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Showing posts from 2015

Build Your Own Scribble Bot

In order to build a scribble bot, you need the following materials:

* A cup
* Markers
* Paper                      
*A battery
* A motter
* Wires
1) Build the battery circuit by connecting the wires to each end of the battery and the other side         attached to the motor. It should make a vibrating motion and a mumbling sound in your hand.
2) Tape the cups (or boxes) together and also tape the circuit into the cup. Make sure that the motor is sticking out of the cup.
3) Use a drill to connect the wheel onto the motor, and be certain that it's able to roll around on the table.
4) Tape the markers onto the cup (box) and make sure they are not touching the wheel or motor. It could cause the drawings to be bumpy and rigid.
5) Uncap the markers and let your robot roll around!!!
I  really suggest trying our scribble bots They are a fun and easy activity, and I've learned a lot from them so far (although we're not quite finished yet). I can't wait to see how this project u…

Scribble Bots

Today in STEAM we worked on scribble bots. They're little robots made of cups and batter circuits, and you attach a few markers to them so that when they're running, they make cool patterns on the table!! We just started our project today, and I'll share more details once I've learned more about what the project is like.

What a finished scribble bot looks like.

Electricity Introduction

Today in STEAM we learned about electricity and circuits using a Java-based download. We were given a worksheet full of instructions and ideas for our exploration. For example, the packet would show a circuit design, and we would copy it onto our computer. Then we were asked questions, like-- why did/didn't this design work? Or,-- What happens if you add another battery, or reverse the energy source?-- and so on. I thought this was a good way of learning about electricity, and I look forward to working with more circuits-based-projects in the near future!!

"You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone."--Johnny Cash

Sadly, my partner and I did not meet the deadline for the simulation, and I fear that we might not get a very good grade for it. But, although it sounds strange, I think I learned more from our rollercoaster failure than we would have learned from a perfect project. Here's my theory--

*We learn more from failure than from from success. As an athlete, I have experienced this before. When you lose a soccer match, you are more likely to analyze your performance than when you win.

*Also, I feel like the relevant principles of physics are now solidly ingrained in my brain because we struggled so hard to make our roller coaster work.

*Finally, I think the key concept we failed to grasp was time management- you need to assume things will go wrong and plan for it. We experienced a lot of technical difficulties, including glitchy software and outdated computers, but we should have made up for that by asking Mr. Aringo if we could come in during lunch and give our project some extra time. I…

Adding in Supports

As I read the requirements list on my roller coaster project, I noticed that we were instructed to add in supports to our structure. I remembered Mr Aringo teaching us how to insert them a couple days back, so I took in that information. First, I chose which supports to add in (there were many options, such as box support, arc support, or single-sided support). After this, I got straight to work. I added in a couple structure frames (supports), in places that would need them most. I haven't yet finished inserting them, but I hope to do that tomorrow. Personally, I kinda wish I'd gone faster putting them in, because now I have more work on top of all of my roller coaster modifications, but hopefully that is a skill I can improve upon- working with more speed. 


(RE) Simulation

Right now, I'm currently still working on my simulation. I think everything is going well, considering we just started. There are somethings about the ride that need to be changed, though. For example, our g's keep passing the limit, which is not acceptable, and there is one point in the ride where the cart completely slows down unintentionally. These are some things that need to be tweaked, but I'm pretty confident we'll meet the deadline.

First Day of 3D Simulation

Today was the first day of our 3D simulation roller coaster. I thought it was super fun, and I think I like it much better that the physical roller coaster project. Mr. Aringo wasn't there today, but he told us what to do the previous day so that we would be prepared. My partner and I made a simulation draft that worked okay. We're going to hopefully redesign it and tweak some parts of it tomorrow, to make our ride even better!


Ok, so I think we finally finished our physical roller coaster project. I didn't get the chance to blog yesterday, so I'm going to write about Monday's class in this blog. Yesterday we did our roller coaster presentations. Our ride finally worked, and we named it "The Suicide", because almost everyone who rode it died!! Anyway, our presentations was not that great overall. Some of my teammates were really shy, and when it was their turn to speak, they backed out. But I don't think it was their fault. We just didn't have much time to practice our presentation. I think if we'd had more time to plan and talk it out, the outcome would have been better.

3D Simulation

Today in STEAM class we learned about the 3D rollercoaster simulation. Basically, it's like and animated roller coaster ride, where you get to experience what it's like to ride your roller coaster. We haven't yet started it, but Mr. Aringo showed us the basics of the activity, and he thinks we will be able to start next Monday. I'm really excited, because it looks like a lot of fun. I just hope I follow all the roller coaster physics  and don't crash the cart or anything bizarre like that!!

