Central High students build and sell energy efficient items as part of new program

Central High School students make solar cookers to sell to the community. (Image: WTVC)

Chattanooga students are learning lifelong skills while making energy efficient projects to be sold to the local community.

It's part of a new program at Central High School called Next Generation Sustainable Living.

It's taught by Jerry Webb. He has more than 20 years experience teaching in the MEPS field, which stands for mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

Students were making solar cookers when we visited.

"They're taking old satellite dishes and converting them into solar cookers, and they're going to be able to sell them at a much more affordable price," Webb said.

They start with sanding down the satellite dishes, then add a reflective coating and a mounting system.

When finished, the cookers will harness the sun's energy to be able to cook food. They will be sold for $100, which Webb says is much less than the average price for a new one.

"Everything we do has a renewable sustainability twist to it. I'm a big believer in re-purposing materials and not adding to what's already out there."

The students are also building a tiny house, using a model provided by TVA.

After the projects are finished, the students work with a nationwide group called the Real World Scholars project to market and sell their items.

They use a trailer, also provided by TVA, to take their projects to different schools and show off how they're made.

Jerry's goal is for his students to leave high school with practical skills they can use long after they graduate.

"I've learned skills that are going to help me throughout my life," student Tyler Hindman said.

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