IIT’s Office of Student Access, Success and Diversity Initiatives hosted a STEM Day for Frederick Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center on October 7, 2013. About 126 high school students participating in the Project Lead the Way program visited IIT to learn about STEM fields and the opportunities offered at Illinois Tech.
Tanya Cabrera, IIT Associate Director of Minority Outreach and Undocumented Student Initiatives, organized the visit and fourth-year Mechanical Engineering student, Jose Gibaja, facilitated a hands on workshop to give students a taste of what STEM is like.
Modified from a lesson plan used for the IIT Boeing Scholars Academy summer session, the project introduced high school students to concepts of sustainability, sources of energy, power output, wind turbines, design thinking, and prototyping.
After a discussion about energy sources and wind turbine design considerations, students were challenged to design and fabricate wind turbine blades that produce the greatest power output. Students were encouraged to try multiple iterations to improve their design by altering variables such as blade size, pitch, shape, number of blades, and blade material.
This event reflects the values expressed in IIT’s Diversity Statement and is intended to promote diversity at IIT.