On March 23rd, 50 fourth graders from King K-8 School came to Northeastern University for a field trip on engineering and renewable energy. In the morning, the students were split into two groups. The first group created a number of functional circuits to play music, power a fan or lamp, or a combination of tasks using snap circuits. The other half of the class learned about the basics of renewable energy sources, specifically power provided by solar panels. The students learned about the generation, storage, and utilization of electricity. The students then experimented with some solar cells, lamps, and miscellaneous materials to determine what would alter the output of the cells.
In the afternoon, the students learned more about renewable energy, this time in the context of wind turbines. They then designed and created their own turbine blades. These were tested and their effectiveness was measured by how quickly the axle would raise a weight attached to a string when placed in front of a blower. The students then went on a tour of campus, guided by our undergraduate volunteers.