Grace Ray created a wind turbine powered by heat from compost


Gresham High School’s Grace Ray will compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) May 11-16 in Los Angeles.

The world’s largest international pre-college science competition features 1,500 students from more than 65 countries and territories.

For her project, Ray created a wind turbine powered by the heat that compost generates. She received the “NOAA’s Taking the Pulse of the Planet Award” through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration after the Gresham-Barlow Science Expo, an affiliated science fair held in March.

“It’s an extreme honor to be competing at the international level,” Ray said. “At ISEF I hope to be able to convey the message of my project, as it helps the environment and produces a usable product at the same time.”

A senior, Ray plans to study engineering at Oregon State University. She originally started competing at science fairs her sophomore year, competing at the regional and state levels her first year.

Ray estimated that her project took about two months, with the majority of her time spent analyzing her data and making correlations between the variables.

“I found a way to provide electricity to Third World countries and other sections of the world through the use of hot water extracted through compost or landfill material using a water tubing system,” she said. “(The water) turns into hot air and is pulled through a chimney that creates a natural draft. Within the chimney is a fan motor, and as the air is forced through the chimney, it creates an electrical current.”

Ray also participates in the Gresham High School Drama Department as prop manager, and acts as the activities director and cruise-in committee member for her car club, Mt. Hood Mustangs and Fords.

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Gresham-Barlow School District Superintendent Jim Schlachter, Grace Ray and School Board Chairman Matt O'Connell celebrate Ray's accomplishments at a recent school board meeting.

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