Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Uganda Project - A Photo Update!

Hello Everyone!
Here are some of the pictures I promised! Remember you can click on the slideshow to view the pictures in Picasa and read the captions!


Monday, March 28, 2011

What a Great Week!

Good Evening Everyone!
This is just a quick update on the Academy's activities and upcoming projects. I have several new pictures to get uploaded, but just not tonight.... However, I do want to keep in touch because there is so much going on!!

We had a great week last week with Doug Keaton (NEED Project)! We, the ETCA students as well as myself, always learn so much when he comes to visit! We reviewed anemometer data, had a very good meeting with Dr. Bettie Starr, attended the Solar Panel Assembly meeting with Linda McKinley-Grider, Steven Gordon, and two LWC SIFE students! And that was just on Wednesday...not to mention the classes that were taught in Russell and Adair Counties!!!

We spent a lot of time Thursday pre-filtering and filtering WVO (Waste Vegetable Oil) for the 40-gallon processor. We continued on Friday, but the temperatures were very low and made it difficult to complete the oil filtration process. This project will be on hold until after Spring Break. Until then, we will devote our time to the Arnold House Project. We are looking at some very cool green technologies, such as a solar heating panel. We will probably make a trip out to visit the Arnold house to get some dimensions and more detailed pictures.

The Uganda Project is nearing completion. This week's goal is to have the cart assembled and the assembly manual written! It's aggressive, but do-able! We powered the light plant with the battery today, just to make sure it would actually work!!! The kids are so proud of this project. Tomorrow, we hope to have the light plant standing on its own...then we can start testing the battery and light plant for charge times, depletion, etc.

Last, but not least, we will begin writing the goals and supporting documentation for the NEED Youth Award submission! Last year, we won "National Rookie of the Year"! As you know, you can only be a rookie once...so, now we are competing with the pros! I DO hope and pray that I will be able to take another great group of students to Washington, D.C. this June!!!

I will be posting pics soon!!
Signing off....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

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Sophomore ETCA Members at ACHS Try Out Different Filtration Materials

Here are some pictures of the sophomore class at ACHS testing different filtration materials...blue jeans (as recommended by HomeBiodieselKits.com), pillowcase material, heavy curtain material, and fleece material. Students recorded their thoughts and findings during this little exercise. Remember to click on the slideshow to view pictures and captions via Picasa!

Monday, March 14, 2011

"The Uganda Project" Progresses!

Hello Everyone!
I want to share some of the progressions of the ETCA towards "The Uganda Project" light and clean water goals. My Senior Project class at Russell County High School is leading the design and build of the light plant that will be powered by a battery donated by Superior Battery. (Thank you Mr. Rollin McFarland at Lake Cumberland Technology Center for working this out for us! And, of course, Thank You to Superior Battery!!) This battery was going to be charged by two solar panels that my Seniors made last year as an engineering project; however, Mr. McFarland reminded me of the solar panels that were donated to the Academy in our debut year, 2008. I think we will use two of these due to the durability and the glass quality...especially since we won't be close in case of problems, etc. So, Matthew Russell, an RCHS senior, is our lead electrician. He is heading up the wiring harness design and is teaching other students as he goes. Emily Holsinger is leading the Instruction Manual portion of the project. Brad Stephens and Jason Davis have been instrumental in the modifications to the PVC pipe, which is being used as the "skeleton" that supports the lights. Enjoy a few of the latest pictures of these talented students' endeavors!! Remember to click on the slideshow to view the picture album and captions!!

The sophomore class, Introduction to Energy, taught by Mrs. Stefanie Tarter, is heading up the LifeStraw and water purification goal. We received our "The Uganda Project" wristbands last Friday!! We are selling them for $2 each and sales are great, so far! Each student has started out with 10 wristbands each, and many have already gotten their second set of ten!

Not sure if I posted this already, but the winner of the "Green Basket" that was designed and sponsored by the ACHS ETCA Sophomore Energy Class, was Mary Curry. Congratulations Mary! Autumn, the student with the highest grade in Mrs. Tarter's class, drew the winning ticket out of the box! Pictured below is the ACHS Intro to Energy and Intro to Engineering classes. Great job guys! You make me proud!

I am so lucky to be a part of such an awesome program! More to come...

Good night,


Biodiesel Pictures....as promised!

Hello Everyone! Here are some pictures of the students checking the biodiesel's glycerin fallout! Don't forget to CLICK on the slideshow to view the pictures and captions!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Biodiesel Results!

Well folks, the results are in!!
We did great on our first batch....according to the glycerin fallout percentages! I have some pictures to upload, but just not tonight. Ughhh....exhausting weekend; but looking forward to a great week!

  • Week 2 with "Windy" at RCHS.
  • The Uganda Project progresses this week as we start constructing the light plant and the wristbands arrive!
  • Hopefully, we will find a small diesel engine to "field test" our first batch!
  • Tomorrow night, I will be speaking to the City Council on the exciting events going on in the ETCA!
  • Tuesday is a meeting with Dr. Starr after school to discuss some rural agriculture opportunities.
  • Wednesday is the Solar Panel Assembly manufacturing plan meeting....have lots to do on this project before then!!
  • Hopefully making some biodiesel from WVO (waste vegetable oil) on Thursday and Friday!

More to come this week.....especially some pictures from Friday's biodiesel testing!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The First Batch of Biodiesel is Currently Processing!

Talk about anxiety!! I have to admit that I was a little nervous today as I was purchasing supplies to make the first test batch of biodiesel made by the Energy Technology Career Academy! I had to give my address and driver's license number at the hardward store when I purchased lye! That was after I had to prove I was over 18 at Wal-Mart to purchase an automotive supply called HEET! Evidently, these type products are used to make methamphetamine!

My students were so excited as we read the instructions, step-by-step, measuring, pouring, heating, mixing, and now....waiting! Special thanks to the Ag Department at ACHS for letting us use the barn (well ventilated area) to produce our first historical batch of biodiesel! We hope to find the proper fallout of glycerin tomorrow as we allow the biodiesel solution to sit overnight. Since we weren't sent the proper valving mechanism, it will be interesting to see how we determine the percentage of glycerin. Hope the separation is obvious!!

Please view the slideshow below for more pictures of the debut batch being made! Remember, you can click on the slideshow to view the pictures WITH captions in Picasa!

More to come......
Signing off for the night

The LED's for the Uganda Project are HERE!

Just a quick note to let everyone know that the Uganda Project for lighting Buliike can now continue!! I got the LED's in the mail this afternoon, so tomorrow at RCHS we will connect all 7 lights, check for amperage, and make a PVC structural plan. Can't wait to get this project going again!! The sophomores will kick off "The Uganda Project" wristband fundraiser to continue the efforts to purchase LifeStraws and LifeStraw Family units. Let me know if you want to purchase a wristband - $2.00 each!!

"Windy" is Collecting Data in a New Location!

Hello Everyone!

Windy has been erected on the campus of Russell County High School! She is collecting data as we speak! I love this girl, she works 24/7 for us....rain or shine, or even snow!! HA HA

This was the first time the Russell County ETCA students erected the anemometer. It was "all hands on deck",so to speak! Sarah was the best stake-driver EVER!

Take a look at the slideshow below for more pics! Don't forget you can click on the slideshow and Picasa will launch, where you can look at pictures at your own pace and view the captions that I have added!

More to come!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Windy is Finding a New Home!

Students at ACHS took Windy down today in preparation for relocation tomorrow! Hint: Different county!! Be on the lookout on HWY 127!