High school students know how to produce alternative energy, and they are collecting data from their own wind farm. Sometimes that involves teacher Matt Mounts climbing a ladder and aiming a leaf blower at the blades of the 10 foot tall turbines.
At Yelm High School, the students are able to take a comprehensive course on renewable energy. “Gov. (Jay) Inslee actually came out and checked this out,” Mounts said.
The class lasts for a semester and is called Green Technology. It gives students an opportunity to produce alternative energy using solar panels, wind turbines, and biodiesel.
According to Teri Pablo, director of Career and Technical Education for Yelm Community Schools, each turbine and solar panel kit cost about $11,000. The total that the district paid for thye equipment was about $88,000.
“We had a grant that helped fund it,” she said.
The first part of the class covers electrical safety and basic wiring. Students research alternative energy options. There are plans to expand the class for a full year, as it is very popular. District officials hope to partner with Shoreline Community College so students can gain credits toward the college’s renewable energy program.