Lakeshore Catholic, Notre Dame high school students place third at competition

May 1, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

The future of wind energy was in the spotlight at the WindENG2014 High School Wind Energy Design Competition on April 25 at Guelph University.

Students from Lakeshore Catholic and Notre Dame high schools teamed up to win third overall and capture the best craftsmanship award.

Notre Dame students Alex Hoelzli, Jesse Maurice and Corey Sciarra along with their Lakeshore teammates Michael Rezner and Domenic Magazzeni constructed an energy-generating wind turbine that used a DC motor as the generator. The DC motor relies on magnetic force to operate.

“It’s important to make it as light weight as possible and innovative. There are more points for innovative-design than the traditional windmills,” said Hoelzli.

The Swamp Power team also faced an interview component and were judged on their use of recycled materials.

The wind turbine was placed in a wind tunnel – a piece of equipment that produces constant air speed within a contained space.

The wind turbine took the students about 80 extra-curricular hours to complete. It combined three programs together, including wood shop, metal shop and video.

“We put a lot of time into this. Half of the project was in design and the other half was testing it and revamping it to make it as light as possible,” said Hoelzli.

Harnessing wind energy is an exciting prospect that provides solutions to the province’s energy needs, said Lakeshore teacher Mike Stevenson.

“It’s exciting to go to the competition and see what the students have been working so hard on be recognized and work,” said Stevenson.

The government has recently decided to open net metering to the general public to help make clean renewable energy more accessible to all.

“The purpose of this competition is to promote interest for environmentally sound alternative energy solutions and foster engineering design skills,” Stevenson said.

Hoelzli and Sciarra will be moving on to the Ontario Technological Skills Competition, May 5 to 7 at Rim Park in Waterloo.

“We go into that competition as individuals and we don’t know what we have to construct until the day of the competition,” said Hoelzli.

Both Hoelzli and Sciarra attended Skills Ontario last year and both finished fifth in their respective categories.

“My goal is to do better than that this year. I have to do better than that this time around,” said Hoelzli.

melissa.mangelsen@sunmedia.ca

Thursday, May 1, 2014

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