Eudora High School will have a unique celebration Friday morning when the Kansas Department of Transportation helps unveil new software using a school project as one of the key parts of the project.
It started earlier in the 2010-11 school year when Eudora was featured as a Wendy's Cool School on KCTV5. One of the programs featured during the appearance was students' and teachers' plans to put up a wind turbine near their football field. The teacher leading the effort said they hoped to generate wind energy to be used on campus.
Those plans and the Cool School segment caught the attention of KDOT.
On Friday, KDOT will unveil a new online airspace awareness tool that's the first of its kind in the nation. The program uses tools like Google Earth to show whether towers or other high structures will interfere with surrounding airspace and airports. Eudora's wind turbine will be the first place to use the program.
By using the software, students said they learned that the turbine did not interfere with Lawrence airport's airspace. Teachers said the turbine project and the partnership with KDOt has been a great, real-life teaching tool.
"The concept behind it is something that we can take advantage of in the classroom and it's something that's eye-opening for the students because they don't envision the area around the airport in the way that they're able to envision with the new tools," Eudora math teacher Scott Keltner said. "KDOT says the software will be an extra tool for anyone who is considering building a tall tower to ensure they'll be within regulation before even going through the FAA."
"When you come out here you can see it spinning, that's real life," Eudora senior Cecilia Lehman said. "You can measure different things with it, which is different than just reading a text book about it."
The tool will be unveiled at the school at 8:15 a.m.