High school students getting a charge out of renewable energy camp
Joe Terranova, an Alfred University electrical engineering master’s student, says he believes in educating students about what he calls “the wave of the future”: renewable energy.
Terranova, an Alfred University electrical engineering master’s student, says he believes in educating students about what he calls "the wave of the future": renewable energy.
"It’s becoming an even larger aspect of life," explains Terranova. "Energy demand is only going to increase. Different energy sources are going to be needed." Alfred University’s Inamori School of Engineering has put more focus on renewable energy by offering a minor in the field (with an application pending to make it a major by fall 2013) and introducing a brand-new renewable energy summer camp this year, July 22-26.
Terrnaova’s faculty advisor, associate electrical engineering professor Jalal Baghdadchi is overseeing the camp. Baghdadchi says the Office of Summer Programs requested the camp’s creation. "In this camp, they (students) design everything from the beginning. They do all the design and they shape all the materials."
Campers will design a small wind turbine that runs an electric motor in reverse to light a light bulb and using solar energy to power a small car. Classroom lessons will present students with real-world situations involving renewable energy and teach them what it takes to create power.
In these lessons, Baghdadchi says he will explain wind and solar energy theories that will help the students design their projects. "This is mostly practical and design oriented," explains Baghadchi. "They need to know the nature of the physics."
Baghdadchi, who has a particular interest in wind energy, says nation-wide interest in renewable energy has increased the need for students to learn about the topic. He says renewable energy designs allow for creativity. "It’s open-ended," says Baghdadchi. "The things they are building will be different are going to be their own design. The design, how they put it together and how they structure it, mostly likely will be different from one group to the other." Both instructors expect the students to gain insight into renewable energy from the camp. "I hope that they get a vision for the future," says Terrnaova.
"It will be fun," adds Baghdadchi.