In our last fischertechnik blog entry, we looked in at the students at Westfield Vocational Technical School in Westfield, MA, as they worked through their initial design challenge as part of the fischertechnik STEM Lab Program, that of creating a braking system for a racing bike. We shared photos of some of the prototypes they created, as well as excerpts of the reports they prepared for class. Today we’re going to share some video they created for us, with the help of instructor Dave Roberts, in which they show their prototypes in action, and answer some questions about their experiences.
First off, here is Group 11—Natalie, Josh and Jake:
As an aside, instead of using the rubber bands, Group 11 could have used part #36334, the ‘Red Locking Washer’, or part #37679,the ‘Clip 5 with Spring Ring’, both of which are included in this set, for holding their wheel in place.
Next, we have Group 18, featuring Alina and Kristina:
Another aside…as you will see, Alina and Kristina did make use of part #37679, the ‘Clip 5 with Spring Ring’, to hold their wheel in place, avoiding the problem Group 11 encountered. On the other hand, the issue they mentioned with the gears should be addressed in future chapters of the curriculum, as they learn more about how the gears in the set can be used.
Next up is Group 15, featuring the work of Griffin, Robert, Suzanna and Christina:
Once again, this is the initial experience the students are having building with fischertechnik. The issues with stability will be addressed as the group gains familiarity with the fischertechnik system, and as they learn about how pieces can lock together, and which pieces are best suited for certain design needs.
For our final example, here is Group 22, featuring Vitaliy (aka ‘Chuck’) and Myroslava:
I would like to mention something that teacher Dave Roberts shared with us, which is that Westfield has a high percentage of ESL (English as a Second Language) students, mostly from Russia and the Ukraine. Dave feels they really benefit from these projects, as design is more or less a universal language, and that working on these projects in the fischertechnik STEM Lab Program as they progress through the curriculum that accompanies it can actually be quite helpful in improving their English language skills.
In future blogs we’ll continue to check in with Dave Roberts and his students as they move forward with the fischertechnik STEM Lab Program. Next time though, we hope to share the scoop on all the new fischertechnik products for 2014. In the meantime, if you’d like to know more about the fischertechnik STEM Lab Program, we invite you to attend our next webinar presentation on Thursday, March 27th at 11AM Eastern time. Register now.
Until next time, happy building!