The Chase STEM Academy can soon "harness the wind" thanks to a partnership between Toledo Public Schools and Lourdes College. Having received STEM status for its dedication to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Chase was awarded a $10,000 BP A+ for Energy Education Grant in 2009 to promote the creation and use of alternative energy sources.

"The 'harness the wind' program will allow our fourth through sixth grade students to be more observant of the world around them and learn how our environment can provide energy opportunities for us now and in the future," offers Andrea Bennett, Science Support Specialist at Chase STEM Academy.

"While we were excited to begin the project, we realized that the major component – a wind turbine – would cost us an additional $2,500. Without Lourdes' assistance, this project could not have been realized."

This spring, students will gain knowledge of how a wind turbine is designed and constructed and learn how windmills and wind turbines work. Once the turbine is completed, the learning opportunities will continue.

Learning opportunities

  • Hands-on learning experiences in science, math, social studies and reading curricula
  • Appreciation and understanding of alternative energy sources and the scientists and engineers who work on wind technology
  • Working with real data of weather measurements and understanding how weather is tracked
  • Graphing and analyzing results of experiments
  • Calculating the weight that is lifted by designed windmills
  • Using knowledge of weather to examine how wind energy can be used as a source of renewable energy
  • Learning how "harnessing the wind" from a turbine can power a greenhouse and in turn, grow food and plants for the local community

"We are continuing to explore additional benefits of the partnership," adds Mary Arquette, Vice President for Institutional Advancement. "Lourdes Education students will be one of the beneficiaries. Through in-service teaching, students will learn first-hand how to teach and craft lesson plans for alternative energy sources."

Michael French, PhD, Lourdes Associate Chair for Graduate & Professional Studies, will continue to work with Chase STEM Academy faculty and staff to develop a robust educational partnership for elementary and college students alike.

The Toledo Public Schools expect to power up to two classrooms with the turbine which is scheduled to be constructed later this spring.