Communication ECA Phase III Class 5: Pneumatics: Scissor Lift 20180207

The theme of today is scissor lift, which is the first application of the pneumatic system. The scissor model composes pneumatic components including cylinders, pumps, air valves, air tanks, and manometers. In the process of building models, the students got a deeper understanding of the design philosophy and working principles of the pneumatic system, which built a solid ground for the next following more advanced pneumatic application models. This section is a good illustration of the air storage system in the pneumatic system.

The STEM information behind this section is the application of pneumatic systems. The cylinder piston rod output forces can be calculated by multiplying the air pressure to the piston area. All the students finished the model and the experiments. They are ready for the next more advanced pneumatic systems.

Communication ECA Phase II Class 5: Motion: The Ramp 20180207

The topic of today is the Ramp. Ramps have been used since ancient times to help move heavy objects or large quantities of materials from one level to another. Today, automobile transport services use the ramp on their trucks to load multiple vehicles on one transport. In the class, the students built the model ramp and the box frame in order to investigate how angle and wheels affect the needed effort.

Two students built one model as a group, then they conducted experiments by using effort weight to pull their box frame from the bottom of the ramp to the top. They tested their built models on three ramps with different angles, then compared the mechanical efficiency of different ramp systems. The STEM information behind this section is the ramp’s mechanical advantage. All students finished the model and experiments, they enjoyed the class.

Communication ECA Phase I Class 5: Fly Wheel 20180207

This class went much better than the previous classes in the sense that more children were able to finish their projects and assignments in time, which gave them a bit of free-play time at the end of the class. As usual, this class allowed them to practice scientific concepts related to mechanics and supplied them with an in-class assignment to make sure they have grasped the material. Concepts such as preservation of energy and inertia were practiced, and the assignment asked them to predict the position of their vehicle after it had been launched. I was very happy with their performance, and even happier to see that their work is improving each week. 

Communication ECA Phase III Class 3: Pneumatics: Principal Model 20180131

The class of today is the principal model of pneumatic system. It’s also the first section of the following four pneumatic system study. The main purpose of the class is to learn the basic knowledge of the pneumatic systems. In this section, one complex pneumatic was built. The model consists components of cylinders, pumps, the air valve, the air tank, and the manometer. With the help of the model they built, the students learned the design philosophy and working principles of the cylinder, the pump, the air valve, the air tank, and the manometer, which built a solid ground for the next following advanced pneumatic application models.

The STEM information behind this section is the pneumatic systems including the cylinder, tubes, and the air pressure measurement instruments. All the students followed the tutor instructions and finished the designed model experiments.

Reflection to the Principal Model of Pneumatic: Different with the last semester, the students were required to build the most complex model only. It gave the tutor more time to teach the basic concept and skills of pneumatic system, which is the main purpose of the class.

Communication ECA Phase II Class 4: Mechanism Principal Model 20180131

The class of today is the mechanism principal model, in which we covered several most important mechanical mechanisms in human’s history. In order to deliver the concept more intuitively, we first built the simple models and then we explain the knowledge behind all these models. We built three different kinds of levers, two wheel and axle models, three pulley models and one screw model. All models are simple but enough to explain the basic mechanical design rules behind them. The student got bored pretty quickly, but they finished all model building and more importantly, they learned some important concept.

PBP Phase 2: Class 4: Simple Machines

Today we talked about simple machines, where they are found and the different types of machines. While some students didn’t enjoy the less hands on lesson they did enjoy the demonstration of the Class 2 Lever. Yuan in particular seems to have a very good grasp on mechanical principles thus far. Next week we will be talking about combinations of simple machines so please make sure they review the three types of levers, the screw, ramp, and the wedge.

PBP Phase 1: Class 4: Sweeper

Today we Built the Sweeper and learned about gear ratios.  The students seemed to like playing with the sweeper but had a few technical difficulties regarding the construction of the machine. The topic for next week is the Flywheeler. Thank you for you continued help for a timely cleanup.

See you next week!

ECA Phase I 20180131 The Sweeper

The kids really enjoyed playing with the Sweeper. The project was a moving vehicle with rotating axles at the bottom that cleared the way as it moved forward. The concepts were based on gear mechanics and velocity. The class assignment gave the kids an opportunity to experiment with different gears and learn which ones are more efficient. Next week we will be working on more fun projects that are also based on applied physical concepts. As great as it is to have a passionate class with curious students, we ask the children to please respect the allotted time of the class, and make sure their work is done before 7 pm.