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Schools selected for wind energy project


The Kansas Rural Center and Kansas Wind Applications Center at Kansas State University announce the selection of five more primary and secondary schools to receive a Skystream 3.7 wind turbine as part of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Wind for Schools initiative.

The schools selected for this round of funding include: Colby County Community College (associated with surrounding school districts); Hope Street Academy, Topeka; Solomon School District, USD 393, Solomon; Appanoose Elementary, Franklin County; and Smoky Valley School District, USD 400, Lindsborg.

This program, which is led by Coordinator Dan Nagengast, with KRC, and Ruth Douglas Miller at KSU's WAC, places five of these small, 1.9kW wind turbines at schools throughout Kansas each year for three years.

The Wind for Schools 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 WFS 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.

"Our children's world will be powered mostly by renewable energy sources. Growing up understanding the benefits, and challenges, of renewable energy, will help them design the technologies that their children will use," Nagengast said.

Applications were solicited through the K-12 school districts' communications networks, through the Kansas Association of Teachers in Science, and by word of mouth. Schools were selected on the basis of a good wind site and strong community, school administrative and science teacher support.

There are now eight turbines installed and functioning, with the latest installed at Blue Valley High School. Schools selected during the 2008 year that have continued with the project include: Rolla, USD 217; Blue Valley/Randolph, USD 384, Randolph Middle School, and Greenbush.

Schools selected in 2007 include: Fairfield High School, USD 310, Langdon; Concordia School District, USD 333, Concordia; Ell-saline School District, USD 307, Brookville; Sterling School District, USD 376, Sterling; and Walton Rural Life Charter Elementary, Newton School District, USD 373, Walton.

While the project is in its third and final year, Nagengast said he hopes the project will be able to continue beyond this year, contingent upon new funding.

For more information on the Wind for Schools project please visit www.eece.ksu.edu/psg/wac/. Or, contact Ruth Miller at 785-532-4596 or rdmiller@ksu.edu; or Dan Nagengast at 785-748-0959 or nagengast@earthlink.net.

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