Project VENTURA is a 10th grade engineering project at the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders. The project is centered on the restoration and conversion of a 1977, 32-foot Airstream trailer into an “eco-trailer”. Teams of 3-4 students were given a budget of $6000 with which they must come up with a design that includes re-framing, re-insulating, re-flooring, re-wiring, adding a fresh water holding tank and pump, installing solar panels, and using a minimum of 75% green materials. Teams will model their designs using Google SketchUp. In May, each team will present a portion of the design process to a professional panel of engineers.
The project is an open-ended, independent project based on Project Based Learning (PBL). In project-based learning, students spend weeks or months to response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. The idea behind PBL is that students will learn content through rigorous projects and practice 21st Century Skills (such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking). PBL has been proven to facilitate deeper, more authentic learning.
Throughout the 3-month duration of the project, students will learn the following content through research and real-world application:
- electricity, circuits and wiring
- insulation and thermodynamics
- green building materials
- statics, truss systems, and stress testing
- water-pump systems
- budgeting with Microsoft Excel
- 3-D modeling with GoogleSketchup