Technology – Flashlight

After making our three switches, we started a unit on making a switch, but a little more complicated! We learned information about the Thai soccer team and how one day their whole team went into a cave to play to celebrate a player’s birthday. However, it was the monsoon season, and soon it started to rain and the water level in the cave was slowly rising. The water was coming from the entrance, so the team kept on walking farther into the cave. They had been missing for a while, and they were really scared. Finally, divers found them, but there was a problem of how to get them out. The divers used flashlights to see in the dark. Now it was our turn to make flashlights that they would have used.

I decided to make a flashlight tilted at a 45 degree angle. It would have two pipes connected to two caps on each end. I started with cutting my pipes. I used a ruler to measure the length and marked it with a pencil, and then cut it with a saw.

After cutting my pipes, I began to work on my switch inside my flashlight. I got two black wires and one red wire, a light, a battery, and a switch. The battery was connected to the short black wire and the red wire. The short black wire connected to the switch, which was connected to the other black wire, which was connected to the light. Then the other end of the red wire was connected to the light, completing the switch. I had to solder all of these parts together, and make sure it worked (which it did!). Then, I put my switch inside my flashlight, and was ready to decorate the flashlight.

I decided I wanted my flashlight to be like a galaxy, so I took blue, purple, and black markers and got ready to color. I was able to sort of blend the colors, and from far away I think it looks pretty cool. It took me a while to color because I had a lot of white space and it was slow to blend different colors together, but eventually I finished and am proud of my work.

However, while I was coloring, I realized I need to take the switch out of the flashlight so that I wouldn’t color on the light or switch, so I tried opening it. All of a sudden, the switch broke, and I had to re-solder it back together, which was not fun. I decided to keep the switch out of the flashlight and wait until I was done.

This caused a problem later on, when I took my switch and flashlight out and later found the switch on the ground, broken (again!). I didn’t have time to fix it, so I asked a friend to help, and she was extremely kind and agreed to help me. Without her, I don’t know where I would be, so thanks so much Sophie!

After finishing all the parts, I put it together. I think it looks great. I am very proud of what I made (with Sophie’s help)!

Technology – Switches (Part 4)

I have all my materials ready, so I am ready to hot-glue everything and finish it!

For my first switch, I need to hot-glue my pieces of cardboard together onto the base. First I hot-glue the sides on the base, and connect it with my top. I use a straw and attach it to a rubber band with hot-glue, so that the popsicle stick can have resistance. I use the breadboard to make sure it all works, and it does!

For my second switch, I just need to glue a straw to the base and glue another straw to my popsicle stick. Then I use a rubber band to attach them together, and that’s it!

For my last switch, I need to hot-glue my cardboard sides that will keep my button in place. Then I hot-glue the pom-poms to the base, and glue my push button to the pom-poms. And this (thankfully) worked!

Finally, it is the day to play the game. I didn’t get to go, but someone else at my table did, and I got to be one of the people who flips the cards. The way to play was one player attached their switches to alligator clips, which was connected to lights that would go on and off when the player used their switch. Then there would be a deck of cards split in two piles, and a card would be flipped from each pile at a time by two people. If the card on the left is red and the other is black, then the obstacle would be on the right and the player would press their switch on the right. If the card on the left is black and the other is red, then the player would do the opposite, which is press their right switch. If both cards are red, then the player presses the switch in the middle. A person would time how fast the player is able to react to the cards.

After finishing this game, we were done with our unit. Although I didn’t get to play with my switches, it was still fun interacting and participating in the game, and I learned how to make three different working switches!

Technology – Switches (Part 3)

Finally after I was done with my second switch, I began to work on my third switch. At last! I decided to do a very simple switch because I was running out of time, so I decided to make a push button. A lot of people were making pushing switches, except they attached the push to a swing with rubber bands, because they needed some sort of resistance and a swing gives that. Their design was so that you had to push the swing down onto the base where there was tinfoil, and that’s how the switch worked. However, I wanted to make a different design. Instead of using rubber bands as resistance, I wanted to put my push button on something that would go up and down…. I thought for a while, thinking what could act as resistance. I was browsing through different materials, then I found what I was looking for! A pom-pom would be perfect! I cut out a piece of cardboard for the push button, and put two pom-poms on each end. Then, I used two pieces of cardboard on each side so the push button would stay in place. Finally I put tinfoil over the parts, and I was a ready to hot-glue everything together!

Technology – Switches (Part 2)

After I was finished with my first switch, I moved on to brainstorming my second switch. I wanted something you could slide across, so I designed a popsicle stick wrapped in tinfoil. I designed a rubber band that would be attached to the base and connected to the popsicle stick for resistance. Then I cut out a base, and covered it in tinfoil. I gathered my materials, so I was ready to hot-glue.

