Year 8 Wonder Project

Two Year 8 classes, 8A and 8M, have been involved in the Wonder Project Energy Challenge this Term.  The Wonder Project is Engineering New Zealand’s programme for schools, designed to get young Kiwis excited about science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).  Engineering New Zealand pairs teachers with STEM professionals across New Zealand to build confidence in students and inspire them to pursue STEM careers.  We were lucky to have Hamish Spence, a Project Engineer from Watercare and Carmel old girl, Kaitlin Franks, a Sustainability Engineer from Inhabit Group, join us in our classrooms.  We learnt about non-renewable and renewable energy sources in New Zealand and then worked in teams to design and build a wind turbine, with the goal of generating enough electricity to power our mini town.

Here are some comments from 8A students about the experience:

“I had a lot of fun learning about aerodynamics and how to conduct energy.  Making the wind turbines was so entertaining, and it showed our group that we should keep trying and trying different blade designs to make our wind turbine spin faster!  I also learned that even small details like how much glue you put on your blades really matters!”

“I’ve been thinking about being an engineer in the future and this definitely motivated me a bit more.  I had a lot of fun during this project and I look forward to doing things similar to this in the future.”

“I always find it fun coming up with ideas and designing things, and the Wonder Project was a wonderful opportunity to do that.  I personally believe that STEM careers, such as engineering, are interesting, and are a good opportunity to come up with new ideas and solutions to things.”

“I had lots and lots of fun experimenting with different ways to create a mini turbine.  I learnt that the small details counted and that sometimes more is not better….  The Wonder project helped me work in a team better and take on other people’s opinions.”