Now They're Teaching Wind Power

The Kansas Wind for Schools program and the Wind Applications Center at Kansas State University (KSU) selected several schools to each receive a Skystream 3.7 wind turbine as part of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Wind for Schools initiative. The small, 1.8-kilowatt turbines will become part of the curriculum at the schools. This is the first round of the three-year program. If all goes as planned, the program will place five turbines each year for the next two years at more schools.

The rural schools or districts selected to receive the initial turbines include the Concordia School District, USD 333, Cloud County; Walton Rural Life Charter Elementary School, Newton School District, USD 373, Harvey County; Fairfield High School, USD 310, Reno County; Sterling School District, USD 376, Rice County; and Ell-Saline School District, USD 307, Saline County. The schools were selected because they are good wind sites and have strong community and school administrative and science teacher support, said Dan Nagengast of the Kansas Rural Center and coordinator of Kansas Wind for Schools.

In addition to the turbines, the Kansas Wind Applications Center will install an anemometer tower, which will measure the force or speed of wind, and instrumentation at the Southeast Kansas Educational Service Center in Greenbush, said Ruth Douglas Miller, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at KSU.

“The anemometer data will be available for student to student and to determine if Greenbush also is an acceptable turbine site,” Miller said.

The program aims to train young engineers for jobs in the rapidly growing wind industry and to increase public awareness and understanding of wind power. Schools receiving the turbines are expected to incorporate education about wind energy into their science curricula, including how turbines work and how to collect, process and understand the data the turbines will provide.

Nagengast said he expects the second round of proposals for wind turbines to open in January 2008.   EC

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