Ross School - Senior Projects 2010

Student: Paige Allardice

Mentor:  Patty Lein

Product                            

Title: Wind Energy:  Building a Sustainable Community

Description: Educational Website

For my senior project I created and designed an educational website about the importance of alternative energy use. I focused specifically on exploring the power of wind energy and wind farms as a sustainable energy option. On my website I featured an analysis of current energy practices, an outline of how the power of wind can be harnessed, as well as an on-site interview with “wind farmers” in Canada.  My website also offered a discussion about local initiatives to start offshore wind farms.  Through my product, I hope to educate and raise awareness about the need to switch to greener technology and the importance of building a sustainable future.

Details:

Website Screen Shots (A Greener Attitude, Are These Real Problems, Did You Know, Homepage, How Can I Contribute, Long Island Wind, Thank You, The History of Biofuel, Timeline, Wind Energy Basics, Wolfe Island)

PowerPoint Presentation

Abstract

For my senior project I focused on the area of sustainability, specifically wind energy and wind farms.  I created an educational website about the importance of alternative energy use and the need to switch to greener technology:  specifically harnessing the power of wind.  I chose this field of study as I have an interest in making a difference in the world and felt that supporting a move towards greener technology is imperative to long term sustainability.  My topic selection was inspired by a trip to Palm Springs were I had an opportunity to visit an active wind farm.  I was mesmerized by the silent power and beauty of these turbines.

My primary goal for this project was to capture how beneficial and environmentally friendly the use of wind energy can be.  I also wanted to educate myself about using wind as a primary energy source.  My intent was to create an informative website appropriate for a wide audience that included a historical perspective, a local focus and information about the benefits of wind farms.  Thus my focus was specifically on using wind energy in a sustainable manner through the development of wind farms.   Through my reference and field research I discovered that much of the opposition and resistance to wind farms is due to a lack of information.  An important part of my project was visiting an operating wind farm in Ontario, Canada.  Having the chance to experience Wolfe Island enabled me to appreciate all that I had researched.  As well, I was able to “debunk” the myths that I had around wind farms – such as the fact that animals cannot live successfully in the presence of the turbines.  This experience helped me find my voice for my physical product. 

My website features several different areas:  a discussion of the history of biofuels; information about the basics of wind energy; Long Island Wind; A fact page about the costs associated with wind farms; and a section that debunks myths.  This project is made up many different types of media:  a video of my field experience in Wolfe Island, photographs of wind farms and links to relevant sites.  The research that I did on the local focus led me to learn about backyard wind energy and the role that individual can take.  I was also surprised at how many roadblocks have stood in the way of developing offshore wind farms in our area.  I was also pleased to read about Audobon’s support of wind farm development and that they are working with developers to assess environmental risk factors to mitigate any negative impacts on birds and other wildlife. 

The need for energy has been an ongoing challenge for humans.  Since the Industrial Revolution the 19th century, our reliance on coal and oil have grown as well the negative impacts that is has had is having on our environment.  Environmental sustainability is crucial and requires us to look for clean, renewable resources for energy production.  My attitude towards wind energy has changed significantly and I have become more conscience of being a green energy consumer.  I have a learned a great deal from this project, both about the topic itself and the skills needed to design an engaging and professional website.

Works Consulted

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Community Member (Details)

Phil Palmedo: ppalmedo@cs.com

Harry Davitian: hdavitian@entekpower.com