Seventh grade pupils confirm laws of physics with research
By Lyudmila Minakova
Naturally, most modern schoolchildren are interested in computer games but boys from class 7B at Oshmyany School #3 are fond of physics — conducting all sorts of experiments. They even devote their free time to the hobby and, recently, constructed a mini wind generator (under the guidance of the head master, physics teacher Anna Chubrik); this brought them victory at the Regional TechnoIntellect Contest of Youth Sci-Tech Art.
“Of course, our model is far from modern wind facilities but it does generate electricity!” notes seventh grade pupil Zhenya Kratkevich, turning the turbine. Look, the bulb is lit! “We aren’t discovering America, as wind generators operate under the same principle everywhere: wind turns a wheel, the blades make a rotor move and electricity is then produced. However, we’ve confirmed again that electricity can be generated in this way.”
The children chose the topic with good reason. “Our locality is situated on a hill, where winds are common. From November to February, wind speed reaches up to 10-15 metres a second (enough for similar wind turbines),” states Ms. Chubrik. In fact, the Oshmyany pupils have actually designed their own wind generator, utilising recycled resources. “Our country has many obsolete helicopters whose blades are made from a material suitable for wind turbine blades; sadly, ‘reuse’ of materials is underdeveloped in Belarus. We’d like to install a similar wind turbine on the roof of our school, to supply electricity to the building,” Ms. Chubrik asserts.
It took the children about three months to design and make their generator. “We initially studied how wind facilities operate, choosing blades and a metal alloy,” says Zhenya Kratkevich. “Much time was spent on designing the rotating blades.”
“We thought thicker blades would be more effective but, in fact, a 1mm wire lit the bulb unexpectedly,” adds Maxim Gradoboev. “I had no hope of this being true, but then the bulb lit!”
No doubt, the children are lucky to have a teacher like Ms. Chubrik, who loves to surprise her pupils with experiments. “I realise that the subject would arouse no interest if I just told the children about it; physics primarily envisages experimentation. For example, yesterday, after classes, we were generating electricity from apples and oranges,” she smiles.
The children are now planning a device to treat cold-related diseases, based on light polarisation. Using a tourmaline crystal and an ordinary lamp, they hope to generate energy to treat sore throats, running noses and ear ache.