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Summer SAVY Session 6, Day 3, Electrical Engineering

Posted by on Wednesday, July 26, 2023 in blog, SAVY.

Another “super charged” day of learning! My compliments to the students for their perseverance to work with this high interest, yet challenging, content.   

Today, we took the opportunity to look backward in order to look forward. We examined and reasoned about the issues of the massive blackout of August 2003 in the Northeast. What exactly happened and what can we assume about the likelihood of it happening again? Who are the stakeholders involved and what are their points of view in such an incident? Can we harness data to understand more clearly the events and possible solutions? Additionally, we discussed the lives and work of Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla.  What did they each achieve?  What were their positions on alternating and direct current?  What were their motivations and the outcomes? We’ll continue that tomorrow!   

How exactly is electricity made or generated? We researched further how TN generates electricity through the TVA and one of it’s most interesting facilities, the Hydroelectric Generators at Raccoon Mountain.  Amazing technology!  We observed that NES purchases the electricity and works to make sure it is distributed consistently.  We check the local outrages daily to reflect and observe connections to ours learning.  We have observed models of atoms to understand conductive metals as well as models of generators with turbines, coils, and magnets.  


We continue our research at more individual levels in order to plan for our final team projects and presentations for Friday.  How can we consider the design approaches of Walt Disney World in regard to energy needs and policies of governance.  We will work to ask many questions.  How much energy or power will our city need?  Will it be similar to WDW or a city the size of San Francisco?  What components need to be considered for our project?  How will we communicate our system design elements such as generation, transmission stations and lines, distribution lines, and consumption areas. How have we built in redundancy in case of failure of any of the system elements?  What symbols and keys can we utilize for clarity in our presentation? What other systems (transportation, geo-political, etc.) need to be displayed that will interact and be interdependent with our electrical grid system? What new technologies might we consider that are more compatible and reasonable to unique geographical regions (tidal turbine generators)? 

It is exciting to share and celebrate all that we are learning and accomplishing this week. No wonder the children’s faces are electric!