Friday, November 22, 2013

Dr. George and IGNITE Ann Arbor

Dr. George came by our class this afternoon and shared his five-minute presentation on the Guatemalan windmill project that he recently delivered at Ignite Ann Arbor

Ignite is a really cool event with a simple idea: Speakers are allowed five minutes of stage time, and twenty slides. There are no pauses, breaks, questions, or do-overs, and the slides advance automatically. Once the slideshow begins, you've got five minutes to give your presentation. 

Dr. George's topic was the windmill project that kids have been working on. Check out George's blog for photos of students hard at work in Science Club, stripping old microwaves for parts to construct generators. 

George also brought a version of the generator for the kids to try out: 

Lee gives the generator a crank. Despite quite a lot of spinning on his part, it doesn't do much with a halogen bulb (visible on the wooden platform right by Lee's knee.) 

An LED, on the other hand, provides a much more powerful punch, and with less work. 
These generators can be created from salvaged parts from otherwise discarded items. Eventually, they'll be connected to windmills in Guatemala, allowing people to efficient, virtually-free electricity. (George also has plans to build one at S-K that will be attached to a stationary bike, allowing us to charge laptops while exercising!) 

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