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Kittitas Valley Wind Farm Hosts School Field Trip

Kittitas Valley Wind Farm Hosts School Field Trip

On May 28, employees at the Kittitas Valley Wind Farm hosted a Wind Day field trip on-site for 80 fifth grade students from Mount Stuart Elementary located in Ellensburg, Washington.

The students arrived at the site at 10 a.m. and were greeted by Eric Melbardis (Operations Manager, Kittitas Valley), who gave an introduction about both the site and the wind industry.  After answering many questions from the students, Eric directed the students to their first activity which was led by Ian McDonald, Suzlon Site Manager, who demonstrated the safety equipment and tools used when working with turbines.  After the demonstration, students watched as Matt Anderson (Site Lead Technician) called the Suzlon Monitoring Center and asked them to yaw the nearest turbine and pitch one of the blades, which the students were excited to see could be done remotely.

Next, the students were split into three groups and rotated through activities.  One group toured the O&M building while another group “climbed” a life-size turbine painted in the O&M yard, complete with pictures of the view from each level.  The third group visited a few different stations: one station consisted of model turbines, fans, and a digital multimeter that illustrated the energy turbines produce; the next station explored how much time items take to decompose in the environment; the third station centered around air pollution; and the last station had a set of three “solar ovens” made from cardboard, metal, and plastic, complete with digital thermometers.

Throughout the demonstrations and activities, students answered questions on their provided worksheets.  Prizes were awarded to students who filled out the worksheet and turned it in at school.

After the groups had rotated through each activity and eaten lunch, they boarded the buses to head back to school, concluding a successful first site field trip at the Kittitas Valley Wind Farm.  The students enjoyed their visit, and their teachers are excited for the schedule their next annual field trip.