Windy Days Competition
On June 30, 10 of our Year 8 students attended a Windy Days event at Lawrence Sheriff School run in conjunction with GE Electric.
"Our Year 8 Windy Days Competition at Laurence Sheriff School was a fulfilling, fun, and useful trip. There was never a moment of dullness or uselessness, and we had many chances to build our teamwork, problem-solving, and creativity skills.
Before the challenge began, members of GE Energy delivered to us a speech about their jobs, engineering in Rugby, and efficient energy. These speeches also helped us, as well as inspiring us to think about our future.
We were given a task – to create a windmill that was efficient. Alongside this, we were given activity booklets to help us with various aspects of doing the main task; there was a booklet each for maths, physics, business, geography, and design technology. The questions in these booklets encouraged us to think about problems that may occur whilst we built our windmills.
In the first third of the event, we built a simple structure on which we would design our final creation. In the second third, we tried out different styles of blades, the angles on which we attached the blades to the centre of the turbine, and other variables. In the final third, we created our final wind turbine, keeping in mind the things that we had learned (and written down in a booklet that we were given) and eventually presented them. We were given endless amounts of support from teachers and sixth formers that had volunteered.
After the presentations were finished, our final scores were added up. Rugby High School came second – by one point! We also won in the Maths and Physics category (as our scores on the booklets were also included in the final score).
Overall, this event benefited my learning, and other skills that I need to use in daily life. Above all, it was incredibly fun!"
"The Windy Days science trip, jam-packed with countless team building activities was certainly one to remember. With experts from GE Energy coming in to give us an insight on renewable wind energy, and even a chance to build a turbine ourselves, it allowed us to experience the true uses and wonders of science in practice.
The day began promptly at 8:45, in which a speech from the global crisis energy manager was provided, allowing us to explore the role and immense responsibility of GE energy. This was then followed by the trials and building of our wind turbines, where we were required to use both engineering and logical skills in order to execute the task. As well as this, each group (including students from RHS and Avon Valley School) were handed booklets on mathematics, physics, business and design technology to complete.
After our break at 11:15, we continued to work on our turbine prototype, as well as beginning to think about the designs of our turbines for our final project. For this, we were required to focus on the blades of the turbine, where we tested out different shapes, sizes, and the angles of the blades, to ensure that they would be as efficient as possible. From there, during the final third of our trip, we had to refine our final models, and test them out, to make sure they went as fast as possible. We tested them by placing a fan opposite the turbine, and measuring the amount of electric energy that was transferred. Finally, we had to test our prototypes to see which was the fastest out of all of the groups. Unfortunately, RHS did not come first. However, some excellent models were produced. Furthermore, we also received our booklet scores, which had been marked by several of the volunteer helpers at the event. To our surprise, RHS came 1st in the mathematics paper and 1st in the physics paper, and 2nd overall! It was and amazing experience, and we hope that many more will be able to try this in the future."