MWRA 2009-2010 Writing Contest Winners

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Ilina Shah
Grade 6, McCall Middle School, Winchester


Water Turbines

There were so many jobs to choose from, so many opportunities to rise and shine to help my community and the world. But there was one option that caught my eye like a fisherman capturing a flailing fish; the construction of water turbines. I had never heard of such a brilliant idea. If there could be wind turbines, why not water turbines, as the sea is roaring with energy and vigor every minute. It was going to be an entirely new window of prospect.

As I came onto the construction site, for my first day at work, I took in the entire scene. There were workers and builders putting together the parts of the turbine. They were trying to build a hydraulic turbine and electrical generator. The parts included the turbine blades, stator, rotor, wicket gate, turbine generator shaft, and the generator.

I thought about my minor studies of this astounding idea. I remembered that the flowing water would be directed onto the blades of a turbine shaft, thus creating a force on the blades. The shaft would then spin, and the motion and the force of the shaft and blades would be used to drive the rotor of an electric generator. They were basically like large circular fans enclosed in a sealed cement chamber into the ground that are connected to a hydro plane, and when turned on they'd circulate water.

It was incredible how the turbine worked, and I slowly began remembering even more of what I had read, the first designs, and the first inventors of this idea. The three most widespread and common types of water turbines are the Pelton Wheel, the Francis Turbine, and the Kaplan turbine. These and more designs, with new changes made to them as the years went by, are used in even the largest ships as power sources.

As I helped assemble the pieces of the turbine together with the other workers, I thought about how important this job was, just how big it could be. It would make such of a huge impact. So many people have been looking for alternate energy sources, to help the environment by not polluting the air and reducing the emissions that we all have been releasing. This was the perfect source for renewable energy, something clean and safe. The odds were immense especially because the waters off of the coast of Florida were great and full of vigorous, spirited waves.

I then tried to fish out all the bad things that could be a consequence of this venture, and realized that perhaps there would be a problem with the inhabitants of the coast. They might not be satisfied with the results of the turbines maybe overcrowding their waters, not letting them boat, swim, or scuba dive without too much care. But I soon found out that the turbines would be planted too deep to affect the people with these issues, and at the most divers would just have to not swim around the area the hydraulic turbines would be implanted on. And what about danger to wildlife, I thought. Perhaps the turbines may affect the population of the sea. And perhaps it would, but it would be very unlikely that a creature will not notice the massive turbines.

My head was spiraling with so much tingling of fascinating curiosity and happiness because of the splendor of what I was doing. I became conscious of the fact that I was actually going to be building the first of the new energy sources in my Town, and feeling like a pioneer, I worked hard, with intense focus and sweat. These turbines would soon symbolize our town and be a site that our town folk would take pleasure in boasting of, with much pride.

I walked home, the stars gleaming like the moon was giving birth to a fresh new start for the human race. My heart flourished with excitement, feeling that I knew just how important this was, and how much it would help my community. And as I lay in bed, I thanked water for being there, existing, being another window of inspiration for so many things. The waters of the sea and oceans would be giving us not only a whole new source of energy, but more doors opening for more remarkable and useful thoughts.

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