RMS Hosts Wind Turbine Workshop

Old Rochester Superintendent of Schools Mike Nelson and Rochester Memorial School Principal Heidi Letendre are pleased to share that Rochester Memorial School fourth-graders participated in an interactive wind turbine workshop last month.

            In March, teacher Stephanie Cyr and her fourth-grade class welcomed special guests Tom Lynch and Jason Brooks, the father of fourth-grade student Nicholas Brooks. Both Lynch and Brooks are experts from the Axess Group, a renewable energy corporation.

            “We are very fortunate to have had a visit from two experts in the renewable energy field,” said Nelson. “This visit not only enhances students understanding of sustainable practices but also inspires them to become future leaders in environmental renewable energy.”

            Throughout the interactive workshop, students learned about the various components of a wind turbine and how they function to harness energy. Students learned about Lynch’s and Brooks’ involvement working on one of the first offshore windfarms in the U.S., Vineyard Wind.

            They were shown job site photos of the different equipment parts used to make the wind turbines. Students learned that the enormous blades, which were described as being 50 feet longer than a football field can reach up to speeds of 180 miles per hour.

            The highlight of the day was a hands-on activity where students had the opportunity to construct their own miniature wind turbines. The students were divided into groups to assemble their model turbines. After completing their designs, the class engaged in a friendly competition to see which group of students could optimize their turbine’s performance to generate the most energy.

            “As a school, we are very grateful that Mr. Brooks and Mr. Lynch, from Axess Group, took the time to share their expertise on wind turbines with Mrs. Cyr’s fourth grade class,” Letendre said. “The students were completely engaged in the scientific process of making predictions, testing their hypothesis and problem solving together as a team. These real-world experiences are so important for our students to make connections to what engineering looks like in our everyday lives.”

            Students placed their turbine designs in front of an industrial fan and watched the digital reading on the nacelle, which houses all of the generating components in a wind turbine, including the generator, gearbox and drive train.

            “The opportunity for our students to engage with real-world experts like Jason and Tom is truly enriching,” said Cyr. “Not only did they learn about wind turbines, but they also experienced firsthand the thrill of scientific discovery and collaboration.”

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