Day 121: Test Review and Robotz

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Assembling the practice robot.

Assembling the practice robot.

The day started with official news that next January, I’ll be team teaching Introduction to Engineering with a math colleague and robotics co-coach. The course will be an intensive 3-week event. The course was originally designed to support our robotics program but necessarily needed to grow in scope for better registration appeal. Shaffiq and I are looking to Project Lead the Way for much of our inspiration.

I have kinematics tests coming up over the next two days and the kids need practice beforehand, so I opted to move a lab planned for today to test review instead.

Do everyone’s kids mix up the constant velocity, constant acceleration, and projectile motion problems when they get to test time? I’m seeing kids come to me wanting to apply d=rt to falling objects. (For the record, we don’t use d=rt. It’s been ingrained in them for so long they always want to quote it.)

I tried this year to get the kids to always add a few words on when an equation applies (and when it doesn’t) to their formula sheets. Many aren’t writing this down, though the formulas have been on the board for weeks with that info. For instance, Δx=vΔt should have next to it something like “for constant velocity or average velocity situations only”. I like the concept but need to figure out how to execute on it better.

Meanwhile, at robotics, the team’s goal today was “get the practice bot fully functioning with intake, winch, shooter, and all bits together”. At the end of the night, we were certainly closer but still not holding a functional practice robot. Our drivers desperately need practice and I’m getting nervous — our robot goes onto the trailer in a little over a week for our first competition.

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