Using piezoelectric technology to harvest energy from drums and inspire an engaging high school classroom experience
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Using piezoelectric materials to harvest the energy of vibration is a popular and fast-growing field of study. This report details an attempt to use piezoelectric energy harvesting techniques to support an interesting and engaging lab experience for high school engineering students in which the vibration of musical instruments (specifically drums, for this report) is harnessed to power a string of decorative LEDs. The likelihood of the energy harvesting actually being successful enough to light the LEDs was not known before undertaking this lab, so the goals of the project became twofold: 1. Conduct the experiment from scratch to determine if a substantial amount of energy can be harvested from the instruments (enough to reach the goal of lighting the LEDs), and 2. Identify how this lab experience (or one similar to it, if the goal of lighting the LEDs is unattainable) can be beneficial to high school engineering students. The purpose of this report is to summarize the research that was carried out to harvest energy from drums using piezoelectric technology, and to outline how similar lab exercises can be utilized in the high school engineering classroom setting.