Solar Powered KidWind Projects

05/20/2021 8:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

During this school year, five middle school students participating in Makersmiths' KidWind STEM group completed three solar powered KidWind Projects that were entered into the KidWind-VA 2021 Challenge. Winners will be announced on May 25 at 4PM at James Madison University.

Seventh graders Connor, Caleb and Soren created a prototype kiosk that contains a sound box. The sound box detects movement and plays a train sound whenever someone walks by it.  The purpose of the sound is to catch the attention of that person and draw them back to the kiosk to read what information is displayed. The sound box needs three AA batteries to operate. In order for the batteries to remain charged, the boys used three rechargeable batteries in a storage device that is wired to two solar panels on a platform at the top of the kiosk that can be rotated to follow the sun and is tilted at an optimal angle to capture the direct sunlight during spring-summer. Why did they want to make a kiosk as their solar powered structure? Makersmiths is making a large kiosk for the Town of Purcellville to put by the former train station located downtown. The boys thought the town might be interested in their KidWind Kiosk structure and incorporate their design into the town's kiosk. To learn more and see pictures and a movie of their project's development, visit Kiosk Solar Panel Project.

Seventh grade student Katie was interested in finding a way to clean pond or stream water that can be used to water plants. She created a system that uses a fish tank filter box with a charcoal filter, two water pumps and three solar panels on a platform that can be adjusted to obtain the optimum angle to capture direct sunlight at different times of the year. The solar panels operate the two water pumps. To see her movies and images of her project's development, visit Vegetable Garden Watering System.

Eighth grader Sofi initially wanted to create a way to use solar panels to run a system that filters out salt from seawater to make the water drinkable. However, she found that obtaining suitable filter material to use was not easy to find. She then decided to figure out a way to use solar power to run a system that captures hydrogen from water that would fuel vehicles instead of vehicles using fossil fuels. Her Google Slideshow and movie documents the steps she took, first using batteries to produce power to run her electrolysis system, then switching to solar power. To see her project's development, visit Solar Powered Electrolysis.

Makersmiths wants to thank Makersmiths members Diane Painter, Jennifer Chu, Ralph Pugh and Dave Painter for their time and expertise in helping the students learn about solar power, help the students build their projects, and work through the steps they needed to collect and document the effectiveness of their projects using solar power.

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