Students Unveil New Wind Turbine At Scranton High School

June 6, 2019 GMT

SCRANTON — Scranton High School evacuated the building for a lesson on renewable energy Thursday.

Students — who raised money and promoted the benefits of wind turbines — are big fans.

The school’s 1,800 students gathered around the new wind turbine at Memorial Stadium to learn more about the project, which will generate energy and money for future plans.

“Just to see it up here, it’s awesome,” said senior Aidan Drouse, who helped lead the efforts. “I’m so proud to actually have this happen.”

Environmental science teacher Kevin Kays and former students had hoped to install the wind turbine four years ago, but district funding fell through. Last year, students told Kays they wanted to have the blades spinning before graduation this month.

“These kids gave me energy,” Kays said. “They were so enthusiastic. They wanted to see it happen.”

The wind turbine club collected money on dress-down days, organized a 5-kilometer race, sold donuts and designed T-shirts with the slogan “Renewable energy @SHS... I’m a big fan.”

Forty-five feet above the main entrance at Memorial Stadium, the Skystream 3.7 turbine can generate up to 2.4 kilowatts per hour, which will go back into the grid.

While the turbine will never produce as much energy that is used at Scranton High and Memorial Stadium, the district will save several hundred dollars a year, Kays said. That money will be set aside for a fund to use for turbine maintenance or other environmental science projects.

The school can access data from the turbine, which then can be used in classes such as physics, general science or math.

Kays estimates the total cost of the project would have been between $28,000 and $30,000, but thanks to donated labor and equipment, the total cost was about $17,000 or $18,000. Union electricians and carpenters donated time. Businesses provided equipment, expertise and labor, including digging a hole 10 feet deep and 3 feet wide and the use of a crane to lift the pole. Scranton Central High School’s Class of 1963 donated $4,000, with several other groups and businesses providing financial assistance.

Club members signed a construction hardhat for Kays, the “project manager.”

Jack Joyce graduated last year but came back Thursday to see the finished project.

“I’m really proud,” he said. “A lot of hard work went into this.”

Senior Kayla Walsh said she hopes the turbine can serve as an example for others.

“I think it’s an amazing thing to have clean energy at the school,” she said. “Our planet is dying. We need to save it.”

Contact the writer: shofius@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9133; @hofiushallTT on Twitter