Sarah Bailey, a science teacher at Buffalo Middle School in Wayne County, WV, received a STEM grant through the state of West Virginia this past year. The grant consisted of a project wind turbine project to help her students understand engineering design and construction. To assist and mentor her students she reached out to the USACE Huntington District for volunteers. Multiple engineers from various disciplines answered the call and have been mentoring via email exchange with groups of kids that were put into Science Inquiry Teams (SITs). The teams have sent their design summary for review and engineering staff preformed a review and responded with constructive comments.
USACE employees visited the Buffalo Middle School to meet with the groups and to assist the students in person. The overall experience was well received from both students and teachers. Engineers were able to help show the students design tips for meeting the goals of the project along with the importance of the documentation of their design. The turnout to the school by USACE was greatly appreciated. The project completion for the students is in mid-November and Mrs. Bailey has invited the engineering mentors to come back out to the school to sit on the presentation committee when the students present their finial prototypes.