Young engineers show ingenuity at invitational

| 11 Jun 2015 | 12:00

By Anya Tikka
— It’s important to teach kids about sustainability — the practices that keep our ecology healthy and productive now and into the future, says Jolie DeFeis of Air Soil Water.

To that purpose, the organization co-sponsors the Delaware Valley Warrior Engineering Invitational at Delaware Valley High School, now in its second year. This year brought even more teams from area schools — 16, up from last year’s 12, said DeFeis, executive director of the environmental organization.

The competition urges students to think of creative ways to enhance sustainability, including power generation, the topic of this year’s competition. The event was hosted by Bob Curtis of Delaware Valley High School Engineering Club, and co-sponsored by Air Soil Water, the Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC), and Schoenagel & Schoenagel LLC, Engineering & Land Surveying.

Middle and high school teams were tasked with building a wind turbine with a small electric motor and common, everyday items like pencils, plastic baggies, aluminum foil, packing tape, fabric straws, balloons, copper wire, newspaper, water duct tape, rubber bands, toothpicks, electrical tape, wire nuts, switch solo cups, round cardboard tubes, screws, electric motors, plastic water bottle, kabob skewers, marbles, scissors, box fans, poster board, screws, push pins, and lumber. Extra points were awarded for the use of "green" products.

The teams were tested on the highest average wattage output from the wind turbine generator over a one-minute period. They also had to demonstrate to judges their projects in four stages: design, construction, testing, and presentation. Creativity was encouraged.

The winnersThe judging was based on five criteria:

Presentation — 20 percent)
Creative Design — 20 percent)

Teamwork — 5 percent (1 percent awarded for each team member participating in the presentation)

“Green” material — 5 percent, awarded to teams that demonstrate the use of renewable or recyclable materials

Highest wattage (50 percent)
High school students had an extra requirement regarding size. The finished turbine had to fit in a 12x 12x16-inch cardboard box.

After students toiled all morning and early afternoon, the winners were announced:

High School Division
First — Wallenpaupack HS #1

Second — North Pocono HS #2
Third — Delaware Valley HS #2

Middle School Division
First — Dingman Delaware MS #1

Second — Delaware Valley MS #1

Third — Dingman Delaware MS #2

The judges were George De Feis, Air Soil Water; Jeff Rosalsky, Pocono Environmental Education Center; and Gene Ruzanski, Schoenagel & Schoenagel LLC, Engineering & Land Surveying.