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Engineering a Kinetic Wind Sculpture

Beth White, Charles R. Drew Charter School, Atlanta Public Schools

Beth White, Charles R. Drew Charter School, Atlanta Public Schools

Grade Level

Content Area/Instructional Strategy

Overview

This 21-day integrated STEAM unit challenges students to apply their knowledge of kinetic energy to create wind power. Students collaborate to master art, engineering, geometry, and physics standards by designing and building wind turbines capable of lighting light-emitting diodes (LEDs). During the project, the class is divided into groups, where each is responsible for designing a specific part of a kinetic sculpture. The unit culminates with the class presenting their final design to a real-world client.

Standards Addressed

Engineering Concepts
STEM-EC-5; STEM-EC-7; STEM-EC-8; STEM EC-9
English Language Arts
ELAGSE9-10SL1
Mathematics
MGSE9-12.G.SRT.1.; MGSE9-12.G.SRT.2; MGSE9-12.G.SRT.3; MGSE9- 12.G.SRT.6; MGSE9-12.G.SRT.7; MGSE9-12.G.SRT.8; MGSE9-12.G.C.1; MGSE9-12.G.C.2; MGSE9-12.G.C.3; MGSE9-12.G.C.4
Physical Science
SP5
Visual Arts
VAHSVAPR.1; VAHSVAMC.2

About the Teacher

Beth White
Beth White

Charles R. Drew Charter School

In 2013, Beth left her job as an engineer and entered the classroom. There are indelible markers of her previous professional life on every student project she develops – from building a tiny house to creating a windmill capable of lighting LEDs. After Beth received her degree in civil engineering from Colorado State University, she began working as an engineer in Atlanta. While serving as the Vice President of Outreach for the Society of Women Engineers – where she developed STEM experiences for children – she decided that teaching was the right setting for her. Beth received her master’s degree in teaching from Kennesaw State University in 2013.