Grants Fund Turbine, Drone Projects at West

Grants Fund Turbine, Drone Projects at West
Posted on 11/16/2017
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When West Middle School teachers Rebecca Sigwing and Jeff Miller learned they had been funded for not one but two STEM PK12 Innovative STEM Project Grants from the Idaho STEM Action Center, they couldn’t contain their excitement. 

“I’m not sure words adequately describe how excited we were that both grants were approved,” said Sigwing, who teaches sixth-grade STEM classes (Miller teaches seventh-grade math and robotics). “Well, perhaps running up and down the hallways tossing glitter everywhere and shouting ‘Woohooo!’ might be a close description.”

One grant (for $2,144) will assist students in creating and building wind turbines to generate electricity, while the other (for $2,475) will fund a project where students build, program and fly drones.

The wind turbines build on sixth-grade knowledge of the periodic table, focusing on metals and conductivity, electrical currents, circuitry and measuring energy output. The goal is to provide students with more background knowledge of electrical concepts before they enter the STEM robotics class. The drone project will provide learning opportunities a step beyond robotics and lay a foundation for a working knowledge of flight.

Plans include a culminating activity for the drones in which the students will fly them though an obstacle course. “Our imaginations are totally engaged as we all learn more about the concepts and opportunities our grants are bringing to our students and to STEM Education here at West,” Sigwing said.