DUNDALK Institute of Technology (DkIT) is hosting a wind energy course which is the first of its kind in Europe this week.
Twelve teachers completed the first day of the five-day KidWind Ireland course yesterday (Monday, August 15).
The project supports primary and second level teachers all over Ireland to access training programmes and equipment in wind energy.
The KidWind programme trains and equips teachers to teach their own students about wind energy and provide knowledge about the industry.
The programme is primarily targeted at science, maths and geography teachers. The course is being delivered over five days and covers theory and practical wind energy topics.
Workshops focus on specific topics such as blade design, basic turbine system concepts to wildlife impacts, and economics.
They will also cover energy concepts, renewable energy, wind energy history, wind farms in Ireland, wind energy environmental impacts, and classroom projects such as building a model turbine using a kit.
It is hoped the KidWind Ireland project will inspire young people to continue studies in wind energy to be gainfully employed and grow the wind industry in the medium to long term.
The organisers of the programme are Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA), Centre for Renewable Energy at DkIT, Wind Skillnet and the corporate sponsor Gaelectric.
The project is seen by its organisers as a mechanism for disseminating knowledge about the industry to schools.
According to IWEA Network Manager Johanna Cafferkey, the programme helps to inform locals about the realities of wind energy.
“Local teachers in the community will now have a significant knowledge about wind energy and can help bridge gaps between wind energy companies and rural populations,” she said.
“It also helps communities to become more proactive in becoming involved with wind energy projects with the knowledge...”