Wild Horse Solar and Wind Facility Field Trip

By Jenna Richter | December 9, 2016 | Uncategorized

fullsizerender

Ever since the election, my students have had a lot of concern for our country.  We have worked on a garbage pick up project and collected hundreds of pounds of food but they still feel worried.   This kind of concern for our world will help them to become advocates for the environment and folks who need a little help but their shoulders are too narrow to hold the weight of the world.

Whenever the world gets scary, I always think of Mr. Rogers, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers.  You will always find people who are helping.”  It’s time for us to see the helpers, those who are the everyday heroes planning for a better future.  When Hanni suggested a trip to the wind and solar facility that towers over our town, I thought it was a perfect idea, we could see things going on right now, in our community, that are part of the solution.

We knew it would be 20 degrees with 20 mph winds but we weren’t deterred.  We bundled up and made the treck.  Snow was in the forecast for later in the day but it looked like we would beat the storm.

We started our tour in the visitor center. The trip from cars to the front door was intense! We had gusts of up to 40mph.
We started our tour in the visitor center. The trip from cars to the front door was intense! We had gusts of up to 40mph.

 

We enjoyed an amazing presentation in the conference room which detailed what causes wind, costs of the wind and solar facility, the history of windmills, how the turbines work, how the site was prepared and the process of construction.  Did you know the site is 11,000 acres and home to a rare hedgehog cactus?   Next, we suited up in safety gear and got ready to caravan over to the tower to take a look inside.

img_1933

We learned about some of the additional safety gear the technicians use when they work in and on the windmills.

img_1937

 

The wind practically blew us over!
The wind practically blew us over!

 

We scrambled down the path and into the tower.
We scrambled down the path and into the tower.

 

Our guide showed us the controls to make an emergency stop, the system to make technicians 125 pounds ligher as they climb and we all looked up into the top of the tower.
Our guide showed us the controls to make an emergency stop, the system to make technicians 125 pounds ligher as they climb and we all looked up into the top of the tower.

 

A view up the tower.
A view up the tower.

Afterwards, we headed back to the visitor center where hot cocoa with marshmallows were waiting.

At school the next day we all had plenty to write about!

The kids were so excited about the adventure.  I can’t wait to see what else we can do with this project.