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Eighth Graders Build Engineering Skills and Prepare for Solar Car Race
Eighth grade students at Mount Madonna School are developing engineering skills in preparation for building their own solar cars to race at the 6th annual Summit for the Planet Walk-a-thon and Celebration on April 28.
The class began a three-week engineering unit involving experiments and activities designed to give them an intrinsic understanding of engineering basics, electricity, solar panel placement, circuitry, fluid dynamics, gear ratios, Newtonian mechanics, and experimental design.
“So far, this class seems to be the most excited about the ‘take-apart station,’ comments Lisa Catterall, MMS science teacher. “This is where students take apart and analyze an irreparable piece of lab equipment or a household appliance on its way to be recycled.”
Another of the science lab stations involves students using iPads to think critically about whether there are any real mechanics and mathematics behind popular digital ‘physics games,’ such as Angry Birds. Students will also build and test two electric cars, and experiment with snap-solar panels in preparation for building their own solar car.
In April the students will form teams and build cars according to the standards of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Junior Solar Sprint Cars. A test-track will then take over one of the school’s quads for the week prior to race, and students will perform time trials on their racers in preparation for the big day.
Be sure to attend the Walk-a-thon and stay for the celebration and the solar car race this year!
Things to know when you go:
6th annual Summit for the Planet Walk-a-thon and Celebration, April 28 from 9:00am-1:30pm*. Hosted by Mount Madonna School, 491 Summit Road, Mount Madonna. Free event with $5 carbon offset parking (waived for participants of Summit for the Planet and alternative energy vehicles). For more information visit: SummitforthePlanet.org and on Facebook at facebook.com/summitfortheplanet, or call Pamela Blunden at (408) 846-4035.
*Walk-a-thon participants must pre-register; registration begins at 9:00am; the walk begins at 10:00am.
Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, Marketing & Communications, email@example.com
Nestled among the redwoods on 355 mountaintop acres, Mount Madonna is a safe and nurturing college-preparatory school that supports students in becoming caring, self-aware and articulate critical thinkers, who are prepared to meet challenges with perseverance, creativity and integrity. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville.