The engineering department has a laser cutter which has made battery building much easier (and more successful) this year.
Each of these recycled-cardboard discs were then soaked in vinegar to make our LED lightbulb systems work. Each cell gets about 0.8-1.0 volts.
It has been quite a March, we are getting ready for our “Four ‘Easter” tomorrow. The students have been doing a great job with their investigation of voltaic cells, although I don’t think it will be adequate if we lose power again in the Northeast.
Reading an 1879 New York Times account of Thomas Edison makes it sound that we have lights today because of one person working in his lab. The story of the contributions and discoveries made by women and people of color in STEM fields has been under-told for years. Recently more and more books are published to help fill in the gaps.
Students read an account of the life of Lewis H. Latimer, a Black American self-taught mechanical end electrical engineer who worked for Edison’s company at the time of the development of the incandescent light bulb.
Students brainstormed together using whiteboards to synthesize the primary New York Times document, their own experience building the incandescent light bulb, and Lewis H. Latimer’s biography to try to tell a fuller story of the invention of the incandescent light bulb. They then wrote on their own to put all the ideas together in their own words.
The next four school days are exams for my students in Natural Science & Engineering, part of the exam will involve their knowledge about the tools they used this semester: digital scales with different precisions, multimeters, and Kill-A-Watts. The Legos are for modeling conservation of matter equations for combustion.
They have their engineering journals where they can refer to their notes about operation and usage but having the device to use makes for one final check during the exam.
Today students used a packet with just pictures and had time individually to add any critical information: vocabulary, equations, tools, ideas, or concepts separately using their engineering journal about each build.
Then they spent 2 minutes with a partner sharing and 2 minutes listening to the concepts they found valuable, then switched partners. They then annotated the packet with any new information they received to differentiate original ideas from what was learned from peers.
Tonight, they will reflect on what areas you are strongest in, and what areas they need to focus studying for the exam.
After building our own incandescent light bulbs, we took data about the number of light bulbs and types in each student’s home. With over 100 data points we are going to come up with a standard profile of LED, CFL, incandescent, and other bulbs used in our homes. Today the students are using Kill A Watts to take some measurements of voltage, current, and power use, inspired by the analysis done on Myth Busters – Does turning off the lights matter?
The other fun aspect of this data was borrowing the FLIR from the Engineering Technology Department. It’s nice when we share our toys.
This keyword was inspired by “Right Hand Man” a song from Hamilton.
Combustion is the first foray we are making into chemistry and balancing equations.
I read “An Ethic of Excellence: Buliding a Culture of Craftsmanship with Students” by Ron Berger this summer, and it has made me reconsider how I give feedback in writing.
Today, after students thought they had turned in their “Final Draft” they went through an editing exercize where they read another group’s work, then gave feedback.
They also had an opportunity to see what good ideas others had so they could encoorperate those ideas or stratagies ino their own writing. Each group of 4 saw 3-4 different papers,
Tomorrow we will have a session where the writing groups get back together and edit their work, before hading in an edited version later in the week.
Today L4 students worked in pairs to find either a python (using trinket.io) or spreadsheet solution to a problem. They either had to code a solution for if given a voltage their program or spreadsheet would calculate the correct joules/electron or they had to find the percent change of a system comparing an initial condition (such as voltage) with a final state.
Lots of creative solutions from the students!
A paste in for the reference section of our engineering journals on important vocabulary associated with circuits. Students can also test themselves on quizlet.