented with a thermal camera. They learned about the six different forms of energy and the ten sources of energy. Hands-on activities introduced concepts such as: light refraction and reflection, forces and motion, electric circuits, sound waves, appliances and electricity, sound and pitch, and thermal energy.  

Dayton Power and Light Company (DP&L) and Vectren Energy Fair 2017


The Energy Fair is unique and effective because of its “kids-teaching-kids” model. High school student leaders prepared for the fair by attending an Energy Summit, to learn how to teach energy lessons in a way that will excite and engage their younger counterparts.  

“For our high school leaders, being a part of the Energy Fair and teaching the younger kids helps to build their self-confidence, their social skills and comfort level with public speaking,” said Catherine Ackerman, a science teacher at Twin Valley South High School.  

In turn, younger students get to learn about energy and energy efficiency in a fun, engaging way from high school role models, reinforcing lessons from the classroom.  

“This is our third year at the Energy Fair,” said Jennifer Cain, fifth-grade teacher at Edison. “Seeing science in action makes all the difference. The students are totally engaged -- they’re learning and not even realizing it -- and they look up to the older kids so much, they really want to impress them.” 

More importantly since coming to the fair, she’s noticed an improvement in her students’ test scores. “The learning definitely is transferring,” noted Cain.  

Dayton Power and Light Company (DP&L) and Vectren Energy Fair 2017

Energy in action

Learning about energy in the classroom can be fun, but literally seeing it in action is thousand-watt excitement. Boundless “kid” energy pedals the Energy Bike, powering incandescent light bulbs, fluorescent bulbs and LED bulbs. The students can actually feel the difference in energy efficiency, many even working up a sweat trying to light up the less-efficient bulbs.   

“It was really cool to see how energy is transferred from pedaling the bike to turning on the different kinds of light bulbs,” said Devon Delaet, a fifth-grader at Russia.  

Erin Tebbe, a sophomore at Twin Valley South High School and two-time teacher instructor for the fair, was one of four girls selected by Ackerman to actually build the Energy Bike through an annual program hosted by Dayton Power and Light -- wiring everything, from start to finish.  

“Building the Energy Bike was such a great experience,” said Tebbe. “I’m really proud of and love being able to share it with the younger kids. They seem to really have fun with it.”  

Ongoing commitment to energy efficiency

The Energy Fair is part of DP&L and Vectren’s School Education Program, facilitated by OEP throughout the school year. The school program is part of DP&L’s ongoing commitment to help customers be “Savings Champions” by learning how to save energy and money. In addition, DP&L and Vectren will award $1000 scholarships to three area high school seniors who are interested in careers in energy. 

Did you know DP&L offers discounts on energy-efficient LED light bulbs, rebates on heating and cooling systems and smart thermostats, and free appliance pickup and recycling? Learn more about how you can be a Savings Champion at savewithdpl.com.

Recovering addict collecting toys for children whose parents died of overdoses

Published: Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 9:16 AM

A Fairborn man who is a recovering heroin addict has started a toy collection for children of parents who died from drug overdoses.

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Richard Matteoli was in the news last month when he publicly thanked Fairborn emergency personnel for saving his life on multiple occasions when he overdosed on heroin.


Richard Matteoli holds up photos of himself before he finally went into recovery for heroin addiction. Matteoli thanked Fairborn first responders on Wednesday for helping him survive his addiction.(Max Filby/ STAFF/Max Filby/ STAFF)

RELATED >>> Man thanks Fairborn first-responders for reviving him 6 times in overdoses

The 40-year-old father has started Recovery Toy Drive, an effort to make the holidays a little better for children whose parents have died from drug overdoses. 

Matteoli said through his connections in the addiction-recovery community, he already has a list of 22 children who will benefit from his efforts.

“I hope the Recovery Toy Drive will bring some awareness to the most innocent victims in the heroin epidemic," he said.

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Recovery Toy Drive has gotten donations from the Dayton Dragons and the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.


If you want to help, call Richard Matteoli at (937) 927-1788 or send an email to RecoveryToyDrive2017@gmail.com. You can visit his Facebook page for updates on the campaign.

