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Dedication of the WHS Alternative Energy Installation

On Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 10:30am, we celebrated the completion of a multi-year project to install a wind turbine, solar panels and weather station at Windham High School. The Endowment, partnering with WIRE (Windham Initiative for Renewal Energy), successfully raised $58,000 for the purchase and installation of this equipment, along with supporting software for use by students and faculty. Additionally, Boy Scout Troop 266 was a partner in this effort as the alternative energy installation was the site of an Eagle Scout Project.

Two original members of WIRE, Michelle Hutchings and Lisa Haswell, described WIRE and its “Alpha Project” this way:

WIRE was established to bring renewable energy education to our schools and our community. The first project is the installation of a 45-foot tall wind turbine that hinges down for student access, a set of photovoltaic cells at ground level for student research, a weather system that will provide the tracking and analyzing of wind and solar power, and computer monitoring systems that will provide detailed energy data. Our teachers will have the ability to take students to fully operational sites on campus where they can disassemble and rebuild the equipment that they hear about in the news, but have never had actual experience with before now. Students will acquire a complete understanding of the installation, maintenance and inner workings of what promises to be the next big job market.

The depth and breadth of value to our schools and to our community is impressive. Beyond the obvious science and technology opportunities, math teachers can have students gather data for real life math applications. English teachers will have a new resource for research relevant to the daily lives of their students, generating discussions and writing about the values in the choices we make. The possibilities are as extensive as our imaginations will carry us. Students will have the chance to experience education that is hands-on and of clear relevance to their future. It is endeavors such as this that attract the talented teachers that we have here in Windham.

The Windham Endowment wishes to thank our entire community for joining us at this event – members of WIRE, the Windham School Board and Administration, invited guests, and others – at which we dedicated this installation on behalf of the many supporters of this project and to the memory of Stephen O. Anderson.

Pictures from this event can be found on our Facebook page.

We thank you all for your generous support and participation!