Technology – Switches (Part 1)

We started a unit on switches which was related to atoms and electricity. We would make three working switches to play a game. Each switch was supposed to be different, so I not only wanted to meet the expectations, but I also wanted to make three original switches. My first idea that came into mind was like a standard switch, and it would have a rubber band attached for resistance. I decided my switch would be inside a box. I began measuring out the proportions of the box, and used a popsicle stick for the switch, then I cut a hole in the box for the switch. Finally, I wrapped everything in tinfoil so that the switch would work. Then I before I hot-glued everything together, I tested this on a breadboard… and it worked!

I decided not to hot-glue it yet, because I wanted to hot-glue all my switches together.

Technology – Atoms

On Friday, we started learning about atoms and electricity. Many people were trying to figure out why amber would attract light things like feathers. Many people had different theories. Mr. Calvert had us each get a PVC pipe and a piece of cloth for an experiment. Then he gave each table a glass jar that was closed and a metal wire going from inside the jar through the cap out of the jar. At the end of the wire there was a piece of tinfoil. When you rubbed the PVC pipe on the piece of cloth and moved it near the jar, the piece of tinfoil would move with your pipe.

An atom has protons and neutrons which are in the nucleus, and the electrons are outside of the nucleus. Protons are a positive charge, neutrons are a neutral charge, and electrons are a negative charge.

You start with a grapefruit sized ball. In order to see the atoms inside the grapefruit, you would have to make the size of the grapefruit as big as the earth, and the atoms would be only as big as a blueberry. And to see the nucleus the size of a marble, the blueberry would have to be the size of a professional football stadium. The electrons are outside as big as little fruit flies, zapping around in little flashes of light, almost teleporting.

Protons repel each other, but the neutrons stay between the protons.

The amount of neutrons in an atom may only change how light or weak the atom is, but the number of protons an atom contains changes the whole type of atom.

Lightning works by having the negative charge on the bottom of the lightning cloud, and the positive charge are on the top of the cloud. The electrons below the cloud move away from the cloud because electrons don’t like being next to each other. Then

Technology – Blog Posts

On our fourth day of Tech, we wrote blog posts (interesting – writing about blog posts on a blog post!). Our portfolio is worth 20% of our grade, so I’m getting these blogs done before I forget. Although writing these may not be the most exciting thing in the world, I think it is a great way to reflect the things I have done and the things I will do in Technology. I am able to reflect on my day, and it helps me understand what we have gone over better.

Technology – Soldering

I had heard other people talk about soldering in Tech, and it seemed a big, daunting task. There were people who got burned by the soldering iron, so I was a little reluctant to solder.

On about the beginning of the second week of May, Mr. Calvert taught us the step-by-step process of making a soldering person. I liked the idea that although everyone was following the same process, each person made an unique person that spoke to them.

I wanted my person to be in the action of kicking a soccer ball, although I didn’t add a ball so I guess it could be interpreted in different ways.

We started with a piece of wire, and curled it around a pencil. Then we used pliers to wrap one side of the wire around the other. Eventually after wrapping the wire a few times around, I stopped and the two wires became the legs. Then, I manipulated a new wire for arms, and made a circle out of another wire to make a stand for support.

Finally I went to the solder station to solder my person to its arms, then my full person to its stand. It was difficult to get the solder to stick together, and get my person to look while it was kicking something AND get it to stand upright. And every time I tried to shift my solder person’s position, its arms fell off.

Also, while writing this post, I realized my person looked like it was dancing more than kicking something, so I tried to manipulate its position……. and its arms fell off. I asked Mr. Calvert if I could solder it back together, and he agreed, so I did.

I am not mad at my final product, and I’m actually pretty pleased at it.

My final product

Technology – Circuits

On Monday, April 29th, we made a simple circuit using the materials listed below:

– blade switch

– battery pack

– light bulb

– wires

It was a little of trial and error to successfully connect all the wires to be able to light the lightbulb. In order to light the lightbulb, I needed to connect the wires attached to the battery pack to one side of the blade switch, and connect the other side of the blade switch to one side of the lightbulb with a regular wire, and connect the other battery wire to the other side of the lightbulb (I’m not good at explaining things, so if you’re confused just scroll down to the picture at the end). Finally, I counted down three, two, one… and flipped the switch so that there was hopefully a complete working circuit. Nothing happened, I realized aloud.

“You have to turn on the battery,” Sophie, a classmate at my table pointed out.


Whoops. Trying again, I turn my battery pack on. And the lightbulb instantly lights up.

It was gratifying to finally see

Technology – First Impressions

I have been excited for Technology all year since I have heard other people’s great experiences. Because of all of the dangerous machinery in the Tech Room, Mr. Calvert made it clear to us about the importance of safety. He explained all of the rules and past unfortunate experiences in order to describe the how critical it is to follow the safety rules. I appreciate his concern on our safety, and I also believe safety comes first. I am glad to be able to feel safe around the Tech Room.