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Ed Ozols' Website


Wind Turbine

​​Bath County High School

Wind Turbine Design Team

Students from Business Education, Electricity, Carpentry and Technology Education classes collaborating to achieve a common goal

Demonstrating Workplace Readiness Skills: Personal Qualities and People Skills

1. Demonstrate positive work ethic.

Students had to show up on time for school and class each day in order to successfully complete the project. They had to overcome failures in design and fix those adversities before they ended up with a competitive design.

2. Demonstrate integrity.

The students had to work with and take care of expensive equipment in the shops and computer labs. They had to clean their work areas and put everything back where it belonged.

3. Demonstrate teamwork skills.

The students in Mr. Grubbs’, Mr. Altizer’s, Mrs. McMullen’s and Mr.Ozols’ classes had to work together to achieve a final goal- building a wind turbine and then describing the processes used to build it.  

The students in each group- Technology Education, Business Education, Electricity, and Carpentry had to work with each other to maximize each group’s knowledge and contribution to the final project.

4. Demonstrate self-representation skills.

The students on the Wind Turbine Design Team had to present their project to a panel of judges, describe what they had done to get from an idea to a finished product, discuss alternatives that they could have used and defend why they chose their final design.

5. Demonstrate diversity awareness.

The students had to work with and accept other students who differed from them in respect to gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic status.

6. Demonstrate conflict-resolution skills.

Combining students from each of the four groups- electricity, carpentry, technology and business- meant that the students had to reach consensus on virtually every aspect of the design and promotion of the turbine. Students had to look at other viewpoints, coming from different knowledge bases, and meld those viewpoints into a competitive design.

7. Demonstrate creativity and resourcefulness.

The students in Mrs.McMullen's Business Education classes designed posters, brochures and other promotional materials for the BCHS Wind Turbine Design Team.

The students in Mr. Ozols’ Technology Education classes designed gears for the wind turbines using AutoCAD and then printed them out with a 3D printer.


Demonstrating Workplace Readiness Skills: Professional Knowledge and Skills

8. Demonstrate effective speaking and listening skills.

The students on the design team had to present the turbine to a panel of judges that included university faculty and industry businessmen. They also presented the turbine to the public at BARC’s (the local electrical cooperative) energy fair and to educators at Virginia Society for Technology in Education (VSTE).

9. Demonstrate effective reading and writing skills.

The business students developed a poster for presentations at the Virginia School Board Association’s (VSBA) annual conference, a poster for the VSTE presentation and flyers for the event at BARC and for VSTE.

10. Demonstrate critical-thinking and problem-solving skills.

The Wind Turbine Design Team encountered many issues with the turbine. They had to effectively address and correct each issue to create a turbine that worked as efficiently as possible. The students were able to fix problems that occurred on the competition floor at Virginia Tech in time to compete.

11. Demonstrate healthy behaviors and safety skills.

Working in an electrical and carpentry shop can be hazardous. The students had to follow all of the safety rules and wear the proper safety equipment in each shop.

12. Demonstrate an understanding of workplace organizations, systems, and climates.

Although the students came from four different educational groups, they were able to see the big picture- create and promote a competitive wind turbine- and worked towards that goal.

13. Demonstrate lifelong-learning skills.

The students had to do active research in order to understand wind power, develop a workable design and learn what materials would be best for the turbine.


14. Demonstrate job-acquisition and advancement skills.

The students on the Wind Turbine Design Team practiced their presentation skills with Kari Sponaugle, the Virginia Tech Associate Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development. They improved their performance to the point where they were confident and poised in answering all of the questions the judges asked.

15. Demonstrate time-, task-, and resource-management skills.

The students had to complete the wind turbines in time to compete at each event. Once the team moved on to the Eastern United States regional competition, they had to complete the modifications to the turbine in order to be competitive at a higher level.

16. Demonstrate job-specific mathematics skills.

The students had to design the turbine to fit within a 4’X4’X4’ cube. The measurements for the blades had to be precise as did the measurements for the angle the blade would be placed in relative to the rotating outside enclosures of the turbine. The gears were designed and tested to achieve an optimal gear ratio to attempt to develop as much power as possible.

17. Demonstrate customer-service skills.

The business students had to develop raffle tickets that would appeal to the purchaser and convey information about why and how the raffle tickets would help the Wind Turbine Design Team.

