St. Francis Academy
1601 Central Avenue
Union City, NJ 07087

Tel. No. (201)863-4112
Fax No. (201)601-5905


STEM: Wind Turbine


On Thursday April 6, Mrs. Cassidy arranged for Dr. Adam Scribner from the Stevens Institute of Technology to come visit St. Francis Academy.

Dr. Scribner talked to the 8th grade class about engineering and how it functions in the modern day. He explained that engineering is more than just making something for others to use. He explained that it was the process of designing and creating a product that will help others. He showed us how everyday objects are all made from another person’s work of engineering. We wake up in an engineered bed, and then walk down engineered stairs to an engineered kitchen. When we come to school we come in engineered cars, and then into an engineered school. We realized that everything we use on a day-to-day basis is engineered.

Dr. Scribner brought a miniature version of a wind turbine to the school, which is a perfect example of simple engineering.

Here are the steps we followed in building our own working blades for the model wind turbine:

  1. Dr. Scribner gave the class a task of creating their own design of wind turbines to see how many volts we could generate as a group. He assigned groups of four to create an original design anyway they wanted. We were all given the tools necessary to create our own version of the wind turbine blades.
  2. We all had to incorporate the variables of size, shape, mass, angle, distance from center, and number of blades into our experiment. Every group had significantly different designs and ideas.
  3. We were given pieces of cardboard to create our own blades, then we were to tape the blades to a wooden stick,which was then connected to a gear. When the gear was connected to the end of the turbine it was ready to go.
  4. Then Dr. Scribner placed a fan in-front of our blades to see if they were able to turn with the wind. The amount of volts created were to show our levels of success, and ways to find out how to improve and tinker with our original designs. He was able to read our output of voltage with a multimeter, which was connected to the turbines motor.
  5. There were many failures and successes with every group to show the process engineers go through with every task. We all found ways to improve our designs, some good and others not. It showed everyone that failure in engineering only gives room for improvement.

The results were surprising to say the least. Most groups were able to produce more voltage then the output of a battery. Group B, which consisted of Joseph Pane, Jack Durso, Darian Constantine, and Peter Coar, created the blades with the most output of energy. Their blades created a voltage output of 2.88 volts, which is almost double of what a battery outputs.


Contributed by Jack Durso and Joseph Pane


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