Instead of learning basic woodworking, eighth grade students solving real world design problems at Melican Middle School are learning about wind and weather and then designing turbine blades.
The Northborough Education Foundation provided funding for the wood for turbine blades, the turbine kit, voltmeter, and fans that were necessary to complete the project started by eighth grade math teacher Melissa Jameson, science teacher Mark Geoffroy, and tech ed teacher Bruce Williams.
Students sketched and cut the turbine blades, and then placed either two, three, or four blades into the turbine. They placed the blades at 15,30, and 45 degree angles. They then measured the amount of electricity produced by the turbine.
“They used a spreadsheet to record their findings,” said Geoffroy. “So we brought in a lot of multi-disciplinary learning.”
“We took the data and put it into charts,” said student Riley Bazinet. “Most of the groups found that the turbine worked best with three blades.”