EcoTrack 11: Clay students assess impact of wind energy

Reported by Chris Vickers email
Posted by Kate Oatis email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - New ideas for alternative energy rest heavily on the youngest members of our community. Some local students are taking that responsibility very seriously.

The students at Clay High School are using their own wind turbine to assess both the positive and potential negative environmental impact wind energy can have in Northwest Ohio.

"What we have now is a system that draws power from our turbine or draws power from the grid," said Dennis Slotnick, a teacher at Clay. "The goal for this class is for students to see many sides of an issue and to be able to articulate many sides of an issue."

The students are learning how to answer the tough questions.

"If we say wind energy is useful and effective, well, how useful and effective, what percent of our household can be supplied? Now you have a basis for an opinion about wind," Slotnick said.

When doing this type of experiment, students can see how much energy is produced compared to how much they use.

"I think I am a lot more aware of energy use, a lot more prone to turn off lights now," said Jacob Kelly, a student at Clay.

"It's really great because we can come out here instead of just sitting in the classroom reading a book," said student Ashley Gill.

This project has taught the students to think beyond today's practices, toward more eco-friendly means of energy.

"It's a seed for the future," Slotnick said.

Future plans include the construction of more wind turbines, not just an example of green energy use, but a continuing learning experience.