Friday, November 2, 2007

11/1 Meeting Minutes

Today we had a special guest to speak to the team about where Naperville and, therefore Highlands, gets its power. Mr. Allan Poole is the Director of Public Utilities for the City of Naperville. He shared a wealth of knowledge but a small summary is below. The boys had a lot of very good questions. At the end of the meeting, Mr. Poole distributed some light-sticks, balsa planes and whistle key chains. THANK YOU MR. POOLE FOR THE GENEROUS GIFT OF YOUR TIME AND KNOWLEDGE!
  • Showed a map of the electricity grid in Illinois and surrounding states and explained the various forms of energy and how they supply the grid.
  • Brought pictures of the different kinds of power generation plants, including wind turbine farms.
  • Compared/contrasted the percentage of each kind of power the US and IL consume.
  • Described the advantages of replacing old coal plants with new ones (more efficiency and less pollution, especially mercury).
  • Discussed global warming and greenhouse gasses and some of the research into sequestering CO2.
  • Discussed renewables and how they must become the long term solution solution, while the more efficient non-renewable plants support our intermediate needs.
  • Discussed ethanol and bio-diesel and how they compete for our food supply resources.
  • Stressed the importance of conservation in solving the energy problem.
  • Stressed the importance of education to meet the increasing demand for scientists and engineers needed to work on solving the energy problem

At the end of the meeting, the team discussed Michael & Andrew's robot, which they had modified since last time. There was a short discussion of steering with 4 rigid wheels and how casters follow the tangent of the circle of rotation.

Mrs. Naughton discussed the project work for next meeting. As a reminder, each team member should come up with 2 or 3 topics that they would like to work on for the project.