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Designing Windmills

Mechanical engineering involvers the desing of anything with moving parts.  In this unit, students will think like mechanical engineers--and also use their understanding of air as wind--to design and create wind-powered machines.  The storybook Leif Catches the Wind introduces students to wind turbines that generate renewable energy.  Students will study how common machines such as mechanical pencils and egg beaters work, then use their mechanical engineering skills to design sailboats and windmills that catch the wind.