MOUNT VERNON — Michael Barrett, Senior Controls Engineer for Rolls-Royce, recently paid a visit to the fifth-grade classes of Pleasant Street Elementary School.
Barrett explained how the science concepts learned in fifth grade are used at Rolls-Royce and around the world every day. He showed students the design of a control system and computer-generated model of a power plant recently built in Sweden.
Teacher Aimee Humphrey said the students were surprised to learn that compressors and power systems in 50 different countries are being monitored from right here in Mount Vernon.
Barrett designed seven different labs for students to work through during his visit. These labs reinforced several of the state standards students are required to understand and will be tested on in grade five. Labs included experiments with electromagnetic, fluorescent, incandescent and LED bulbs, kinetic and potential energy, power sources and circuits, conductors and insulators. Barrett also made it possible for students to actually see sound waves when he attached his electric guitar to an oscilloscope. Humphrey said students made exciting connections to the tone of notes played and the frequencies of the wave lengths shown.
Through the help of Barrett, Rolls-Royce has donated many science supplies to Pleasant Street’s fifth grade. Barrett is currently creating kits that teachers will be able to use with students for years to come.