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Area educators can apply for Lignite Education Seminar

The Lignite Energy Council is again offering its Teacher Education Seminar to elementary, middle and high school teachers in North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana, according to a news release from the Beltrami Electric Cooperative.

The 2010 Lignite Teacher Education Seminar, "Energy, Economics and Environment," will be held June 14-17 at Bismarck State College in Bismarck, N.D., will offer two graduate credits and four days of instruction, hands-on activities and facility tours.

Teachers who attend the seminar and complete a lesson plan can chose one of three North Dakota universities from which to receive their graduate credits from: University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University or Minot State University. The Lignite Energy Council is providing sponsorships for North Dakota teachers, and out-of-state teachers are eligible to receive scholarships from sponsoring utilities.

Teachers from all grade levels can to apply to the program.

Application materials will be sent to teachers and schools throughout the region, and applications are to be returned by April 15. For details, visit

"Educators are encouraged to register early because space is limited and the seminar fills up quickly," said Renee Walz, Lignite Energy Council director of member services and education. "Each year the seminar includes a variety of speakers and different tours. We encourage teachers who have taken the seminar several years ago to consider taking it again if a refresher is needed."

Last year, the seminar expanded to four days, which provides more time for additional topics, and teachers have the opportunity to receive two graduate credits.

On the third day of the seminar, attendees will tour a lignite mine, a power plant fueled by lignite and the Great Plains Synfuels Plant. In addition, teachers will tour the visitors center at Fort Mandan, near Washburn, N.D., where the Lewis and Clark Expedition spent its first winter. The visitors center was constructed with the use of coal combustion by products.

The Lignite Energy Council is a trade association that represents more than 350 companies that are involved in the region's energy industry. Each year, about 30 million tons of lignite are produced in North Dakota and converted to electricity, synthetic natural gas, fertilizer and other products. The industry supports about 28,000 employees in North Dakota and is responsible for about $3 billion in economic activity in the state.