Technology Class Creates Wind Turbines

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Elwood Middle School students in Mr. McGuire’s technology class recently participated in an engaging lesson about energy sources and created their own wind turbines. The project was made possible due to an Elwood Education Endowment grant that the technology department received last year.                

The seventh-grade students formed groups and researched wind turbines before designing their own KidWind wind turbine blades. They then constructed, tested, evaluated and redesigned blades that they believed would generate the most electrical power. The class tested their designs with Vernier power sensors that connected with their Chromebooks. The Vernier power equipment allowed the students to get instantaneous results about the designs that they created. Each group then picked a variable with their design; the number of blades, angle of blades, material and more. They recorded and graphed their results and presented their findings to the rest of the class. The class discussion allowed for students to redesign their wind turbines to become more efficient based on their classmates’ data.            

This lesson is one of many in the Technology Education curriculum at the middle school. The next project that the students will take on allows them to become automotive designers and create a solar powered car.                  

The goal of the class is for students to learn 21st century skills of problem solving, critical thinking and design. “We hope for students to become more technically literate and have a better understanding of how and why technology is not just what it is,” said technology and engineering teacher Mr. McGuire.