Demonstrating Workplace Readiness Skills: Technology Knowledge and Skills

18. Demonstrate proficiency with technologies common to a specific occupation.

Mrs. McMullen’s Business Education students used multiple business software programs in order to develop the promotional materials needed for the Wind Turbine Design Team.

Mr. Ozols’ Technology Education students used AutoCAD software to design gears for the turbines and then used a 3D printer to create the gears.

Mr. Altizer’s Carpentry students used industry standard tools to craft the turbine.

Mr. Grubbs’ Electricity students used industry standard tools to craft the electrical components of the turbine and used state of the art instruments and computers to measure the output of the turbine.

19. Demonstrate information technology skills.

The students in Mrs. McMullen’s class had to decide which software would be most appropriate for each task that they undertook. They then had to utilize that software to maximize the impact of their final promotional products.

20. Demonstrate an understanding of Internet use and security issues.

The students in all four groups used the Internet to research their individual aspects of the project. While doing so, they had to comply with BCPS technology rules.  

21. Demonstrate telecommunications skills.





Click on the picture below for a slide show of the team.


We take 1st and 2nd place and BOTH design trophies in Virginia Beach!


Click on the picture below for a slide show of the Virginia Beach competition.

The winning teams.jpg

Bath County High School had two teams enter the KidWind competition, a contest where middle school and high school students design wind turbines to efficiently harness the wind to create electricity. This process requires engineering skills as well as teamwork. Students from electricity, carpentry, business education and technology education classes created entries that utilized math, science, English, and history skills. Power production was a key ingredient to success, counting for 35% of the final score. Much of the rest of the score came from the judges’ interview. BCHS teams placed first and second and won the blades trophy for the best blade design and the Judges’ choice award for the best overall design.

The Wind Turbine Design Team started as a project for the 8th grade Exploratory students to learn about different aspects of the Career and Technical Education programs at Mertz Career and Technical Education Center. The students were going to participate in a KidWind competition at Virginia Tech. As the students researched, their design grew to a point where they could no longer do it alone. Students from Technology Education, Carpentry, and Electricity classes joined the Exploratory students to form a design and fabrication team that developed a competitive design.

We went to Virginia Tech and won our first trophy for our design as well as an invitation to the Eastern United States Regional Competition at James Madison University. At Virginia Tech, during the Judges’ questioning, it became apparent that we had a lot of work to do to prepare for the judges’ panel at James Madison University. This preparation came at the same time we were making significant alterations to the turbine design to make it competitive at a higher level.

It was at this point that we invited Kari Sponaugle, the Virginia Tech Associate Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development, to work with our students on presentation skills. It was also at this time that we knew we needed the skills of the Business Education students to help promote our project.

Because of these added partnerships, our students impressed the judges at JMU. We won our second trophy for design and came home and started to prepare for the next year’s contest.

Our project was presented at the Virginia School Board Association summer conference as a model for staff collaboration. Our students presented the project to the public at BARC’s Energy Fair and at the Bath County Fair. The project was presented at a poster session for the VSBA annual conference and the students travelled to Roanoke to present the project to educators and educational technology leaders from across the state at the Virginia Society for Technology in Education Annual Conference. Materials developed by the Business Education students have been key to the success of these presentations.

This year, we are again competing. We will be travelling to Virginia Beach and are raising money with a raffle for that trip. In preparation for that trip, we again utilized wind turbine design as part of our Exploratory classes and included a competition among those students. Students who participated last year have been joined by other students and we have several good designs that will compete at BCHS to be one of the two teams we take to Virginia Beach.

The unique part of this competition has been the development of a structure seen in many companies. There is a business office of sorts that provides us with our promotional materials. There is a design component that includes different designs and a determination of which ones will best meet our needs. The students have to collaborate with other students, and each group of students has to assume the mantle of subject matter expert, but then has to yield leadership responsibilities to other groups of students. The students have to reach a consensus prior to the fabrication of the individual parts and the final assembly of those parts. They then have to communicate their promotional needs to the Business Education students so that the finished project not only includes the wind turbine, but also information about the design and building of the turbine.

Our trip to the beach was productive. We won first and second place and carried home both trophies for design. The students worked hard this year and were rewarded with these victories. The engineering efforts put into place here required the students to use knowledge from their years of education here at Bath County Public Schools. The students were successful because of all of the efforts of their teachers since they started here at BCPS.

Next stop is New Orleans for the National Championship at The American Wind Energy Association National Convention. We are currently raising money for the trip. If you would like to contribute, please go to our GoFundMe​ page.















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