Girl power
The 3rd place team of Emily Gareau (GDHS), Madison MacLeod (GDHS), Bryanna Boer (Tagwi) and Paige Moores-McNicol (Tagwi) had a 64 mV output and 118 total points. The team used plastic spoons to make the turbine blades.     Sawyer Helmer photo

The winning team from the wind turbine building competition for Tagwi and GDHS was, from left, Carl Marfurt-Breakenridge (GDHS), Zac L’Ecuyer (Tawgi) and Markus Gandia (GDHS). Their turbine produced a voltage output of 138mV and received a total of 128 points from the judges. Courtesy photo

Kalynn Sawyer Helmer
Record Staff
ALEXANDRIA – Just before March Break, Glengarry District High School (GDHS) teacher Lindsey Howes and Tagwi Secondary School teacher Linzi Leclerc were discussing how to develop skills for students when they enter into the workforce. “With pretty much any job, you need to talk to people that aren’t on site by using Skype or email and you need to collaborate with people that you might not necessarily know. We decided it would be great to have Tagwi students pair with Glengarry students to develop those communication and collaboration skills,” Howes explained.

Skills Ontario got involved after Howes mentioned the project to Lori Carlisle, UCDSB Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) lead. Skills Ontario has traditionally only done projects for Grades 9 through 12 but are starting to work with the Grade 7 and 8 students. “That is where the wind turbine piece came in and that fits into Grade 7 and 8 science and geography. They also had to create a report that is in both English and French, so we got some language skills in there as well,” said Howes.

The students’ objective was to use their knowledge from class discussions to collaborate, plan and develop a design for a wind turbine that would have a base of 12×12 in., and the mid-point of the fan would stand no higher than 40 cm., from the top of the desk. “We started just before March Break in our science and geography classes talking about the concepts of sustainability, green energy and quality of life in geography, and in science we have been talking about structures, different fan blades, electrical outputs. We also went to the shop classes to do some tech safety,” Howes said.

The actual building competition took place at GDHS on Fri., April 6 and students had two hours before lunch followed by 30 minutes after. Howes said there were firm deadlines and no exceptions for working extra time. She went on to say that the teachers have been impressed by their students during the whole process. “One of the biggest things was the connections they have been able to make with the workforce. We had some groups where people were really prepared and others weren’t so there has been a lot of great learning about being prepared or not and how that makes you feel and how that makes your group feel. There is a lot of great problem-solving, by going through the design process and [augmenting the design with that collaboration]. Today when they were actually building they had to figure out the best use of their time,” she explained. The project also served as a way for students to make connections to trade jobs and realize more opportunities once they are finished their schooling.

In order to determine the winner, 10 judges from the area evaluated the groups on their design, construction and oral presentation. Other judges measured voltage output of the machines. Judges included: Jeff Manley, Township of North Glengarry; Frank Hakvoort, farmer from North Stormont; Helena MacCuaig, North Glengarry community member; Tim Power, retired science teacher; Dwayne Lowe, retired tech teacher; Babs McLeod, retired intermediate teacher; Mike Metcalfe, Cornwall and Area Chamber of Commerce; Eric MacSweyn, Hydro One Representative; Lori Carlisle, UCDSB Skills Ontario Coordinator and Katherine Adams, GDHS guidance teacher. The voltage output judges were: Jamie Poulin, Tagwi technology teacher and Ryan Winter, GDHS technology teacher.

The winners for total points in all categories were: Carl Marfurt-Breakenridge (GDHS), Markus Gandia (GDHS) and Zac L’Ecuyer (Tagwi) in first place with 138 mV output and 128 total points. Second place was Kayla McPherson (GDHS), Bridan Russett (GDHS) and Jacob MacDonell (Tagwi) with 150 mV output and 120.7 total points. Third place was Emily Gareau (GDHS), Madison MacLeod (GDHS), Bryanna Boer (Tagwi) and Paige Moores-McNicol (Tagwi) with 64 mV output and 118 total points.