FIRE Summit students focused on sustainability

Published: Apr. 16, 2019 at 5:54 PM EDT
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Students attending the 10th annual FIRE Summit at the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center Tuesday were given a platform to display their work and talents.

The summit, hosted by Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative, is meant to shine a light on the innovators present in the rural school systems. The FIRE (Forging Innovation in Rural Education) Summit divides students into different "villages" based upon the educational principles present in their project.

This year, among a host of STEM and entrepreneurial projects, many students were focused on helping the region.

The "Tiny House Village" was made up of tiny houses that were built by students in nine different counties. The homes brought together STEM and business principles and will be auctioned off to the community.

Phelps High School sophomore Christian Land said he feels blessed to be a part of a project that can help others.

"I think it's special because, coming from a small community like Phelps, we don't really have a lot. And (we're) just trying to give people something that's meaningful," Land said.

Another student who said he feels blessed to help others is Jackson City's Micah Henson.

Henson is part of an agriculture class that presented its farmers' market at the FIRE Summit.

Students in the class grow, raise and make their own foods. Those foods have been sold to faculty and staff within the school over the years. The students quickly sold out of their items at the summit, which they considered a good sign.

"Knowing that we did that, and knowing that everything that we like to eat, we can do it on our own. It's just a great feeling, knowing that you can do something that tastes so good. You can help anybody," Henson said.

Henson thanked his teacher, Britni Back, for helping the students achieve their goals and making the class exceed their expectations. He said the group hopes to sell items at their local farmers' market soon.

More information about the FIRE Summit and the tiny house initiative is available at

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