Westar Energy's Education Station features a substation and other educational resources that help students learn more about the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Built in partnership with Topeka Public Schools, it is the first addition to the Kanza Education and Science Park.
As part of a major system upgrade, this single state-of-the-art substation has replaced five substations that were more than 60 years old. It provides residents of Topeka with reliable electric service and supports economic growth and development in Shawnee County as demand for electricity continues to grow.
The substation is surrounded by unique fencing that allows students and other park visitors to see into the facility. The equipment inside the fence is painted in bright colors to make it easy for students to identify, and color-coded posters describe equipment functions in detail.
A covered pavilion serves as an outdoor classroom and gives students a great view of the substation.
A nearby 100-kilowatt, 160-foot-tall wind turbine presents teachers with an opportunity to discuss renewable energy and conservation with students. The wind turbines also power lights at the pavilion.
A footpath leads from the front of the substation to the pavilion. The path is lined with a combination of fly ash and bottom ash from the Jeffrey Energy Center. It's a great example of how a by-product from a coal plant can be used in construction materials.
Topeka public schools plans to convert a dairy barn at the site into a learning center with interactive exhibits about electricity and renewable energy.
Kanza Education and Science Park
I-70 & MacVicar Ave.
Topeka, KS 66606
The Education Station is open to the public 365 days a year. School field trips are always welcome.
Contact Gina Scali with USD 501 at 785-438-5802 or by email.
You can also contact Larry Robbins with USD 501 at 785-295-3063 or by email.