Posted Date: 11/14/2017
On Monday November 13th the Wheatland Middle School 8th grade STEM Arduino classes conducted a student lead investigation at the Duke Energy Top Of The World Wind Farm near Glenrock. As part of his 8th grade science fair project, local student Daniel Collins, was intrigued by information that his math teacher Jennifer Jorgensen had shared with him about Australian research that suggested that the surface vibrations from windmills could have a negative effect on cattle herds in the area. Collins wanted to find out if significant surface vibrations could be caused by these turbines and was connected with Duke Energy through Al Teel, member services representative for our local Wheatland Rural Electric Cooperative. Collins used geophones which are used in seismic studies, that the students soldered jumper wires to and attached to the Arduino boards used in the STEM class. The sensors and Arduino boards were attached to computers running a SerialRead program and another program called CoolTerm that captured the data set. Miken Harnish, the coordinating teacher, created lab stations on top of the bus seats where the students tested the systems, soldered wires and set up the equipment. Collins also had fellow students using an accelerometer app on their phones as a back-up collection method. Collins ran into a few technical problems in the field, but learned a lot about the unpredictable events that can happen when you are in the field collecting data for the first time. A big thanks goes out to Duke Energy for their support of student science research and to our local REA for all they do to create opportunities for our students to “Reach the Peak”.