May 20, 2014

Fifth graders learn about wind and solar energy

Students at Tannahill Intermediate School built model turbines during science class

Fifth-grade students at Tannahill Intermediate School in west Fort Worth Tuesday learned about wind turbines and using the power of wind to generate electricity.

“Wind is out there, why not use it?” asked Deval Allums, a sales executive with Siemens Industries, who visited the class for a sustainability lesson Tuesday.

Siemens Industries has partnered with White Settlement schools to provide more efficient energy. The partnership has brought the company into classrooms.

All fifth grade students at Tannahill participated in the program, called Green Footprints. Some students built solar panels, while others built turbines, said Desiree Coyle, spokeswoman for the district.

“This is all about exposing our kids to renewable energy sources and sustainable energy sources,” Allums said.

Students put together miniature versions of the turbines at wind farms in West Texas, Allums said.

“Bringing it into the classroom shows the kids that this is technology that exists today — this is technology they can understand and build on,” she said. “They are actually powering a light source and a music source using wind energy.”

Deven Williams, 11, said he learned a lot about wind energy and the professionals who work with turbines. He finished the lesson with a new understanding of how the turbine generator works. Asked if he wants to be a wind engineer, Williams was matter-of-fact: “I’m more of a software engineer kind of guy.”

— Diane Smith

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