Welcome to Waitahuna School's updated Blog. We are excited to share some of the learning that we do everyday at our fantastic school. Included in our Blog are links that will help with supporting learning at home.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Visiting Mount Stuart Wind Farm

Yesterday Pioneer Generation invited Waitahuna School up to the Wind Farm at Mt Stuart.  We were joined by some of the 'Friends of our School' and Grandparents who were interested to see what has been happening at the wind farm.  The weather up at the wind farm was really windy and we could see why they were building a wind farm up there.  The staff from Pioneer Generation said it was the windiest day they have had while constructing the wind farm.  We were really surprised at the progress that has been made since our first visit.  One interesting fact that we discovered was that there is only going to be three red 'aircraft warning beacons' shining on the wind farm at night.  One pupil from the Junior Room described these red lights as 'More beautiful than the stars' and then added "and you do know the wind farm produces Renewable Energy!". 
Thanks again to Pioneer Generation for their support.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Bad Tempered Ladybird

In the Junior Room we shared Eric Carle's book ' The Bad Tempered Ladybird'. 
The bad-tempered ladybird picks fights with every animal he meets, but soon learns the importance of friends and turns into a far nicer, happier bug. The beautifully illustrated pages of this entertaining book demonstrate the sizes of the different animals and the sun's path across the sky as time passes. We used this book in a Math activity and made ladybirds which display our doubles.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mount Stuart Wind Farm

At Waitahuna School we have  been learning about Wind Energy and the importance of using Renewable Energy.  We have discussed our need for electricity and the different technology we enjoy that needs electricity such as playstation, computers and TV.

The more we learn about Wind Energy and the construction of the Mt Stuart Wind Farm the more questions we seem to have.  Luckily our friends at Pioneer Generation have been very helpful at answering our questions. 
These are our latest questions about the Wind Farm construction kindly answered by the team at Pioneer Generation:

When the tower pieces arrive, are the stairs already in them? The stairs are already in the towers when they arrive in site. 

Where is the light located on the nacelle? The aircraft warning beacons are located at the highest point on the nacelle.
When you put the nacelle up is the gear-box, main-shaft and equipment already in it? When erected the nacelle has the gearbox, generator and main shaft inside.

How are the blades fixed onto the nacelle? The blades are fixed to a hub by bolts and the hub is bolted to the nacelle.
After you use the big red crane, at the end of the day do you lie it down or leave it standing? When the crane is left idle for long periods the boom is lowered but usually when in operation the boom is left up overnight.

How many tonnes can the big red crane lift? … Which is the heaviest part of the wind turbine to lift? The heaviest part of the wind turbine is the nacelle which is 23.3 tonnes.   With a short boom and when the load is very close to the crane it can lift up to 110 tonnes.
Why don’t they have windows in the tower as then they wouldn’t need to use as much electricity to light it? The towers have few holes in them apart from the door.   The reason for this is that any holes in the tower reduce its structural strength so it is more cost effective to put temporary lighting in the tower than windows.
Does the circumference of the tower get smaller as it goes up? The circumference of the tower gets smaller towards the top of the tower.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Rugby World Cup 2011

After a huge count-down the Rugby World Cup has begun!  We look forward to using this great sporting event to support our learning.  The Senior Room has already started with their 'rugby' Reading Topic.  Some of them will even be able to tell you what the first rugby ball was made from... Why don't you ask them!

Click here to see the RWC Match Schedule

Here is a new website for you to explore. It has everything you need to find out about the
Rugby World Cup

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Windy Days in Waitahuna

During the 2nd term our pupils had discussions about the new Wind Farm being built at Mount Stuart. These discussions showed the children’s natural curiosity about what was happening and what role the Wind Farm plays in their lives and our country. The children then wrote letters to Pioneer Generation expressing their interest in the Wind Farm and asking them some interesting questions. A few of them are below.
How many stairs are in the tower?
How long would it take you to walk up the tower?
How big are the motors compared to a car motor?
Won’t the towers act like lightning rods and attract lightning?
Which road will you use to bring the blades? Balclutha Highway or Manuka Gorge?
Does the area behind the blades have a cabin in it?
Pioneer Generation made contact with our school and we were pleased to be invited to visit the site in the last week of term. The children were excited to visit the site and the workers stopped work and made us feel very welcome. All the pupils and supporters were provided with hard hats and fluoro vests which added to the occasion. We were shown the foundations of the 9 turbines and also were told the answers to our questions.

At the start of Term 3 we started our Wind topic which will also see us learning about Renewable Energy. We were very lucky to receive a parcel in the mail from EPI plastics which contained a Weather Vane. This has been mounted high on the tennis court fence and the children have been learning about wind direction. We are very grateful for the generosity of Norman at EPI Plastics and if any families would like to purchase a weathervane they can get one from his website.

At the recent meeting of the Mt Stuart Community Liaison Group, Vicki and I were pleased to be presented with two ‘Wind Turbine Construction Sets’ for the school from Pioneer Generation. These sets will also help support the learning on this topic. Fraser Jonker is also working towards another visit by the school in mid-September when some of the turbines have been erected. We look forward again to involving the Parents, Grandparents and friends of the school in our next visit. If you are interested in being involved please ring the school office and we will contact you closer to the time.

Regards Clare Blackmore and Vicki Johnstone