Cradle of Aviation Trip
Wind power is one of the fastest growing energy sources in the world, and students ended the four weeks of study at the Cradle of Aviation Museum with an opportunity to experience wind power firsthand. After an introductory lesson on energy, eighth graders were broken into teams to engineer a working wind turbine. This exploratory project engaged the students in engineering and demonstrated concepts such as energy transformation and blade efficiencies. Students used PVC fittings to build the base of their creations, sheets of balsa were manipulated for the blades, dowels and crimping hole hubs held the blades together, and a DC motor was fed into a PVC coupler. We went to the Museum’s Wall of Wind to test the various prototypes and attached a multimeter to measure the voltage. It was great fun to see which team’s model worked most efficiently and to hear about the thinking behind their unique designs.