Southwestern High School will add a wind tunnel next year to give students in advanced classes a first-hand look at aerodynamics.

The 5-by-18-inch wind tunnel was paid for with a $7,221 grant from EcO15.

Superintendent Steve Telfer notified the school board of the grant Monday. The wind tunnel will be used for future Project Lead the Way classes.

Project Lead the Way offers advanced, hands-on, project-based science and engineering courses for students.

"We're in our fourth year of Project Lead the Way here and this finishes out the money as part of phase one," Telfer said.

Objects placed in the tunnel can be monitored for lift and drag while the actual wind speed is accurately controlled between 1 to 80 mph.

Software will allow students to control the wind speed while showing the lift and drag forces being created. Students will then be able to import the data and create graphs to compare results.

Also at the meeting, the board increased the hourly wages for summer employees from $8 to $9 an hour. The hourly wage for summer employees has been the same for eight years.

"It's getting a little tougher to get people to work for $8 per hour," Telfer said.

In other news:

• The first calves for the Community Calf Project will arrive April 1.

• The board approved a field trip for the International Club. The club is taking a one-day trip to visit St. Louis on March 22. Students will travel by bus to visit the St. Louis Cathedral, the Gateway Arch, the Museum of Westward Expansion and the St. Louis Science Center.

• The board approved the hiring of several high school coaches. Matt Owens has been hired as the new varsity and junior varsity assistant basketball coach, Kevin Wood is the new varsity and junior varsity softball coach, Andrew Sims will be a volunteer assistant basketball coach for the varsity team, and Bridget Skavara will be the new volunteer assistant coach for the varsity track team.

• The meeting concluded with Southwestern High School principal Jeff Bates giving school board members a tour of the school's facilities.

• The board scheduled a special board meeting for March 18 at 5 p.m. to discuss capital projects. The next regularly scheduled school board meeting will be April 29 at 5 p.m.