Indian Valley Vocational Center
March 2013, March 2015
Sandwich, IL 60548
Indian Valley Vocational Center (IVVC) is a locus for 10 surrounding schools to send students looking to hone their technical skills. IVVC provides classes on practical skills (i.e. automotive mechanics, construction, computer science, teaching, etc.) for students looking to directly enter the workforce or those looking to prepare for college. Through IVVC’s ongoing partnership with local businesses emphasizing a hands-on learning environment, some 500 students a year are able to learn and enhance skills for future professions.
In March 2013, IVVC received $8,000 in funding from ICECF through the K-12 Solar Schools Program to install a 1kW educational solar photovoltaic (PV) panel system on the roof of their Fire Science Prop-house (see above photo). The school uses the solar panels and the data produced as a curriculum component in ongoing Computer Technology and Construction Technology classes. Both programs have a unit dedicated to solar energy, incorporating panel installation, electrical components, interpretation of data, and sustainability topics into that teaching. To date, the panels produce an average of 4kWhs of electricity a day.
After having completed the installation of educational PV panels, IVVC sought out funding for an educational wind turbine and received $28,010 in funding from ICECF through the K-12 Wind Schools Program. IVVC installed their wind turbine on the grounds directly outside of the Fire Science Prop-house containing the solar panels (see above photo). The inverters for both the panels and the turbine are located inside the Fire Science Prop-house. Signage referencing this project is posted at the front of IVVC’s main entrance, where it is visible to motorists and school visitors. A second educational sign is located on the tower pole. Since the panel installation, an IVVC Green Team has formed and now holds public events highlighting the two installations and funds environmentally driven field trips to help student team members further educate themselves on sustainability. Training in wind and solar energy generation, is being further incorporated into IVVC programs and curriculum.