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Windsor in Motion

Windsor 8 -- Windsor in Motion

Student Views of the Expedition

Introduction:

In Windsor 8 recently completed our fall/winter expedition WINDsor in Motion. We participated in many activities involving energy. We followed two guiding questions throughout most of our activities: What is motion and energy, and How do we use energy in our everyday lives?

Several of the major learning activities are desrcibed below. Be sure to check out the video that accompanies each section to learn about Windsor in Motion.

The Kickoff
For our kickoff we went sailing in the portland harbor. It was really fun to sail in Casco Bay and feel the wind in our sails.

Rocket Launch

Our second project was to design and build a rocket. The rockets were to hold an egg and keep it safe from harm. The teams used the design process to build hardy rockets. Some of the teams tested their rockets and made improvements. Then we went to Deering Oaks and 3... 2.... 1.... BLAST OFF.

(No eggs were harmed in the making of this article, but some were harmed in real life.)

Pumpkin Drop

In October an event called the Pumpkin Drop took place. It was a fun extra credit project offered to students who wanted either a bit of fun or to boost their grades. Students gathered into small groups and tried to create a container that would keep a pumpkin safe from a fall from 6.5 meters. Supplies inlcuded things like cardboard boxes and newspaper.

When the day of the Pumpkin Drop came there were a variety of creative ideas to keep the pumpkins from breaking. A student named Evan even used his backpack. The pumpkins were dropped and students calculated their kinetic and potential energy at various moments during the drops. The Pumpkin Drop was certainly a day to remember.

Cars

In science class we began a lab about energy. There are two main types of energy we studied: kinetic energy and potential energy. For the lab, we set up a small track and ran a special type of low friction car down the ramp. Then a small probe would measure its speed and velocity. The students would then calculate its potential and kinetic energy from the top and bottom of the track. Afterwards we typed a lab and conclusion, which completed the car lab.

Boat Building

 

Our last project in Tech Ed was to design and build our own boats to race in the Young Americas Cup. During the design process we had to decide wether to build our boat by the Classic class rules, or Open class rules. We had to make our sails and boats according to the rules, or they could not race. When they were finished we raced them at the Regatta.

The Regatta

On January 17, 2007 all of the students gathered together in the cafetorium for the big sailing regatta. The regatta consisted of three rounds, giving students a chance to make emergency repairs and re-sail their boats if there was a problem with the first or second run. The entire cafetorium was filled with a party-like atmosphere and during the test runs the movies created by students and available on this web page were shown.

Letters for Change

Every expedition has a service component. For Windsor in Motion, we considered how our energy habits and policies impact the environment. In Language Arts class we watched Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth. At the end of the expedition, every student wrote a letter to an individual or organization that can impact climate and energy policy. Read some of the letters sent to Al Gore and Tom Allen to learn what Windsor 8 students think about climate change and what we should do about it.

--- Earlier Articles on Windsor in Motion ---

The Expedition Kickoff: Sailing the Ocean Blue

See our video of the Kickoff.

For our expedition kick off we took two boats out in Casco Bay; the Bagheera, and the Wendameen. When we arrived at the dock we met with the crew we would be spending the day with. They explained a few basic rules. After acquiring this knowledge we set off.

Soon we were out on the ocean and we learned quite a bit about the teamwork required to sail. Everyone needs to work to together to raise the sails, move the masts, and keep the boat clean. We also found out that below deck there are sleeping quarters, either one or two bathrooms, and a cooking space. The crew members need to keep the downstairs clean for easy access to the captain's quarters and the emergency power switches. While sailing, the two ships drew near each other and we had a small demonstration of how to steal wind.  

The Bagheera and the Wendameen had a race. The competition was swiftly ended when the Wendameen stole the wind out of the Bagheera's sail. The crew aboard the Wendameen cheered with glee before pulling swiftly away into the bay. On the Bahgeera all of the students had to be seated as they observed the team working as one to turn the sail around to catch the wind again.

The students all grew closer together as they shared songs and stories. Over on the Wendameen, students enjoyed listening to the captains silly pirate jokes and reenacting scenes from the Titanic. The Bagheera pulled into port and docked shortly before the Wendameen arrived back in port. Once the students arrived back at school we spilt into our homerooms and made a chart of the days activities. As the day ended the students left with a wonderful experience and new knowledge about teamwork and energy.

Students and Teachers Set Sail to Discover the Nature of Energy

The Windsor 8 house is deep into its expedition: "WINDsor In Motion." This expedition investigates energy and motion. In science, students are learning about energy, alternative energy sources (like solar, tidal, and wind power), and motion. In conjunction with their science studies, students are designing and building rockets, kinetic sculptures, and fiberglass sailboats in Technology Education classes. Students will design and analyze the performance of these products using math concepts including rate, ratio, and proportion. Continuing with the themes of motion and energy, students are reading the novel “Whirligig” in English class. They will also be writing persuasive essays where they defend the importance of one type of alternative energy. In social studies, students are examining the Industrial Revolution and the changes that occurred in our country as a result of new technologies.

More News from Windsor 8
Students and Teachers Set Sail to Discover the Nature of Energy

The Windsor 8 house is deep into its expedition: "WINDsor In Motion." This expedition investigates energy and motion. In science, students are learning about energy, alternative energy sources (like solar, tidal, and wind power), and motion. In conjunction with their science studies, students are designing and building rockets, kinetic sculptures, and fiberglass sailboats in Technology Education classes. Students will design and analyze the performance of these products using math concepts including rate, ratio, and proportion. Continuing with the themes of motion and energy, students are reading the novel “Whirligig” in English class. They will also be writing persuasive essays where they defend the importance of one type of alternative energy. In social studies, students are examining the Industrial Revolution and the changes that occurred in our country as a result of new technologies.

The “WINDsor In Motion” expedition has many field components. Incorporating the concepts of motion, energy, and boat building, we kicked off the expedition with a sailing cruise around Casco Bay aboard the schooners Bagheera and Windameen. Students have field tested their rockets and will be filming their trajectories for analysis in science class. In conjunction with the Facilities Department of Portland Schools, students investigated different energy levels throughout the school (heat, sound, light, and room pressure). As our studies of motion progress, we will investigate the speed of falling objects and cars traveling through the school zone. The Expedition will culminate in the early winter with an indoor sailboat regatta. Kinetic sculptures, rockets, persuasive essays and other products will be on display as well. The teachers and students are excited and energized!