Friday, March 18, 2016

Going Through the Looking Glass

Hello folks, this is Kevin Laverty, a teacher from Christ the King School embarking on the Ignite a Maker experience. I'm keeping this blog to record my thoughts on the making, my experiences, and (hopefully) my progress. 

So, I’m at the Generator right now and I’m thinking about
Me at Generator working on designs
what sort of projects that I’ll get myself into.
I just went to the orientation on Wednesday and I felt like kid left alone in a roomful of little doors, each one with a sign on it marked “open me”. Which one do I open and what sort of rabbit hole will it lead me into?

I’ve been working on channeling that nervous excitement, and I think I’ve come up with something that will allow me to leverage the most out of my experience here. I’d like to design “stock car” kits cut on the laser cutter to produce for use at school and design a track to test the cars using three metrics: speed, distance, and power. With a little front loading, I’ll open a challenge up to the students to design a car using some provided parts (wheels, body specs) but allow them to vary the power source (sail, rubber band, mousetrap, etc, but no electric...maybe solar?) and then compete.

I’m hoping that going through the design and prototyping myself will give me valuable experiences to bring back to my students so that I can support them in the process. I’m nervous to step out of my own comfort zone, but that’s exactly what I ask students to do, so I'd better cowboy up!

Because I haven't been certified on the laser cutter yet, I think I’ll start on the track design. I’ve already found some resources for sensor triggered race car tracks.  There’s no turning back now, I’m going to have to jump into electronics with both feet. Wish me luck!

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