The kids enjoyed the last class of the semester. They used the concepts they had learned in the previous classes and their own young imagination to build what they liked. At the end everyone was awarded a certificate that allows them to move to stage 2 where they will be working with more interesting lego projects. The next set of classes will begin in September and will also be held in the evenings. This was an amazing semester and I’m really glad that we had the chance to work with each other.
Today we built the Fishing rod, learned about the block and tackle, and identified solutions to design problems, and had a small competition to lift a heavy object using the fishing rod. Most students liked the competition and some very creative solutions came out however a few were distressed by it. Please ask the students to clean up appropriately as there were many pieces left behind on the floor.
The kids had a great time in class and learned the concepts very easily. I was once again happy to see everyone had finished their project and took part in the race at the end. The fishing rod was an exercise in simple mechanics with emphasis on weight, traction, and engineering a tool for lifting objects, whilst holding them in air. Next week will be the last class of the semester, and the kids will be given a chance to work on anything they like. They could work on a project from our booklets, or they can use this class to employ their creativity and ingenuity with legos. I will be looking forward to seeing everyone in our class.
Today we built a robot hand, which was a more complex application of the pneumatic system. The pneumatic robot hand composed pneumatic components from cylinders and pumps to the air valve, the air tank, and the manometer. With the built model, 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 even more advanced pneumatic robot arm model.
The STEM information behind this section is the application of pneumatic systems as well as the cylinder piston rod force output calculation, which can be calculated by multiplying the air pressure with the piston area. All the students finished the model and the experiments. And they conducted the objects grabbing with a lot of interests and fun.
The project we built today is the Dogbot. A Dogbot uses many mechanical mechanisms including Belt drives, gear drives, cam drives, levers, and linkages. Two students built the model as a group, then they conducted experiments by using different settings for cam drives, levers structures, and belt drives. The cam drives, levers structures, and belt drives (pulley structures) control the dogbot’s eye motion, the dogbot’s jaw motion, and the dogbot’s tail motion respectively. The STEM information behind this section are the motion transition mechanical mechanisms including belt, gears, and linkages. These are the key components composing the motion transition system of almost all existing mechatronics products in our daily lives.
All students finished the model and experiments with a lot of fun. They enjoyed the class and understand deeper of the key physics concepts behind these important mechanical mechanisms.
The theme of today is scissor lift. The scissor model composes pneumatic components including cylinders, pumps, air valves, air tanks, and manometers. In the process of building models and conducting tests, 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.
The topic of today is the Click-Clock that uses a pendulum system to keep tracking of time. A pendulum is a mechanism with a string hanging from a fixed spot with a weight at one end that can swing back and forth. The click clock model we built today is exactly the same mechanism as the grandfather clock. Today, engineers also use them for detecting earthquakes and helping buildings resist shaking. Engineers use pendulums to measure how fast a bullet is flying and to help robots balance.
The STEM information of Click-Clock is the physics rules of the pendulum. The pendulum’s period is only affected by the length of the string, and the mass of the bob as well as the swings through angle (smaller than 57.3 degrees) don’t affect the period of a pendulum. This unintuitive fact was verified by the students’ three test, they were amazed by the beauty of physics.
The model is relatively complex for some student even though they worked as a team. Students with different level should be considered. The swinging part is the most troublesome to cause model building failure.
Today we built the Dragster, a fast car that it shot forward using the energy stored in it’s wheels and “charged up” using an accelerator stand. Many of the students finished on time or even before time and quite quickly however a few were very slow. Most of the students loved the Dragster and had a lot of fun testing them in the classroom. Parents please help the students clean up by pulling apart all the pieces and sorting them in their respective bins, also help them to pull the pieces apart less violently, there were a lot of pieces found on the floor and a few that were broken.
The kids did a great job in the last class. Everyone was excited to work on their project and managed to finish them without the difficulties they had before. The Dragster is a platform that acts as a booster to the car that is built separately. The kids built both the base and the car in the class, and had a race at the end. Aside from working with gears and pulleys the class was also a good exercise in momentum, conservation of energy and basic mechanics. They also used a battery and a motor to give their car the necessary acceleration, which gave them a better idea about how the battery (which is a heavy piece) should be set up properly. Next week we will be working on a new project and I look forward to seeing everyone in class.
Today we built a flywheel powered car that the students raced for distance. Most of the students did not have a problem building the model however some got confused between different models in the booklet. The kids very much enjoyed this model, with some modifying it extensively. Please help the kids organize the kits and disassemble all the parts