Can Wind Compete With Solar? The Ultimate High School Engineering Project
Look no further than Sylvania Northview High School in Toledo, Ohio for the ultimate in Engineering classes. The kids already installed solar panels last year to power an electric Hummer, and now they want to know if wind energy can compete with solar energy in the Toledo area. Last year, the class wrote a $10,000 grant for BP to purchase the 60-foot wind turbine. On December 11th, Ohio Wind Energy helped raise the tower, and the students will now begin working on attaching the turbine to the grid. The plan is to put the blades on in the spring, and then, if everything’s in order, flip the switch and watch the lights turn on.
Students are excited about the project and the teacher is learning the technology right along with them. Talk about empowering the kids. Considering that having “hands-on” experience is a requirement to become a NABCEP-certified solar installer, this is a big step for any of those students looking in that direction as a career path. Perhaps even more amazing is that this is a high school. I was never interested in engineering in high school, but given this as a credit option, I would have been all over it. Also, as far as transcripts go, building and installing renewable energy will definitely turn a few heads when it comes to applying for college.
When the power from the panels or the tower isn’t being used to charge up the Hummer, it goes into the school’s electric grid, so none of it gets wasted. Not a bad thing for the school either, since future projects could include fitting the whole school with solar power, saving electrical costs for the district and really brightening all of their students’ futures. Northview definitely has one hands-on classroom and a very innovative teacher to lead the way towards our greener future. I’d love to see more of this.
Source & Photos: ABClocal.go.com
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