Emma Chittick, who is a STEM Engagement Advisor for Skills Development Scotland, came in to help us with another STEM wind turbine challenge., but this time we used LEGO!
She set a competition to see which design could generate the most power. The tricky part was trying to build a strong structure to set the turbine on. The class also had to consider how they attached their blades and in which direction they were facing.
Everyone was so engaged and worked well on their own or with a partner to complete the task.
As part of our topic work, we have been learning about Renewable and Non Renewable energy sources. We discussed the advantages and disadvantages of these and which ones would work best in Shetland.
Last week, we worked in teams to design and create a wind turbine using a selection of materials. The turbine had to turn when we used a hair dryer on it and it also had to lift a plastic cup! Lots of things to consider in their designs!
It was lovely to watch everyone interacting and taking turns to contribute. Everyone showed consideration towards the ideas shared and compromises were made as to what the design would look like and how it would work.
It was important to try little tests now and again, to check if any changes needed to be made. Some groups found that when the hair dryer was switched on, the blades of their turbine were not strong enough and required further reinforcement. Some found that there blades were the wrong size or shape and some discovered that they needed to attach their cup differently so that it would lift without getting tangled in the turbine blades. Lots of learning going on!
We tested all the designs and everyone had the chance to add their thoughts on what they thought had worked well and what could be done to improve their designs further. I was impressed with how the children were able to make suggestions in a such a positive, caring and considerate way. Look out world…some future engineers here!
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