BIRMINGHAM – John Carlos is quick to remind everyone that a particular award that now hangs in the office was more than worth it.
The reason: It created a learning environment for past, current and future students at Birmingham Covington Middle School.
John Carlos, Founder of Metro-Detroit’s environmental and clean energy public relations firm, GreeningDetroit.com, and newly honored member of the Michigan Green Hall of Fame, was quite instrumental in helping a group of individuals and companies to donate time, resources, labor, materials and installation to construct a wind turbine on site at Covington in 2010.
“It took a lot of work, but the wind turbine was eventually installed in April of 2010 and it involved a lot of people,” recalled Carlos. “Once we started to explain to everyone that this would be used for students, a lot of people jumped on board to be involved in the project.”
The turbine is still used today some six years later for various assignments, experiments and testing by students and teachers at the school, which houses grades 3-8.
BCS, which offers comprehensive science and technology instruction in its middle and high schools, honored the companies, unions and personnel in appreciation and celebration of years of educational excellence and clean energy production of the wind turbine installation.
The Birmingham Public Schools recently recognized and honored those involved in the project with new plaques for ongoing education including Carlos, Mariah Power/Windspire, IBEW Local 58, Detroit JATC Training Center, Center Line Electric, Inc., IBEW Local 17, Rauhorn Electric, Inc., American Fence and Supply Co., Peter Basso & Associates, Inc., TMP Architecture, Inc., and the BCS Proud Dads Club.
“It’s one of the most important awards I have ever received simply because it’s used for educational purposes,” said Carlos, who at the time of the project was a BCS Proud Dad member and had contacts with many of those involved. “Hundreds of students over the past six years have had the opportunity to study with the wind turbine. When the idea first came about, there were some people who were trying to block it. It took some convincing. But we got a lot of people on board eventually.”
Two 1.2 KW Windspire wind turbines were given by Mariah Power/Windspire, a national manufacturer of vertical wind generators in 2010, one of which sits in front of the Governor’s mansion as a gift at the time to Governor Granholm, and one to John Carlos who donated it to the school and was able to gather the resources to have it installed at no cost to the district.
The Windspire is a propeller-free, low-noise, vertical-axis wind power appliance that creates energy and converts wind into electrical power.
“This all symbolizes teamwork and getting people together for a good cause — an educational project that can be used by literally hundreds of students over many years,” said Carlos. “It’s about the kids and their education.”