Hamilton High School science teacher Alan Simays wanted to provide his students with hands-on experiences related to wind turbines. We Energies wanted to build awareness among students about renewable energy and was willing to support teachers who could demonstrate it with real examples.
As a result of their mutual interests, Simays secured the first $1,500 grant from the We Energies Renewable Energy Education Program. At the June 2 Hamilton School Board meeting, Jacquelyn Haas from We Energies expressed gratitude to Simays for his work by extending the grant.
“I have enjoyed partnering with Hamilton and working with such a professional teacher who works so hard with his students to increase energy awareness,” Haas said as she handed a $1,000 check to Simays. Haas, a scientist responsible for We Energies Education Outreach Program, has been in Simays science classroom to present programs that promote in-depth knowledge of energy and how renewable energy electricity works.
Before receiving the original grant, Simays told School Board members that his initial lessons about wind turbines involved “raiding kitchen cabinets” to create small-scale turbines. The grant allowed him to purchase standard material and build additional turbines so students could experience the physics behind turbines. He set up an engineering competition in which students tested the apparatus.
“The kids loved it,” Simays said. “It was a win-win for everyone.”
Simays said the additional funding may allow him to explore solar energy concepts with students.