Thoughts About Ending Tech

I can’t believe Tech is already over. It feels like we started just yesterday.
I liked Tech a lot and it met all my expectations. I love using all these new tools and doing really fun projects. It was fun doing Breakouts, learning about atoms, learning about voltage and circuits, making solder people, learning about breadboards, making switches, building flashlights, and making my automata.
The past couple of days, since I finished everything, I’ve been playing a physics game and I’ve been doing block challenges. Block challenges are where you are supposed to balance a bunch of blocks and build one of the structures in the picture.
I am going to miss 6th Grade Tech but I am also excited for 7th Grade Tech. I wonder if it will be as fun.

Building My Automata

The last project of the year was building your automata. I was going to give it to my dad for Father’s Day. It would spin around saying Happy Father’s Day and smiley faces would go up and down on the sides.
The first step was making a sketch. Then I had to cut my box frame out of cardboard. I drew the line where the flaps were so I could cut them of. After I cut off the flaps, I used the corners to cut a triangle that measured 1.5 inches. After I cut four of them, I hot glued them to the corners of the automata on the inside. This would keep it sturdy and all angles right angles. Next, I had to poke the holes through the frame with an awl. This is where my axle with be. I also had to make the hole right in the center. After that, I had to cut my cams (circles in the axle) and followers (circles on top of the cams). They were first drawn with a compass to make a perfect circle. Then I cut them with a scroll saw. The followers were slightly bigger than the cams. After I cut them, I had to sand the edges to make them smooth. Then I had to make three evenly spaced out holes at the top of my automata. Next, I glued three straws on the holes. After that, I had to cut my followers smaller so all three would fit. Then I realized that the one in the middle that spins wouldn’t fit. Instead, I had to use gears which were smaller. After that, I glued the pistons onto the followers and gear. To keep the middle piston and straw in place, I made four congruent right triangles and glued them. To keep the other followers from moving, I cut out two equal pieces of paper. Then I  made tabs on the sides and glued them to the top of the automata and the tops of the followers. Next, I made the sign that spun around on top saying “Happy Father’s Day.” I used markers and then glued it to a cardboard circle to keep it sturdy. Then I made a hole in the middle so I could attach it to the piston. Next, I glued it to the piston. After I did that, I had to make my smiley faces. I first drew them on an iPad and then I cut them in a laser cutter. Next, I colored the smiley faces with yellow marker. After that, I hot glued them to the other pistons. Then it was done.

Building Flashlights

Our next project was building flashlights. The first step and most important was creating the diagram. First we made the scale. One box equaled 1/2 inch. After experimenting, I came up with my design. I measured and drew the dimensions. Then I drew the wires, switch, and battery. After I showed it to Mr. Calvert, I cut my straight pvc pipe. The next step was measuring and cutting my wires. To do that, you take a wire and line it up with your diagram. Then you make a bend where the wire you drew ends. You straighten the wire but not the bend. Then you measure it. Next, I took the coil of wires and measured them so I knew how much to cut. Once I had my wires, I made little hooks on the edges. The next step was drilling my holes for the LED light and switch. We used a drill press to drill the holes through the pvc pipes. After that, I had to solder my wires together to make my circuit. First I took the LED light and made a dogleg on the anode (longer) side. Then I soldered my positive (red) and negative (black) wires to the battery holder, switch, and LED light. When Mr. Calvert approved, he stuck the LED light and switch through the holes of my pvc pipes. I put together the rest of the flashlight and decorated it. Then it was done.