The KidWind Project, a team of teachers, engineers and scientists committed to promoting the elegance of wind power through affordable tools and training programs, sponsored Wind Masters Training from July 7-11, 2008 in Morrisville, NY, an intensive training for a diverse group of accomplished teachers from all over NYS. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) funded the training.
According to Michael Arquin, KidWind’s director, the Wind Master Trainers was the culmination of 12 months of planning and collaboration with a number of partners. In addition to NYSERDA, important collaborators included SUNY Morrisville and the Fenner Renewable Energy (FREE) Center.
Workshop attendees heard from small wind experts like installer Roy Butler, Four Winds; and Jim Hall and Brad Jones from Cohocton Wind Watch on opposition to wind energy development in NYS.
James Juzak and Gary Gazaille, technology teachers from Upstate New York, discussed their innovative program middle and high school technology students building small (100w – 1000w turbines) from scratch.
For this project, each teacher receives a $2,500 budget to hold 1-2 KidWind training events in their region during the next academic year. “These trainings can consist of presentations at state teacher conferences events, full or half day teacher workshops at their schools or other training opportunities,” said Arquin. “Teachers have been given wide latitude in how they present the subject matter and what groups they will choose to engage.”
Some of the trainers plan to hold workshops as partners to help boost their skills before going out on their own. Teachers need to schedule their events by the end of August.
The Wind Masters initiated a discussion concerning the NYS Wind Turbine Challenge. “As a group, we’ll start clarifying the rules for this competition and coordinating an advisory committee to get this project off the ground,” said Arquin. “We hope to have articulated rules and details for these events by October.”
IREC will feature an in-depth interview with Arquin later this Fall.