Students worked in groups to build a Rube Goldberg machine to perform a task of their choosing. Throughout the build, the themes of Energy conservation and conservation of matter were explored. Many chose to use a battery operated LED circuit that they built because of the storytelling that can occur just with that one simple build:
Electrical energy transformed to thermal energy by the soldering iron to solder the parts together in the circuit
The transformation of chemical energy (battery) to electrical energy (circuit) to light energy (LED).
Conservation of matter: measuring the decrease in the spool of solder mass at the beginning of the build, to the ending mass of the final circuit.
Always fun to watch the students’ process, and the joy that they have when their ideas work.
The Natural Science & Engineering students have been studying how heat energy added or removed from a system affects states of matter. We applied these ideas to learn how to solder. Each student created a ring of wire that included learning how to use wire strippers, create an in-line splice, and soldering that splice together with 99.3% Sn/0.7% Cu rosin core solder. They will use these skills next week when they build an LED flashlight which we will use to model the photoelectric effect.
NS&E is exploring chemistry right now to prepare in building batteries from common parts. This is always a fun build because there are so many unique results with groups and the students enjoy seeing the differences. Every year I go to the bank to get a new batch of pennies to be cleaned using our process.
But this year when I opened the box of pennies from the bank I had a small problem…they were all new and straight from the mint!
Students worked today investigating how to write more sophisticated code by using modules and using example code to design their own. By “breaking” code we’ve been able to analyze what are the essential pieces needed to do tasks like calculating Gravitational Potential Energy or velocity if only energy information is known.