Ambergate pupils gain third place in Wind Turbine design competition
On Thursday 13th July 2023, six Year 9 pupils from Ambergate Sports College took part in the final of the Lincolnshire Institute of Technology Year 9 STEM Challenge at the EPIC Centre at Lincolnshire Showground.
There were 17 other schools involved in the 10-week challenge to design and build a wind turbine that can generate power. The wind turbine had to be built from recycled items and be able to cope with varying wind conditions e.g., from a gentle breeze to ‘storm force’ winds.
As part of the challenge the team were also required to submit a 1000-word essay ahead of the event, explaining wind power as a renewable resource, how the team worked together and transferable skills they used, the roles of the individual team members and the overall project from conception, design, manufacture, testing and results and reflection on what the team learnt from the project overall.
On the day of the final, a panel of judges used specific criteria including design, quality of build and what the turbines had been made from.
Our pupils embraced the challenge, and we soon had a design for the turbine. Most of our materials were recycled, from the bicycle wheels holding the blades in place to the pallet used as the base, we only had to buy a rubber band to connect the motor to the bicycle wheels.
In testing, our wind turbine produced about 7 volts of potential energy, but we were unsure how this would compare to the turbines at the other schools, we could only hope! We set up our turbine in the Epic Centre’s Hall on the day of the competition, where we were able to see the other teams’ turbines for the first time. There was a diverse collection of designs and materials used. Team Ambergate was able to speak to the other teams and discuss how they decided on their design and materials used. It was fantastic to see the pupils interacting with their peers. Our pupils also had a chance to interact with representatives from local colleges and Universities and learn about the options available to them post 16.
Then the all-important testing was conducted using several fans to gauge the turbines’ resilience to variable wind speed and direction. Our turbine managed to generate 12.66V of potential energy, even better than our trial testing and at this point in the competition far greater than any of the other turbines. This was a huge boost to our team!
When all the results from the competition were totalled, Team Ambergate was awarded joint third prize. A fantastic result!
The school received a prize of £100 and each of the team members received £15 and a certificate from the organisers. Congratulations to all the pupils involved!
We would like to thank our mentors for this project Mike Caswell and Peter More from the Institute of Technology from Grantham College and the organisers of the Lincolnshire Institute of Technology Year 9 STEM Challenge for the opportunity to take part in this fantastic event.