What the simulation should look like from the passenger view.

Drop Boost!!!

Today in STEAM class my team and I developed a drop in our roller coaster. What we did is, we have a track, and then it suddenly ends, dropping the marble a few inches onto the other track about 8 inches below. We haven't yet made it work completely but we're working on it, and I think that once it'll look really cool!

More or Less a Team

So today was good day for our group. We finally found our groove, since we had never really clicked as a team. It was nice to finally communicate nicely. unlike how we used to argue about where to place each coaster part. Also, we finally found a good design that wouldn't fall apart as we assembled it. It's still a bit wobbly, but we have three more days to stabilize it. Anyways, I thought it was cool to see our group strengthen and our roller coaster become rideable!!

So Close!!!

In STEAM I an currently still working on my coaster project (which I will be on for a while). Anyways, as I worked on my project, I was stumped. I wanted to connect two two-way-tracks, but when I tried to intercept them, the tracks wouldn't math up. I thought I was doomed, as my aspect of our collaboration would not work. Then my idea hit. It was quite a bright idea, but I had not yet thought of the shapes. Here's why: My idea was to cut a normal track in two, and connect one of the halves on each side of the intercepting two-sided-tracks. The problem was, my two sided tracks went sideways, and the normal track was completely direct. So, the idea was trashed. I knew I was on the right track, but my initial idea needed to be tweaked. 

I decided to ask Mr. Aringo. His advice was to keep my original layout, but instead, change the "straight track" idea to curved tracks, so that they would come in and fit into the double connectors. I am currently working on building th…

New Plan

A group consults a plan. Kind of like how we did in our                                                                                                                                                                                 paper roller coaster plan B. As mentioned in the previous blog, my group and I decided to recreate our project. Our old plan was to just let one person build it without any help or knowledge on the topic. This was, of course, a terrible idea, and we did not realize it until the final result came out ( and trust me, it was NOT good). Well, anyways, that was yesterdays blog. Today I'm telling you what our new plan was. First we scratched our old design and decided to cut our all of the coaster parts beforehand. Later, when all the contraptions are cut out, we will decide as a group how to incorporate everybody's…

Think and Remake

Today in STEAM we continued to work on our paper coasters. We created new paper parts, so that we could connect them to the main ride. When we thought we'd finally finished, we experimented with the marble, and when we were expecting glory..... it failed. So, we had to try to look about it in a different perspective and ask ourselves these questions:

-Why didn't it work?

-Where did we go wrong?

-What can we do to improve upon our project

At the end of class, we concluded that tomorrow we are going to ask Mr. Aringo for some advice on our ride, since clearly, it needs to me remade.

Reflection and thought

Everybody's Project

Today in STEAM I learned how to incorporate my idea in the team project. Explained simply, we basically just had to make a paper roller coaster draft as a GROUP, and each person had to contribute an aspect of their own. I thought this was  good way to practice team skills, and also a good way to learn more about paper roller coasters. 

Minions work together to achieve a goal, kind of like what we did. 

Paper Coaster Parts

Today in STEAM we tinkered with some paper rollercoaster parts. We have not yet built the ride, but Mr. Aringo thought it would be a good idea to learn how to use these paper contraptions before actually building something with them. So, we look the paper and folded it according to the instructions. I thought tis activity was ok. It wasn't that fun, but we have to learn it somehow. Besides, it's going to help us build our actual paper rollercoaster. When we build our real paper rides, I'm going to apply all the skills I learned during this activity.

Epic Coaster Creator

Today in STEAM we played the amazing coaster creator. I finally got around to making it, after fiddling with funderstanding coasters for a while (see previous blog). I named my ride Electric Yellow Shark, and I put the mass at 3 carts. Then I built my track. An initial hill, a slightly shorter hill, an even shorter hill, a mini loop, and an ending curve. I had to make many attempts, since of course I couldn't do it first try. I thought this game was amazing, and I can't wait to physically build a ride, which we will do later in the semester. If I could change anything about my coaster, I would have put more loops in it, because I found out that that was a better way to gain energy than the hills. Overall though, this game was a bomb, and I highly suggest trying it out!!
What I would have been like riding my coaster creator coaster!!


Coaster Fun

Today in class we played a new a game about roller coasters. I didn't get to play it yet, but I did see the introduction, and it seemed like a lot of fun. First you get to customize your roller coaster, and even name it, like "magenta mega squid," or something. Then your draw out the hills and loops. Finally, you get to test it out. The passengers scream as the ride goes on, but if you make a loop to big for it's capacity, the coaster stops, and you fail. I learned that that you must not build the loops higher as the ride progresses, but start big and THEN decrease. The reason for this is because the small hill/loop will slow the coaster down, and reduce the energy, which is needed for the big hills. Next time, when I actually play, I'm going to take this information into consideration, so I don't spend too much time in frustration like last time, when we played the other coaster game.

