This guest blog post is brought to you by the Foley High School YES! Team.
The Foley High School YES! Team, in conjunction with SkillsUSA, recently toured Northern Minnesota. The group, consisting of 6 students and Technology Education teacher Mr. Mark Voigt, planned an Alternative Energy and transportation tour, which included ships, turbines, dams and a historic gas station. The students are hoping to make a video that documents their journey, which can then be used to educate other students about alternative energy. The tour started off on October 16th when 4 students toured the Blanchard Hydroelectric dam near Royalton, MN.
Mr. Voigt arranged a two day tour in Northeast Minnesota that started on October 16th. Five students and one parent participated. One of the first stops was the historic Frank Lloyd Wright Gas Station in Cloquet, MN. The group was then off to the Virginia Biomass Facility, where electricity is produced. The Silicon Energy Facility was next. Very high quality photo-voltaic solar panels are manufactured there. Next stop on the tour was the Taconite Ridge wind turbines near the Mintac Facility by Virginia. We watched a very informative presentation at Minnesota Power office complex on the construction and operation of the wind turbine farm at Taconite Ridge. On Thursday morning, the group received an extensive tour of the inner-workings of Duluth Harbor Lift Bridge. This took the experience of the lift bridge to a whole new level of mechanical engineering understanding. The Coast Guard provided a once in a lifetime experience with their tour of the Coast Guard cutter Alder 225, and the Coast Guard Station operations. The trip was rounded off with a self-guided tour of Duluth Harbor Marine Museum.
Foley students got the opportunity to observe several different types of careers as they related to the alternative energy/transportation industries. The students were all very well behaved and enjoyed the tours. Being able to go on board a 225 foot Coast Guard working ship was an unexpected pleasure.