Students created hands-on projects, after learning about energy and power!
During spring, 2014 the Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative (GCSC) and Cincinnati State, with financial support from the Grainger Foundation launched It’s Electrifying. This project uses the subjects of energy and power coupled with hands-on, problem-based challenges to energize students and stimulate their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) learning. In Part 1 of the project, students learned the principles of electrical power generation and artificial lighting. In two-person teams, students assembled custom hand-crank generators and measured the effect of various 60W lighting loads (such as incandescent, compact fluorescent, and LED). Part 2 challenged student teams to hand-wind generators and select the optimal gear ratio to maximize electrical production with the hand-crank mechanism. The ultimate test of the generators’ effectiveness was a wheel-to-wheel drag race! Grainger employees joined the students for race day, during which electric slot-cars raced down a 45-foot track with the energy generated by the students in (only!) 30 seconds. In this part of the project students increased their skills in engineering drawing comprehension, workmanship, trouble-shooting, and teamwork.