Technology Projects Spring 2006
By Steve Belitsos and Justine Macris from the Automotive Technology Department.
Each student will build and launch a water bottle rocket and an Estes model rocket.
By Louise Maynard and Paul Johnson from
the Mechanical Engineering Technology
Department with assistance from Mary Waldo and Bob Royce.
Design, model and test an alternative energy system. Use Lego components
(beams, gears, shafts, motors/generators, capacitors, solar panels, wires,
etc.) and other simple materials to catch wind, water or solar energy, hold it,
change it and let it go in a useful way. Students will take data and
perform calculations relating to power and
The projects enjoy the generous support of
the public schools. School staff members accompany the students and assist with
the projects. The schools pay for project preparation, instruction and
coordination (mostly from Vermont Tech faculty and staff), and materials like
glue and ice cream. The schools also pay some administrative costs (contracts,
payroll, invoicing, etc.).
The projects also enjoy the generous
support of Vermont Technical College. The college contributes facilities (like computer
labs and machine shops), technician time, logistics by Mary Jeanne Taylor, and
oversight from the Academic Deanís office. The college also contributes most of
the costs for administration (contracts, payroll, invoicing, etc.).
Warning to Parents and
In these projects many of the
technologies are inherently dangerous. Of
course, if a student is not comfortable with a dangerous technology, someone
else will use it for them.
Students and parents should also
understand that a place, where technologies like power tools are used, is an inherently
dangerous environment. We have been very
fortunate in recent years to have avoided a terrible accident.
If a student shows a dangerous lack of
skill or judgment, an instructor or staff member may remove them from the
project. Many risks, however, can not be countered by close supervision. All
students and parents should be warned that errors in concentration,
skill or judgment can quickly lead to injury.
Also, even a person doing the right thing
might get hurt by a freak accident or someone elseís mistake.
We recommend an attitude of calm mindful
respect for the inherent dangers of technology.
Paul H. Johnson
Vermont Technical College