Students See Hard Work Pay off with Wind Turbine

By: Amelia Nahmias Email
By: Amelia Nahmias Email

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Thomas Harrison Middle School students received a wind turbine thanks to money from the Merck Foundation, a past Project 3 grant and a school fundraiser.

The 61-foot long wind turbine was the product of a few students' hard work. John Devier-Scott, a science teacher, said the completed project will help get kids excited about learning.

"Get students involved in designing, building, kind of the engineering,” said Devier-Scott, “So this gives them an opportunity to see how something comes together as well."

Genevieve Cowardin is an 8th grade member of the ecology club, where the whole idea for the turbine happened.

"We had to present in front of the school board twice, I was there both times. And that was fun and also really nerve racking," said Genevieve.

She said all the years of hard work and preparation were worth it.

"To me its important because it's proving that even though we're kids, we can still make a difference, and it's really exciting."

The turbine won't produce much energy, so it will mostly be for educational purposes.

"Math applications, graphing, I think there's a lot of ways we'll be able to use it. That's our next challenge, to put all the together," said Devier-Scott.

Devier-Scott said the experience would make a lasting impression on the students.

"The really great thing is looking at student involvement. You know they got to see something that they worked on and sought through to completion. That's something that they'll remember for a long time."

Genevieve described what it was like to see the project completed.

"It's so amazing,” said Genevieve, “It's just really a very exciting time for me. I've been waiting and waiting for this to happen."

Thomas Harrison's ecology club is already talking about some smaller projects. Members of the club said next year, they will start on another big project.

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