Yesterday, we played the “Self-Driving Car” game. It was pretty fun, but also kind of challenging. It was challenging because when you are the driver, (the one who closes the circuits), you are timed to see how fast you can go. You also get recorded on how many mistakes you make, so you always have to be looking at the cards. That was distracting me from flipping the right switch because if I’m not looking at the right switch to flip, I flip the wrong one.
It turns out that my table mates also had a hard time as the driver because they would make some mistakes and take very long to go through the deck. I got the fastest time, but I made two mistakes. One of my table mates got a pretty fast time and no mistakes. She got about 50 seconds. I got about 39.
The other jobs were not hard at all. One was flipping the cards and the other one was timing the driver and keeping track of their mistakes.
Next week we will begin to make a blueprint for our new project, which is building a flashlight. The challenge is that the flashlights that we make have to fit in a small box. I already have an idea of what I’m going to make and I know that it’s going to fit in the box. This is because I measured the parts that I think I’m going to be using, and then measured the box. It fits in perfectly.
I can’t wait until next week, and I’ll keep you posted!
It turns out we didn’t play the “Self-Driving Car” game this Friday. Instead, we made the switch that our projects are going to be connected to on a breadboard. For the switch, we used a breadboard, jumper cables, a battery, and an LED light. This is a breadboard:
In class, we learned about parallel and simple circuits. In a parallel circuit, if there are multiple lights, and one of them goes off, the rest of them stay on. In a simple circuit, if one light goes off, then the rest of them go off too. That’s because of how the switch is built. In a parallel circuit, the wires attached to each light are connected to the wires that are attached to the battery. And each wire that is attached to a light is separated from the other wires. That’s why if a wire attached to a light gets cut off, then that light will go off, but the others won’t. Here are some pictures of the three different switches all put together:
Mr. Calvert has assigned a new project. We’re supposed to make three different light switches, mostly made out of cardboard and tin foil. After we finish making these switches, we are going to play a game with them.
The game is called the “Self-Driving Car.” The only other thing that you need to play the game is a deck of playing cards. This is how to set it up: first, you have to divide the deck into two, the cards face-down. Then, you arrange the three switches in a horizontal line facing you. After that, you are all set to play.
This is how you play: first, you flip the first card of each half of the deck over. If the card on the left is red, and if the card on the right is black, then you turn on the switch on the left. If the card on the right is red, and the one on the left is black, then you turn on the switch on the right. Lastly, if both of the cards are red, then you turn on the switch in the middle. The goal is to test how fast you can operate it, without making any mistakes.
Tin foil is conductive, so the switch works by having one piece of it connected to a wire with positive charges and another piece connected to a wire with negative charges. Those wires are connected to the LED light, so when the two pieces of tin foil touch, it’ll make the light turn on. Our switches are due this Friday. I already finished all of them, luckily. Here are some pictures of my switches and me working on them…
Yesterday, we started to solder. It was so fun! I got to finish melting the metal, but I didn’t get the time to get my design off the double-sided tape.
And today, when I started to roll it off, guess what?! It broke! I think it was because I didn’t melt enough solder on those specific parts. Well, the good thing is that, it was possible to re-solder it. After I soldered it again, it broke AGAIN… which was very frustrating.
Then, for the third time, it finally came out great. I hope that the next designs I make won’t brake when I roll it off the tape. I’ve learned that I’ve got to wait a couple of minutes before taking it off and that it has to be done extremely carefully.
Here are some pictures…
This was before I soldered it:
This is when it broke the second time:
And this is how it turned out after the third try:
This week in tech, we have been working on our solder designs. We are supposed to make a circle with whatever design we want on the inside. I made a lighting bolt, so it looks like the Flash’s logo. We made a drawing of them on an app called Vectornator, and then we printed it out as a our sort-of blueprint. After that, we got the choice of using brass or silver as a our wire and then we started making the real thing.
At first, it was so frustrating because I didn’t know how to bend the wire in the shape of my design. So I had the idea of cutting the wire into pieces the same size as each line of the lighting bolt. I did this because when I solder it, all the pieces are going to stick together because of the heat and, hopefully, it’ll look like my design.
I think we begin to solder next week, so in the next post I’ll include some pictures on how it came out!
These past few days in class, Mr. Calvert has been teaching us what atoms are and how they work. Yesterday, he introduced us to the periodic table.
The periodic table seems very complicated! There are a LOT of elements. Anyway, I learned that an atom – which is incredibly small – is made up of even smaller pieces! Isn’t that crazy?! It’s made up of electrons, which are negative charges, protons, which are positive charges, and neutrons, which are neutral.
Neutrons and protons are in the center of the atom, which is called the nucleus. Outside of the nucleus are the electrons. If two protons are next to each other, they’ll kill each other because they’re both positive charges. So, neutrons keep protons from killing each other by being in between them.
I think that atoms are really cool. It’s amazing how everything is made up of something so small. Oh and fun fact: If a grapefruit was the size of the earth, we’d be able to see atoms the size of blueberries! That shows how small they are.
This is my first SMS post. It’s going to be about my quarterly period – Technology. Based on some of the pictures I’ve seen from last year it looks like we’ll be doing really cool projects. I’ll write all about them.
The thing that sort of worries me are the machines. We have to be extra careful in the classroom because when a machine is running and if someone else is fooling around, they could accidentally knock someone over who’s using one, and that person could get SERIOUSLY injured. There are other safety rules that we had to go over as well. Like, don’t leave a machine running while your not using it at the moment.
Mr. Calvert said that he wants us to have at least 10 blog posts by the end of the quarter. They can be reflections on our projects or something else that we did in the classroom.
Anyway, I’m really excited and I’m looking forward to writing more posts!