Hundreds of New Trier High School students will have the chance to study wind energy up close thanks to an Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation grant that will fund the installation of a wind turbine at the school’s Northfield Campus.
New Trier applied for the competitive grant in February, estimating the project would cost $18,990. The ICECF agreed to pay 90 percent of the cost or up to $20,000, whichever is less.
“New Trier appreciates the support of the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation in giving our science and math students and environmental clubs the chance to see how wind energy is harnessed and used,” said District 203 Superintendent Linda Yonke.
“This type of first-hand data collection is an invaluable part of our curriculum,” she added.
The ICECF also awarded in 2009 New Trier a grant to install solar panels on the roof at the Winnetka Campus.
And since then, hundreds of students in the school’s environmental geoscience, astronomy, and advanced placement environmental science classes have used the data collected by these panels to help design an “off-the-grid” house, study seasonal changes in power output, build solar-powered cars and conduct other research related to solar power.
New Trier plans to use the wind turbine to further enhance its environmental science curriculum. The turbine system will include an internet-based monitoring component that allows students to observe, in real time, how the wind produces electricity through a renewable process.
The school expects to have the turbine in place by next 2011. Science faculty members and students will observe the installation and the school will also photograph the installation process for future classroom presentations.
Science faculty members also will participate in a training session about
wind power and the turbine system.
For more information about the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, visit http://www.illinoiscleanenergy.org/