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|Junior high students from Middleton's class during the gravity cruiser race|
Auburn Engineering students on Baja SAE and Formula SAE teams are introducing students at Auburn Junior High School to engineering classes through SAE’s international teaching program, A World in Motion (AWIM). Volunteers from industry instruct lessons on science, technology, engineering and math in K-12 classrooms, and students apply the teachings in a creative group activity.
Katie Mott, Casey Hill, Jeremy Croom, Richard Golden and Charlee Lipham, all sophomores in mechanical engineering on Auburn’s Baja SAE team, worked with Jacque Middleton’s eighth grade class for three weeks for a total of 10 lesson periods. The engineering students taught lessons on motion, force, energy, drive ratios, friction and testing methodologies, as well as assisted the junior high students in building and constructing “gravity cruiser” vehicles powered by gravity.
“The gravity cruiser has a lever that has additional weight attached to one side and a string attached to the other,” said Mott. “The other end of the string is wrapped around the axle. As the lever falls, the string unwinds and the car moves forward.”
Students constructed the gravity cruisers gradually during the three-week period to prepare for a racing and design competition at the end of the lesson.
Auburn students Brian Keyser, Kurt Wagner, Ben Williams, Sean Baker, Chase Reynolds and Chip Stallings from the university’s Formula SAE team assisted Rebecca Balkom’s ninth grade class in AWIM’s fuel cell challenge. Students worked in teams to design a vehicle that was environmentally friendly and powered with alternative sources. Throughout the 10 lesson periods, a variety of activities introduced the students to fuel cells and hands-on experiments with a proton exchange membrane fuel cell to produce electricity that powers an electric motor.
Both War Eagle Motorsports teams spent more than 30 teaching hours with their respective junior high class.
To learn more about A World in Motion, visit http://www.awim.org/