Monday, August 29, 2011

ETCA Boasts High Enrollment Numbers!

Hello Everyone,
Well, school has officially been in session since August 4th. I have 22 students in my Introduction to Engineering Class this trimester, as compared to 9 last year! There are 39 sophomores wanting to take the introductory Academy course, Introduction to Energy, in the spring! WOW! I am loving this growth!
I think the students are spreading the word that the Academy classes actually help them in other classes and they enjoy the hands-on, project based education.

This group of engineering students will experience something different than the past students as I attempt to balance the enormous amounts of project work, yet introduce them to engineering using curriculum, as well. Their first round of presentations went pretty well, as they designed the "ultimate can openers"! Next project will be operator instructions (using Legos), and of course, the continuation of Batch #2 biodiesel. As soon as the recycled denim insulation arrives, we will go head first into the Arnold House Project. As the weather gets cooler, we will begin the assembling of solar panels in the Ag Shop. I hope we get to this before the trimester ends in November. If not, the Seniors will have a lot of solar work to do from November until the end of the school year.

The Uganda Project light plant should leave for Africa sometime next week. We are tying up loose ends now, checking charge times for the battery, soldering risky connections, and relabeling the attachment points. Ronnie Kayula, the founder of Uganda Counseling and Support Services, will be taking this light plant back on the plane with him on September 7th. He has had a little practice with the assembly, and is looking forward to sharing this with his people. Thank you again to all our sponsors and donors that have made this project possible.

We have officially dried our first 40-gallon batch of biodiesel and continue to filter the "new" waste vegetable oil. We will not begin to process a new batch until the BioKleen Drywash system is completely installed. It will hopefully be completed by the end of the week.

I had an opportunity to speak one-on-one with Senator David Williams this afternoon. I didn't really get to ask him the pressing question on my mind regarding Kentucky energy portfolios and any possibilities for green energy tax incentives between all the comments regarding coal. I experienced politics at its best today! I will be starting the ETCA Radio Show tomorrow morning at 92.7 The WAVE at 7:30 with Larry Smith! Thanks to Mike and Laura Harris for allowing me the air time! Tune in to hear what's in store with the ETCA and City of Columbia!

I am so proud of the things that the Academy is accomplishing with the help of our community leaders, dedicated students, LWC Faculty, and you, our supporters. Academy members are having fun and learning at the same time....I love it when that happens!!!!

Signing off for now....picture slideshow coming soon!
ETCA Director