For nearly two weeks, 8th grade students in Mr. Geater’s Gateway to Technology (GTT) class have been learning about simple gears and mechanisms. At the culmination of the unit, the students were tasked with a windmill construction project. Groups received a list of criteria to include, and the first group to produce a functioning windmill, including the criteria and the ability to explain the pathway to completion, received $15 in Cat Cash. Upon asking Mr. Geater about the project he said, “This activity is designed to allow the students to utilize what they have learned about gears and mechanisms and apply it to something practical.”
Students started by creating a plan within their groups. While discussing the creation of the design with the group including Kendel, Kade and Ben, Ben said, “We just started sketching it, and we did the plan while we were drawing it.” “It is pretty much trial and error,” added Kendel. “After doing others before this, it just came to us.”
The winning team who produced the first working windmill included Jessica, Selena and Ashlynn. They met the required criteria and could explain their project. Mr. Geater said the emphasis for 8th graders in GTT is automation and robotics, and in the next unit, the students will be learning about programming and construction of robots.