Over the past five months students of NMS and MOHC have been working hard on their year-long renewable energy project, Designing Renewable Energy Systems. Our senior high students have been working hard, designing and building an outdoor eco-classroom, which will be an outdoor learning space for all students of our school. The eco-classroom will be used for a variety of experiments and learning activities related to science and the natural environment. It will also be used to help our school community learn about renewable energy, as students are designing various renewable energy systems to provide energy to our outdoor learning space. For this project, students are divided into three teams - Team Solar, Team Wind and Team Biogas. Once students design and build their renewable energy systems, they will be required to test each for their effectiveness. They will then make a recommendation to the Village of Myrnam about what sources of renewable energy are most practical for our community. Students are also hoping to make the eco-classroom net zero by the end of the school year.
Although last week was a week without classes for the senior high due to semester break, that did not stop several students from coming in throughout the week to work on various projects related to the renewable energy project and eco-classroom. Four grade ten students, who are studying biofuel and its potential to create renewable energy for our school and community, came in for two days last week to start work on building their biogas digester. After much research, they created a design for a small model of a biogas digester. The smaller scale will allow them to test their design and make changes as necessary to improve its efficiency. After the testing is complete, they will make modifications and build a larger digester to use in powering our eco-classroom. Their initial model is fairly simple, though it required them to design and 3D print a couple of pieces for their final design. Stay tuned in the coming weeks to learn more about how their biogas system works!
Throughout the week, grade twelve student MacKenzie Evans also came in and volunteered to help with building our school’s eco-classroom. She worked diligently on constructing roof trusses, which were designed by several of our junior and senior high construction students. The eco-classroom construction is going well and should soon be finished, thanks to the dedicated work of students like MacKenzie.
Another one of our students, Trey Hardcastle, a skilled welder, volunteered to come in on one of his off days during semester break to do some fabrication for Team Solar. Team Solar is responsible for designing a solar array, which will provide power to our eco-classroom. They are designing a system where our solar panels will be mounted on dual-axis trackers, which will allow them to follow the sun throughout the sky during the day, maximizing their efficiency. Trey created the metal mounts during his day of volunteering at the school.
On Monday January 28th, the junior high students also participated in a build-day for our renewable energy project. The grade seven and eight classes, who are members of Team Wind, started to construct their wind turbines with a variety of materials based on their designs. Grade sevens were required to design the towers for the turbines, while the grade eights had to design the turbines themselves. The grade sevens used a variety of materials for their towers, including wood, PVC pipe and 3D printed plastic. The eights also used a variety of materials for the turbines, including several very unique 3D printed designs. Their work on the turbines required a high degree of collaboration, as students had to work in teams to combine their towers with the turbines.
As a school staff, it is a pleasure to work with such dedicated, creative students on a daily basis. We can’t wait to see what their finished products can do!