Wind, sun energize Emerging Sectors curriculum at OSTC Northwest

On Wednesday, May 26, Oakland Schools
administrators, teachers and students from the Oakland Schools Technical
Campus
Northwest (8211 Big Lake Road,
Clarkston) cut the ribbon and officially kicked off the use of two
exciting new
learning tools at the Clarkston campus. The new wind turbine and solar
panels
are being used primarily for training on solar and wind power systems.
The
systems are also estimated to offset or produce approximately 6,000
kilowatt
hours per year, the equivalent of offsetting 10,000 lbs of carbon, or
550
gallons of gasoline, or providing power for 185 average size homes for a
day.
The system has been designed to tie in with the DTE grid, so energy will
be fed
back to the grid at times when all the generated power is not required.

Prior to requesting board approval to
purchase the wind
turbine and solar panels, Oakland Schools began aligning OSTC
Engineering and
Emerging Technology (EET) cluster curriculum goals to Oakland County’s
emerging
sectors program, designed to attract 21st Century businesses to Oakland
County.
The Alternative Energy and Power Generation sector, in particular, was
targeted
because most of the skill sets needed for success were already being
taught,
including electronics, design, engineering process, quality testing, and
fabrication. In addition, the physics principles needed for success in
this
sector were already integrated into the instruction for this cluster.
Another
reason for selecting the Alternative Energy and Power Generation Sector
was the
tremendous employment growth potential.

Students enrolled in EET courses at OSTC
Northwest will,
upon successful completion of Critical Work Functions (CWF), be prepared
to
successfully execute major job functions for related occupations.
Students will
learn:

  • Wind
    energy, electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic theory
  • How to
    apply physics principles
  • How to
    design and test rotor blades
  • How to
    determine site selection
  • How to
    calculate and monitor power output
  • How to
    inspect, troubleshoot and repair wind turbine parts
  • How
    solar energy is created, applied, stored, and applied
  • How to
    design, inspect and replace solar panels
  • How to
    adjust solar panels to optimize power output
  • And
    more.

Among those in attendance for the ribbon
cutting was David
Hoffman, a 2006 OSTC Northwest graduate who is now an employee of Oak
Electric,
the company that installed the wind turbine and solar panels. Hoffman
spent a
year in the OSTC electrical program and is now part of the growing green
economy.

Oakland Schools operates four Technical
Campuses in
Clarkston, Pontiac, Royal Oak, and Wixom. The campuses provide
practical career technical education to high school students from
Oakland County’s 28 public school districts,
public academies, private learning institutions and home schools.
Enrolled
students spend part of their day studying at their home district and the
other
part actively involved in one of several career clusters. For more
information
on the Oakland Schools Technical Campuses, please visit www.ostconline.com.