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Young innovators design wind energy generators

According to reports, former space scientist to hold science competition for children in the first week of June.If you are a middle or high school student wondering how to spend time this summer, here is an creative project that requires applying classroom physics to address a real time issue.

A competition is to be held in the first week of June where kids in the age group of 10-15 years can design and showcase wind energy generators.

The idea is to create awareness about the importance and application of renewable sources of energy like wind.

Students will be given basic material including a DC motor, pulleys, wires, LEDs, connecting hooks and a set of instructions. In a span of a fortnight, they will have to individually design a wind energy device that can be hand held.

When held against constant flow of wind, the device should generate energy which can make the LEDs glow, thus erasing the need for other forms of light.

LEDs or light emitting diodes are used as indicator lamps and for lighting purposes.

“How they connect wires and design the base device which will move when put up against wind is the key here. That will determine how many LEDs actually glow,” says former ISRO scientist Sujata Virdhe, the brain behind this competition.

For designing the base device, which can be shaped in any form including a wind-mill, students can use any light material including paper, plastic, thermocol, etc.

“We will give them about 10 LEDs. They are welcome to buy more and try and glow all of them,” says Virdhe.

The winner will be decided depending on the number of LEDs that glow and also how well the device has been designed.

Being an individual competition, it has an upper limit of 1,000 participants, says Virdhe, adding that depending on the success, she will extend it to include designing devices that can tap solar energy.

“Students need to use whatever they learn to come up with products and devices having wider reach and usage,” says Virdhe, who herself designs products like microscopes, solar goggles, telescopes and magnets for school kids.

L Green Ventures, the firm she started in 2009, after working in ISRO for over 22 years, makes products that can help students learn math tables through board games like snakes and ladder and play kits to understand physics concepts like magnetism, electricity, light and sound.

“I plan to hold more science based events and competitions where children can apply their learnings for solving problems and innovating,” says Virdhe.

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