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CTE Mechatronics and Robotics teacher wins grant from O&R

Mechantronics students work on projects
  • Career & Technical Education

Orange-Ulster BOCES Mechatronics and Robotics teacher Patrick Killian was featured in a virtual reception for Orange & Rockland Utilities 2020-21 STEM Grant winners.

Killian’s grant of about $1,000 will be used to buy equipment so his students can build solar/wind hybrid charge controllers. The design is a new concept based on the 555 timer chip, which is one of the most popular chips ever used.

The objectives of the project, Killian said, are to: enhance students’ understanding: of electronic theory, renewable energy systems, electronic control systems and backup power systems.

“The very bottom line is, those students who successfully build a working wind hydro solar charge controller may go home and build their own renewable energy project.,” Killian said. “We also may have inspired them enough to continue their studies in the field of renewable energy.”

The award will allow Killian to buy the timer chips, switches, resistors, transistors and other equipment needed to complete the project. The controllers are hybrid and can be used on windmills or photo-voltaic panels. The controller will control the battery charger and dump any overcharge load to protect the batteries once they are fully charged. 

O&R President and CEO Robert Sanchez said, “In the face of difficult classroom challenges, this year’s STEM grant recipients have shown admirable resilience and unwavering commitment to their students’ education. They truly are our classroom heroes. Their proposals are impressive in scope and application and will inspire learning for a brighter future.”

O&R awarded 18 grants in Orange County for a total of nearly $17,000. View the awards video