Mechatronics has been called the science of intelligent machines. It is a study that focuses on electrical systems, control and mechanical systems, robotics, the internet of things, and computer science. In today’s technology focused job-market, individuals with a background in mechatronics are in very high demand.
The core of the Studica Introduction to Mechatronics Program Set is a collection of over 700 parts and components from the fischertechnik building system. This high quality, German made building system is unique in that the core building component is designed to allow for attachment from all six sides. The many specialized parts—from gears, girders, axles, blocks, and sensors, to pneumatic cylinders, and the interfaces used to control the automated and robotic models—will allow them to fully address all the design challenges presented in this comprehensive educational program. (Please note that ROBO Pro programming software is required, and is sold separately)
The Studica Introduction to Mechatronics Program Set is a designed to be a complete, project-based STEM education program for use in middle schools, high schools, and home schools. Purchase of this set includes access to a free download of the highly detailed, 242-page curriculum document “Mechatronics Fundamentals” by Tom White. This document is used on conjunction with the fischertechnik building components to allow students to build realistic, and fully functioning models to help illustrate the concepts being addressed. Ideally, this program can be used to develop in students the skills and work habits required in technical disciplines, and to help guide them to approach technology-based problems with an engineering mindset.
The downloadable curriculum includes project units on the following six topic areas:
- Sketching and Documentation
- Simple Machines
- Mechanical Systems
- Basic Electricity
- Conversion and Storage of Energy
- Introduction to Control Systems
- Activity Materials
The curriculum includes activity materials on many important subject areas, including, Sketching, Linkage Diagrams, Schematics, Ohms Law and Power. Pneumatics, Flow Charts, Introduction to using the robotics programming software and controllers, Sensors: Digital Switch, Sensors: Digital Phototransistor, Open Loop Programming, Closed Loop Programming, Digital Branching, Analog Sensors: Photocell LDR, Analog Branching, Analog Sensors: NTC Resistor, Analog Sensors: Potentiometer, and more.
The purpose and procedure for maintaining proper engineering documentation is addressed, including sections on the following: Design Process, Engineering Notebook, Design Documentation, Problem Statement, Design Brief, Testing Protocol, Project Management Plan, and an Engineering Report.
Turn-Key Set-Up for Teachers of All Backgrounds
The Studica Introduction to Mechatronics Program is designed to provide the information and supplementary materials necessary to enable teachers from all types of backgrounds to quickly become comfortable in teaching this material. Each project unit includes sections on the following:
- Introduction—a brief description of the topic, and the purpose of the project to be addressed
- Concepts—the broad concepts to be explored in the unit.
- Outline –the specific concepts to be examined in the unit.
- Standards—academic standards addressed include College and Career Readiness Standards for Math/Reading/Writing, Next Generation Science Standards for K-12, and Standards for Technological Literacy.
- Assessment Rubrics—both individual project rubrics and general rubrics for literacy tasks
- Essential Question—the “big picture” question to be focused on in this unit
- Student Scenario—a “real world” style scenario where students are presented with a problem which they must work in small groups to solve together. Each student group will be required to create an original model—using the fischertechnik building system components—to illustrate their solution, and to use that model as part of a formal class presentation at the end of each unit’s activities.
- Daily Plan—spelling out, day by day, what is expected of students, and what subject matter will be covered. Includes helpful links to provide guidance on various activities students must perform, or on the documentation they must maintain.
- Vocabulary—important words or terminology related to the specific unit.
- Resources—can include carefully vetted web-based links, PDFs, PowerPoints, and more.
Also included is a special section discussing “Project Based STEM Education”, as well as detailed material on using the fischertechnik building system—from identifying the parts, learning about the unique assembly method, and even building a simple model to get started.
The Studica Introduction to Mechatronics Program Set is designed for use with teams of up to four students per set, so it is easily scalable—i.e., a classroom of twenty students can be accommodated with five sets. When the fischertechnik components are used along with the curriculum “Mechatronics Fundamentals”, the set should provide enough material to cover approximately 45 academic hours.
Each set includes over 700 fischertechnik components, two robotic controllers, two power adaptors, and access to free curriculum download.
REQUIRES—Some projects will require the use of fischertechnik ROBO Pro programming software (sold separately) which is available in both individual and school site licenses. Software for use with Windows based PCs only.