Students experience A World in Motion
Taylor Junior High is partnering with General Motors and SAE International in an exciting hands-on program called A World in Motion.
Bill Klein, retired General Motors engineer, helps a Taylor student test his motorized toy car.
The students in Taylor's Advancement Via Individual Determination program are following lessons developed by engineers. Seventh-graders are making toy gliders. Eighth- and ninth-graders are creating motorized toy cars.
In the toy car program, students write proposals, draw sketches, and work with models to develop a plan to meet a specific set of design requirements. Force and friction, simple machines, levers and gears, torque and design are the core scientific concepts covered in this challenge.
Glider builders explore the relationship between force and motion and the effects of weight and lift. Students learn the relationships between data analysis and variable manipulations, and the importance of understanding consumer demands.
The objective of the eight-week program is to "be an engineer." Students receive a request from a company for the toys. Then they must learn about the mechanics of the project, build a prototype, test and record their data, build a final model and present their project to the company and community representatives.
Six retired GM engineers have been working with the students to guide them and help them build and test the toys. The final presentation is set for 8 to 10:30 a.m. March 4 in the Taylor gym. The GM volunteers will be there as well as parents and other invited guests.
AWIM is designed to motivate the next generation to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math. SAE International provided the curriculum and materials, free of charge, to Karen Rascon, Taylor's AVID program coordinator.