Lemelson-MIT Grant Helps Central VA Students Create Wind Turbine - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Lemelson-MIT Grant Helps Central VA Students Create Wind Turbine

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The students built the wind turbine with a $9,000 grant from Lemelson-MIT. The students built the wind turbine with a $9,000 grant from Lemelson-MIT.

A wind turbine created by a team of central Virginia teens is getting recognition from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology through the Lemelson-MIT program. The home-schooled students designed and built the turbines to collect wind energy that comes off moving traffic on the highways. 

Zooming cars on highways create a lot of wind and that wind is wasted. The idea of harnessing that power sparked 13 teens to build the wind turbine. The students applied for and received a $9,000 grant from Lemelson-MIT. They then designed and built the invention in a barn.

The first model relied on fish tanks and other materials they assembled.  It captures the wind generated by traffic and converts it into energy that can be used for other purposes. The teens were chosen to take their invention to a competition last week at MIT.

"I think probably the most valuable experience I got was just learning to work with the team and to stick with it all the way through," said team member Katie Howard.

The students spent about a year fine-tuning the turbine.  Then they took it to Lemelson-MIT and presented it along with teams of other high school students across the country.

While at Lemelson-MIT, they learned how to market their invention and also took classes. Some now want to become engineers.

The students met Saturday to disassemble the large contraption. They look forward to taking their invention on the road and hope to get funding to build and place the turbines on highways - starting in Charlottesville.

The student team members are:

Ethan Bush

Zachary Chambers

Josh Cliser

Mary Hedges

Andrew Hinton

Katie Howard

Ethay Keyser

Micah McDonald

John Michael Price

Matthew Reres

Caleb Russell

Brian Seymour

Mark Seymour

Leader and Teacher: Mary Saville
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