It’s hay fever season in Southwest Ohio: 5 things you need to know

Published: Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 9:14 AM


The end of spring doesn’t mean your allergy struggles are over. Southwest Ohio is gearing up for another season of high pollen.

Ragweed allergen levels will be high, starting this week and could continue to be a problem for allergy sufferers until mid-October, according to local allergy experts. Pollen counts in the Miami Valley will be higher this week, and top allergens include ragweed, grasses and dock, according to pollen.com.

Here’s what to know about the high pollen counts:

1. HOW LONG DOES THE SEASON LAST? Dr. Arturo Bonnin of the Allergy and Asthma Centre of Dayton said ragweed season started this week and will continue through October. If the temperature stays warmer throughout the fall, the pollen season will last even longer. People who are allergic to ragweed or suffer from asthma should avoid outdoor activities and should keep their windows closed in their homes and their cars.

» RELATED: EpiPen prices anger parents of kids with allergies


There are 17 species of ragweed in the U.S., and the weeds grow in most regions — producing a fine-power pollen when they bloom from August through as late as November, according to the ACAAI. There are more than 67 million Americans suffering from different allergies every day.


Ragweed reaches peak levels in mid-September, and this type of pollen can cause seasonal allergic rhinitis — otherwise known as hay fever. Hay fever impacts up to 23 million Americans each year, and symptoms include sneezing, runny nose and itchy throat or eyes, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

» RELATED: Spring allergy season hits hard, early


The fall allergy season starts as students head back to school for the year. ACAAI officials advise that parents make sure their children have their allergies and asthma under control before sending them off to school, which includes securing medicine, inhalers and epinephrine auto-injectors for their classrooms.


“Keeping allergies and asthma under control during the school year is a huge challenge,” said allergist Stephen Tilles, president of the ACAAI. “If you plan in advance, and understand the school’s procedures that are in place to keep your child healthy, you’re ahead of the game. Remember to keep communication with the school open, and work with your child to know their triggers. If you do, you’ll be off to a great start to the school year.”


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Many schools view eclipse as learning opportunity

Published: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 @ 8:28 PM

Many school districts across the region are planning to turn Monday’s Great American Eclipse into a great learning opportunity.

Beavercreek City Schools is among about 20 districts to return to class today.

“Kids are excited, the staff is excited,” Superintendent Paul Otten said.

In addition to regular planning for the upcoming academic year, the district had to consider the Great American Eclipse. The district bought eclipse glasses earlier this summer.

“Every student and staff member in the district will be getting solar glasses,” which Otten said will be handed out Monday to the district’s staff and more than 7,800 students.

Teachers are enthusiastic about an interactive science lesson, the superintendent said.

“They saw it immediately as a learning experience for our kids, and instead of just trying to talk about it in the classroom, we wanted to give them an opportunity to get out and experience it firsthand,” Otten said.

Lena Ellis’ daughter started kindergarten today. “She’s so ready,” said Ellis, who admitted she is as well. “Mommy gets her break.”

She applauds the district for making sure science lessons on the eclipse will be safe.

“I think it’s wonderful they’ll keep their eyes protected,” Ellis said.

However, students must have parental permission to participate in outdoor eclipse activities. Letters will be sent home by the end of the week.

More eclipse-related news is on the News Center 7 website’s #SkyWitness7 page.

News Center 7 will livestream special eclipse coverage Monday on Facebook and www.whio.com. A special broadcast also will be on AM 1290 and 95.7 WHIO.

Senior living housing: Which is right for mom?

Published: Thursday, August 17, 2017 @ 8:04 AM

As Americans, we value our independence. So, it’s not surprising that your mom wants to maintain hers for as long as possible. However, lack of social support or a decline in physical mobility and health can make it a challenge for mom to stay in her home. Whether space or safety is the reason, making the decision to relocate mom into senior living housing can seem overwhelming. With so many senior living housing options available, which is the one that will most meet her needs? Click here to learn more about the different options and how to make the best decision for her.