Skip to main content

Summer SAVY, Session 2 Day 4, Forces of Nature (3rd – 4th)

Posted by on Friday, June 21, 2024 in blog, SAVY.

Today, students embarked on a culminating engineering project using every step of the engineering design process to create functional windmills! The day began with a review of windmill components and their purpose. Then, students brainstormed and designed their windmills using what they learned from yesterday’s sailboat experiment.
As the day progressed, students constructed their initial windmill prototypes and eagerly tested them to see if their rotors would turn. The room hummed with energy as they observed the results of their hard work. But the challenge didn’t end there! Once a student’s windmill could successfully spin, they were tasked with an additional challenge: seeing how much weight their windmill’s bucket could carry. This part of the activity emphasized the importance of iterative testing and redesign. Students had to return to the drawing board, adjust their designs, and test again to optimize their windmill’s performance.
Through this hands-on experience, students learned valuable lessons in problem-solving and the importance of perseverance.  They discovered that properties like the windmill blades’ size, shape, stiffness, and angle were crucial to making their rotors spin efficiently. By the end of the day, our young engineers had a deeper understanding of how windmills work and developed critical thinking and collaboration skills.
It has been a fantastic week of learning, creativity, and innovation with this good-natured and intelligent group of students. I hope to see your student again at a future SAVY session!
Ms. Jahn