On March 15th, 16th and 17th, ReCreate worked with 7th graders at W.T. Eich Middle School to build and test devices that harness renewable energy. Around 270 students built a water wheel, a wind turbine, or a circuit that charges phones using solar power, using easy to find, low cost materials, like PVC pipe, old CDs, and cell phone car chargers. They then tested their creations and gathered data to make conclusions about ideal blade designs for wind turbines, and the difference between artificial and natural light in generating power from solar panels.
Students also became well versed in the use of a digital multimeter. Each student had the chance to measure voltage (the "strength" of an electrical force) and current (the rate at which electrons flow through a circuit).
On the final day, students working on each project had the opportunity to present what they built and what they learned to the rest of their peers.
Many of the students told us that they got the opportunity to use tools and materials they had never used before, including the multimeters, as well as wire strippers, alligator clips, and DC motors. Across all of the projects, students reported facing problems, and having to troubleshoot their way through them.
We're excited to continue this partnership with the 7th grade science teachers at Eich and to bring more environmental themed maker education into classrooms!