Students compete with 'Windy Cool Rods'

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TOUCHET — Combining physics and fun, Touchet Elementary students competed to see who could build the best wind-powered car.

Twenty-four students worked for a month on designing a “Windy Cool Rod” — a car made entirely out of recycled materials, without metal, that could go through an obstacle course powered by a box fan. The school held an assembly on Friday to see how far the cars would travel.

First-grader Chester Bergevin won the overall distance competition after his car traveled 42 feet, 7 inches.

Superintendent Susan Bell said the assembly was a lot of fun, and students came away from it with a better understanding of physics. Some discovered their cars’ tires were too small to make it over a series of rumble strips in the course.

“I was impressed by what the students were able to do,” she said.

The wind energy focus was also relevant to students, who live in an area surrounded by large wind power projects.

“I think they got a good grasp of what wind energy can do ... it ties what’s going on in their community into the classroom,” said Bell.

The competition was organized by third-grade teacher Teri Lesmeister. Bell said she hopes to hold another Windy Cool Rod competition next year.

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