In 2015 Saint Andrew’s Invictus Team finished 6th. They overcame a lot of challenges to get that 6th place finish and now they’re back to tell you why they want to participant in H2AC in 2016.
Take it away, STEM Coach George Lebron.
Why do you as a teacher want to volunteer your time to coach your team?
1) I enjoy working with electronics, robotics, and programming.
2) I enjoy helping students discover their own passions in these areas.
3) I really love when students gain enough knowledge and confidence to find something outside of what was presented, research it, and want to build it.
How will participating in this competition benefit your students’ familiarity with renewable energy & their opinions on further education and careers opportunities in STEM related fields?
By actually working with renewable energy it no longer is theory. It is one thing to hear and learn about any subject, when they actually do it, it becomes real. It also becomes something they know how to use. As the understanding becomes deeper the questions both for and against get better which helps create better solutions.
How did H2AC increase you and your team’s familiarity with renewable energy?
Last year we only used the solar panel and hydrogen fuel cell in the energy kit. We were able to see the advantages and disadvantages of these energy sources first hand. It also prompted deeper questions which led to more research into the topic.
After H2AC, were your students more comfortable about topics pertaining to STEM?
Yes. Engineering in particular. Our car’s front axle broke rendering the wheel attached to it useless. In an effort to get back in the race many solutions were presented to fix the axle but they learned that stress factors made them impossible. Forced to think deeper, they decided to forego the wheel entirely and replace it with a slide using duct tape and a piece of a water bottle jar. They learned to maneuver the vehicle around the track at speeds close to their four wheel counterparts.
With the energy kit they learned the importance of amperage in an electrical system as the solar panel which produced 2.9 volts was unable to move a fan that the hydrogen fuel cell at 0.9 volts turn.
For you as a teacher, did participating in H2AC give you aid in future curriculum for your students?
It opened the doors of possibility of our newly founded robotics club. After seeing different energy sources we can now consider less traditional power sources for projects. This opens up the possibility for more interesting projects in the future.