[social_buttons] Kids enrolled in Wind for Schools shop classes in six Great Plains states (CO, ID, KS, MT, NE, SD) are learning hands-on to assist in assessment, design, and installation of small wind systems at their schools, with the goal of creating a knowledge base for wind energy within rural elementary and secondary schools through Wind Powering America.
The DOE is looking for proposals from wind companies who want to help out in expanding the program to six more states. You have till November 30 to get your bid in. And if you want to teach any aspects of this new shop class in wind, reach out to schools in these states.
For the kindergarten kids this is more on the show and tell level, but it gets much more technical through high school shop class.
By college level the program educates college students in wind energy applications with a focus on hands-on small wind project development through classes and field work in Plains States Wind Application Centers in Colorado State, Boise State, Idaho, Kansas U, Montana State, U of Nebraska, and South Dakota State U. Curricula is developed and shared, each typically focusing on specific technical areas that are the strengths of the respective professors.
At all levels the idea is to create a new generation able to enter the wind workforce in many different capacities, from engineering design to siting, installations and maintenance.
At the earliest level, the project must be easy enough so the kids can see how everything works, so for the Wind for School system the class monitors each step as a professional wind crew installs a 2.4 KW wind turbine on 60-ft tower. Each installation must also provide and display ongoing performance data so the kids can learn from their installs.
The turbine has to be small enough so the energy will benefit no more than the school, because the project is partly funded by DOE grants to provide renewable energy.
Each install costs up to $20,000, up to $10,000 of which is for equipment and other system-specific hardware. The host school typically pays up to $2,500. Sale of the environmental benefits (RECs) brings in about $2,500. State grants, local donations, equipment buy-down and the DOE grant provides the rest.
Image: Flikr user Extra Ketchup