The area of investigation, type of investigation, and the platform for sharing
findings with the wider scientific community was intentionally left open
ended. I left this open so students would feel less confined to a product in
the form of a laboratory report, the scientific norm.
Running the Prototype
The Science Inquiry Club Prototype started in January 2016. The idea being
that a prototyping process would allow me to evaluate strengths and
weaknesses quickly and make modifications and improvements to develop
and improve the club moving forward.
Three months into the prototype the interest group has grown. Membership
of the club increased from six students to ten students. The projects range
from ecological explorations to product development. Currently, there are
four projects underway where students are in the data collection phase. An
additional three projects are in the planning and development stage, and
three other students are in the ideation stage. The following is a description
of some of the projects, have come out of the science club thus far.
Wind powered - Portable Charge Station
This idea came about during a “ 10 questions in 10 minutes” activity where
students were required simply to observe things around them and look
for questions that could be answered. The student prototyped a system to
harness the school’s air ducting outflow as a source of kinetic energy. He
tested a small DC wind turbine at different distances and angles positioned
in front of the air outflow duct to determine the highest current output. The
current was then fed into a 12v DC battery which was trickle charged to act
as a portable charging station for cellphones and laptops.
Fig 1: Developing skills in circuitry, soldering
and energy transformations in designing the
Fig 2: Collecting data on current output at
various distances and angles from air duct.