TUSTIN — Nearly four dozen youngsters from Mesick Elementary School spent three days and two nights at Kettunen Center last week, as the first group to work on a prototype project creating wind turbines from scratch.

The 45 students and their chaperones had an opportunity to do many other things while at Kettunen, thanks to funding through 4-H that helped provide the experience.

Karen Fortelka, the fourth grade teacher accompanied the students, who were divided up into sections that studied animal habitat, did archery and canoeing, worked on their own wind turbines and competed with classmates to see which worked best.

High school students assisted as leaders, accompanying the youngsters from one activity to another, and assisting the adults in any way possible.

Kettunen received many high compliments from those students and adults who took part. The students shared their thoughts, saying they enjoyed being down at the lake where they netted tadpoles, even a small fish that one little girl photographed, and other life to study.

Safety not only at or on the lake was stressed, but also when hiking and taking part in the rest of the agenda.

During the first day’s efforts at building wind turbines were kept track of on a large white board, with youngsters trying different techniques in creating angles, adding or removing blades, and refining their efforts as they went.

Although they were only into their first day when visited, the enthusiasm in all the activities seemed to be contagious and building.