BLUE lab Woven Wind is an engineering project team at the University of Michigan that designs and builds smallscale wind turbines to serve as handson educational totols. Our goal is to introduce engineering and sustainable technology into our target communities. This year, Woven Wind collaborated with Mrs. Cindy Johengen, a fifth grade teacher at Northside A2 STEAM School (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math), a school that focuses on project based learning located in the Ann Arbor Public School District. The partnership aims to design and construct a permanent smallscale wind turbine outside of Cindy’s classroom at the Northside STEAM School, which she can use to augment her STREAM curriculum.
Since September, Woven Wind has visited Cindy’s classroom a number of times to facilitate inclass educational workshops to introduce them to sustainable technology, wind energy and prepare them to understand a wind turbine design from an engineering perspective. Our activities introduce topics at such as anemometers, blade aerodynamics, transmission systems and most recently, electrical circuits, on a basic level to the fifth grade students.
Current and Future Work
Woven Wind finished the design process during the fall semester, and is currently in the process of fabricating the turbine. We work primarily in the Wilson Team Student Project Center. The collaboration with Saturn Electronics, a local PCB Manufacturing firm located in Romulus, MI, was sparked by the initiative for Woven Wind to create more innovative systems to utilize the electricity generated by the wind turbine. The designs use creative and interactive displays as inclass applications for the 5th graders to engage with and have a custom circuit, braking, and safety system. Woven Wind’s expenses and manufacturing expenses of design will be covered thanks to a generous donation by
Saturn was founded in 1985 by Nagji Sutariya. From the beginning, Saturn’s mantra was to focus solely on quality and to learn from, but never repeat, mistakes. From this seemingly simple philosophy Saturn grew from a humble 3 person operation at an average rate of 25% per year to become a top 10 PCB fabricator in North America. They have shown a firm commitment to local outreach, and have supplied high quality electronics to many of the University of Michigan’s most successful engineering project teams.