The MVRHS January Engineering Challenge

Anders Nelson's team came in Third Place with 0.07446 Joules — Photo Courtesy of Ruda Stone

Each month, Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School students are given the opportunity to compete in an engineering challenge. The goal of the challenge, according to school officials, is to give students an opportunity to experience the work process of engineering a design challenge — and to collaborate with one another to get the job done well — in a different competition from the yearly science fair.The students are issued a design challenge at the meet. Working in teams of two or three, they have 45 minutes to complete the task. Then the designs are evaluated to determine the meet winners.

The January Challenge was to create an energy-producing water wheel that makes use of water falling through a gutter spout. Students were given 45 minutes to construct the water wheel and they had to test the wheel using a gutter spout assembly. The groups were allowed to pour two full buckets of water through the gutter assembly and, based on the speed and amount of rotation of the wheel, the groups could generate energy via a motor attachment. The energy output was tabulated and the group with the highest output was named the winner.  

Faculty assisting the students included Anna Cotton (Alt Ed Science), Dana Munn (Science), Michael Lavers (Math), and Chris Connors (Art)  who work with me as a team to plan and provide these opportunities.

The winners:

First Place = 0.09092 Joules

Ben Tillman, Garrett Zeilinger

Second Place = 0.07507 Joules

Savanna Aiello, Curtis Fisher

Third Place = 0.07446 Joules

Lucas Dutton, Anders Nelson, Adam Bilodeau (not pictured)