Me Specs/Me Motor/Me Motor Story

Activity:

Working together as a team of 3-4:

  • Write specifications for two interactive, simple, open-ended projects
    • projects function independently but also combine to be one project
  • Speculate on challenges in building before building
  • Build the projects
  • Revise specifications to fit the resulting build
  • Write report about projects
  • Create video of projects. Present project and videos

Learning Outcomes:

  • practice working in teams
  • consider project inputs/outputs (2 projects have to interact)
  • practice building to specification
  • consider how a project changes from design to implementation (specs change in final report of Me Motor)
  • practice writing a report, documentation, presentation
  • general troubleshooting/building experience
  • consider basic mechanical engineering challenges (torque, etc.)
  • consider basic electricity (powering motor, batteries, series/parallel, switch)

Time:

  • 5 class periods (1 hour 15 minute class periods)

Materials:

Me Motor:

  • 2 motors
  • 2 sets of batteries (4 batteries/set or 29V batteries)
  • electrical wire
  • building wire (fence wire)
  • foam
  • blocks of wood
  • dowels to stick on motor shafts
  • CDs
  • tape, hot glue and hot glue guns, scissors
  • cardboard to build on, glue on top of, etc.
  • nails, hammer? screws?
  • thumb tacks, paperclips (build switches or whatever)
  • ??? look in basement of 005 for other crafty building supplies
  • whatever students wish to add to the project

Details:

Class I:

Overview:

  • explain 3 assignments (Me Specs, Me Motor, Me Motor Story)
  • give purpose of assignments
  • offer timeline

Engineering Design Process:

  • Customer need or opportunity
  • Problem definition/Specifications
  • Data and information collection
  • Development of alternative designs
  • Evaluations of designs/Selection of optimal design
  • Implementation

Specifications:

  • What is the function of your product? (brush your teeth, create world peace, knit socks, etc)
  • What are 5 measurable things your product should be able to do? (spin a brush without the brush falling off, prevent wars for the next 20 minutes, knit a sock in 5 hours, etc)
  • What materials do you need? (make a list of class-provided materials you will use and materials you will acquire on your own)
  • Are there cost considerations? Do you have a budget? If so, what is it?
  • Does the product need to be a specific size, weight, etc? If so, what are those specs?
  • Are there power limitations? How many batteries do you need?
  • Are there any safety concerns?
  • How reliable does your product need to be?
make up example specifications for existing project together in class

Workshop:

  • divide into groups
  • exchange contact info
  • possibly assign individual roles in the group (e.g. Captain, Reporter, etc.)
  • schedule 2 meeting times outside of class to work on assignments

Class II:

  • continue whatever wasn’t finished in Class I
  • Workshop: get in groups

Class III:

Me Specs due

Me Specs presentations:

  • (3 minutes for each group)
  • name of group
  • name of members
  • name of project
  • what is the project?
  • quick overview of specs
  • technical and mechanical challenges
  • Q & A from the class

Me Motor Story:

  • confirm there is somebody on each team who can make the documentation video
  • schedule video tutorial times outside of class if necessary (it has never been necessary)

Workshop

Class IV:

Me Motor Due

Workshop

  • get in groups
  • gives some cushion if Me Motor stuff isn’t working yet
  • focus of workshop should be on report/documentation/video

Class V:

Me Motor Story due

Me Motor Story Presentations:

Class sits in a horseshoe shape. Then each team:

  • goes to front of horseshoe
  • Introduces Team
  • Introduces Team members
  • Shows video 
  • Demos the project
  • Q & A/dicussion:
  • What worked/didn’t work
  • How some problems were solved
  • What are they still wondering
  • What could be improved?
  • Max 10 minutes
  • Students watching evaluate projects and presentations with this form: me motor me motor story eval form 06-09-2012 (odt)

Assignments:


Me Specs:

  • assigned: class I
  • due: class III
  • Decide what your team will build for your Me Motor project
  • Post in the blog a detailed set of specifications for your Me Motor project. You should include the following considerations, at least: 
    • What is the function of your product? (brush your teeth, create world peace, knit socks, etc)
    • What are 5 measurable things your product should be able to do? (spin a brush without the brush falling off, prevent wars for the next 20 minutes, knit a sock in 5 hours, etc)
    • What materials do you need? (make a list of class-provided materials you will use and materials you will acquire on your own)
    • Are there cost considerations? Do you have a budget? If so, what is it?
    • Does the product need to be a specific size, weight, etc? If so, what are those specs?
    • Are there power limitations? How many batteries do you need?
    • Are there any safety concerns?
    • How reliable does your product need to be?
  • Include in the body of your post the names of the members of your team.
  • Pictures/illustrations are encouraged but not required

Me Motor:

  • assigned: class I
  • due: class IV
  • As a team of 4, build two something funs with 2 motors, 8 batteries, some building and electrical wire, and anything else you want.
  • The something funs need to relate to each other in some way.
  • Replace all of this text with a video and report about your fun somethings. Your report can follow any format you wish; the format shown below is a good example of what you might consider.  Insert diagrams and pictures of your project liberally throughout the sections. 

Introduction:

give a few sentences here offering a high-level description of your project. Embed your youtube video about your project here (see below for guidelines on creating the video) 

Team Members:

  • who: Captain
  • are: Project Manager
  • you people?: Reporter

Specifications:

Give updated specifications of your fun somethings. Probably

  • you want to
  • list them
  • as
  • bullet
  • points

Directions:

  1. give us
  2. step-by-step
  3. directions
  4. so we can build
  5. your fun somethings
  6. too!

Technical Information:

If you have any wiring or functional information that didn’t fit anywhere else, you might add it here.

  • a post about them, titled with your team’s name, what section you are in, and the name of your fun somethings
  • In your post:
    • Include the names of the members of your team
    • Include at least one picture of the somethings.
    • Describe what they do, how they work, and any other information somebody of your skill level would need to completely understand your project and how he/she might build their own, given the same materials.

Me Motor Story:

    • assigned: class I
    • due: class V

As a group, add a video to this post about your Me Motor project. Your video should be between 2 and 5 minutes long. Upload your video to youtube and embed it in the beginning of this post. Include in your video:

      1. An introduction to your team and all members of your team
      2. The original idea
      3. Your specifications
      4. The process: a high-level overview is fine but if you can give people a step-by-step of how to build the thing that’s even better
      5. Product: what is the thing? Let’s see it work! Show it loud! Show it proud! Show it in different environments, with sped up or slowed down video, or anything that makes it seem a lot better than it really is.

Some things you might consider when making your video:

      1. You probably want some sort of title screen
      2. Interviews are good, and fun
      3. Text on the video can help, especially when outlining specifications
      4. You are engineers, so give us an explanation of how it works and what is going on
      5. Credits: where did you get the idea? Who contributed and how, both inside and outside of the team?

Above all, make your video fun! Make us laugh. It’s good for the soul.

 

Misc:

example projects from 2011:

2012 submissions:

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