A sneak peak at coaster creator!!

Sharing is Caring

Today I learned how to share my work onto How to add gadgets and pages were part of this experience. To do this, we had to fill out a Cornell notes sheet based on sharing work, and then we were sent to try on our own. I really enjoyed this experience, and I think it will really hep me in my future tech life. Although, if I could change one thing about this project, I might work on specifying the instructions a little, to make them more clear. I found it a little difficult to follow these instructions, but overall, everything went smooth. So there you go, sharing is caring, wether it's online or physically, it will always make a satisfying impact in the end. 
                                                               Share your work!!

Today in class we built a roller coaster online. Mr. Aringo gave us a sheet of instructions, telling us to go onto a link connected to The app showed a coaster track and several obstacles, which you had to build and customize for yourself. Some of the features included loops, hills, and flats. I built a roller coaster with an initial hill, and three loops. It took me a while, but I finally adjusted the friction, gravity, and mass so that they would go along with the ride. The final product was a well functioning roller coaster (I hope). Next time though, I'm going to try to get the hang of the game quicker. Because for a chunk of time, I was just putting the coaster through a ton of obstacles it wasn't adjusted for, and I got kinda frustrated that my ride wouldn't obey. But I got the hang of it soon, when I really thought about it and connected the facts with the ideas. My advice would be to really think about the reality before going all out, because the …
Yesterday in class we learned about the physics of a roller coaster, and the regulations they have to follow. We learned about blackouts and redouts, which can occur while on the ride. A black out is when not enough blood is reaching the head.  A redout is pretty much the opposite. It is when TOO much blood is crowding the head. Incidents like this can cause death. But we don't have to worry. Inspectors check the rides and the tracks every morning before opening the parks, to make sure they are in good condition. If  roller coaster is NOT functioning properly, it will be under repair. Workers walk up the tracks for 4+ hours to guarantee our safety. I love roller coasters, and now, I'm going to ride them even more for a change, since I know how they work! 

instagram photo
SUPER BLOOD MOON LUNAR ECLPSE Last night, we saw a blood moon lunar eclipse. Being the space geek I am, I was sitting by the window watching "Star Wars", when I saw a shadowy red figure rising above the clouds. I was immediately intrigued by the image, and decided to share some information on the topic. 
The lunar eclipse is when the moon appears dark as it passes through the Earth's shadow. The red aspect occurred when the Earth's atmosphere's light fell onto the moon. The redness is reflected back to Earth, and is a lot dimmer than the white light usually shined onto the moon's surface. 
Her some awesome pictures captured around the world during the rare event!

Today in class I learned how to export an image onto using the Macs. Mr. Aringo wasn't here today, and we had a sub who didn't know much about computers. So, since we couldn't find out what to do, we tinkered a bit with the possibilities. I tried to figure out mentally what would happen each time I changed the command, and I experimented with it, too. Then, I finally got control of it. What we did was export the slide show as a quick time movie, save to documents, copy down from documents, and send the submission to Mr. Aringo. I'm rather proud of myself for figuring this out, but next time, I'm going to try to remember what the teacher said in the beginning, so that we won't have to experience this process again.
Today in STEAM class I learned a better method of sharing the computer. I realized that I was hogging the computer, and not letting my partner use it as often. We asked Mr. Aringo for advice and he told us to split up the time, 15 minutes each, and also split up the extra time (if there was any). This helped us a lot. We worked more efficiently, and got more work done together. I will definitely use this method next time, and maybe give more time to work, since we could have done more in this time slot. 

Blog 5: In STEAM today I learned how to manage my time better. I made an organized plot sheet to plan out my activities. It went like this: Finish slide 5, enter voice translation, save slide, start slide 6 as much as possible and then switch users. I finished my plan by the end of class and was back on track on our task. I did make one error though- I worked so long on slide 5, that I didn't have enough time for slide 6. Next time, I'm going to make sure to plan out the exact times so that I don't fall behind. 
Blog 3
Today in STEAM class I learned how to import an image from Google onto KidPix. I was curious about it, and asked Mr. Aringo. He said he had not showed the class how to yet, but was happy to show me now. I'm pretty glad I learned how, because now my slideshow will look a lot cooler!

Copy and paste
                                                                         Blog 2 Today in STEAM class we learned how to use KidPix. Mr. Aringo showed us on the Smart Board, and then sent us to do it ourselves. I thought it was really fun. Although, next time I use it, I'm going to make sure to save my work, so that it doesn't get lost. :)