Kecoughtan High School students design, build solar charging stations
Christine Woods, teacher-librarian at Kecoughtan High School, had a brilliant idea to install solar charging stations in the courtyard of the library. With the help of the creativeness of students and teachers and grants to fund the project, her idea became a reality.
After obtaining the grants for the projects - $400 from Alpha Delta Kappa and $500 from Southeast Region Alpha Delta Kappa - the planning process began. Woods met with Percy Gregory, a career and technical teacher (CTE) at Kecoughtan to begin the Project-Based Learning activities. The grants included funds for a creative book display and for the solar charging stations.
Students were tasked with creating a unique design, using AutoCAD, creating a materials list, and staying within the $700 limit. They were also required to create a construction bid and presentation for the customer. Woods brought in guest speaker William Woods, senior electrical designer from Newport News Shipyard, to visit with the students and demonstrate how designers are using laser scanning to create drawings that used to take hours when done by hand.
At the conclusion of the four-week design period, each group created a logo and name for their design company. The student groups from the three engineering classes created unique and completely viable designs. They gave a successful presentation to the customer (Woods). She consulted with Gregory; Matt Pohlman, CTE teacher; and William Woods to choose a winning design.
Woods chose the HANA group design by Zach Welch, McKay Wilhelm, and Jeremy Carson for the solar charging stations. She was able to offer AV carts to be recycled to build two stations instead of one. The bookshelf design was awarded to the Spectrum Design group consisting of Jayden Laboy, Kathlyn Tuttle, and William Klotz. They designed a bookshelf shaped like a K.
“It turns out that building a bookshelf shaped like a K is not as easy as it looks on paper,” said Woods. “Mr. Pohlman deserves high praise for his patience trying to figure it out and involving the students in the problem solving process.”
Three construction classes worked on the projects and problem-solved issues to help the students bring their projects to completion.
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