4A Socratic Forum News

What's In Your Toolbox?

Welcome readers of the Socratic Forum Newsletter.

From the beginning of the year, our class has been acquiring and honing skills, aka tools, of which will be applicable to their academic lives this year and many years forward. Please take a moment to read the newsletter written and edited by the students. The content of each section is their reflection on some of the learning that they have experienced in class during the first quarter. Please feel free to leave appropriate comments at the bottom of the page for the students.

Engineering Design Process

In general, the Engineering Design Process is a very helpful concept. We are constantly using the Engineering Design Process, even if we don’t know it. There are many things that we do in our daily lives that relate and require the Engineering Design Process. One thing that we do in our daily life, is research. We are constantly researching. Sometimes we don’t even know we are doing research, but we are! Another thing that we do are solving different types of problems, this is a big part of the Engineering Design Process. After we find a problem in a design, we will, just without knowing, is we think of ways it could improve and how to get it to improve. After we have noticed that we are really using this process we go deeper into the process and become a great inventor!


The Engineering Design Process is really important because we use it in our daily life. Creating new things take contribution, time, commitment and of course collaboration. In the real world designing takes brain smarts and energy and what makes it go faster is more people on more things or duties. What I love about experimenting is that you can make lots of mistakes and learn from them in more than one way. One way you learn from the mishaps of your project or experiment is that you know never to make that mistake again but the other way is that when you make a mistake it will lead you to other more useful paths in our lives. What's most important to me are the ways we can form the process into something amazing. Checking and rechecking is very important because there could be many flaws to your design.

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Faulty Inventions

We learned a lot from our time working with the faulty inventions. One thing that we learned about was that every design from kitchen stoves to submarines has flaws and that there's always a way to improve the invention. During this project we worked as a group to read about and analyze an invention made by another person. After we read we thought of ways that the invention could malfunction and ways to make it better.


There were many flaws to each of the inventions and as we thought of possible solutions we learned that an invention is never truly finished. We learned that you need a lot of creativity to give solutions when working with inventions and there flaws. When we came up with ideas we had to dig deep into our imaginations.


Another thing we learned from working with faulty inventions is that all inventions in some way will benefit the community. For example when cars were invented it helped people get around easier and quicker.


Every invention has a flaws but if those flaws can be overcome inventions are what change our community for the better. The summary of this lesson is that an invention never truly finished and that any invention can be improved upon.

Cup Stacking

We had to use teamwork to move the cups. We had to talk to one another and not just do it. We had to have a bond so we didn’t fight and have to start all over again. We worked together as a team so we could get a task done quickly and efficiently. We also gave new ideas on how to do it. Like one idea could lead to a different or better idea. Without someone to give knew ideas you would have to stack cups a really hard way than doing something in a really easy way to get it done quick and efficiently. During the cup stacking challenge all of the groups used lots of communication. Communication was important because in order to pull the rubber bands just enough and not too much we had to talk about it. We also had to communicate so that we were able to move the cups in the exact spot or else the stack of cups would fall and you would have to start over.

During the challenge, all of the teams made a way to pick up, and to put down the cups using the design process of how to stack the cups. Every team had to work together to try to get their tower of cups built faster and quicker than every other group. All of the teams though, had to grab onto one ''octopus'' tentacle and put the rubber band around the cup. Then everyone had to pull on their ''tentacle'' to lift the cup up, and then either count to three and let go, or gently let go one by one. The Engineering and Design Process helped during the cup stacking process because we had to identify the problem and explore what we could to create a new way to stack the cups and then we had to see what we could do make it better about that invention and there were many things that we could do to make it better so all and all at the very end we could have a perfect stack of cups. In Strategizing/ problem solving, we realized we had to find a different way to stack the cups in order for it not to fall. We started thinking of ways to put the rubber band on and off the cup without it falling. If we put our fingers closer to the tied string to the rubber band, we would have a better handle stacking the cups. It defiantly made it a lot easier to stack the cups, but we also had to work all at the same time to put the cup on top for it not to fall.

OneNote Notebook

New technology allows you to work with classmates across the world. If you put your thoughts into your personal folder it can be saved for as long as one note will be around for. It is like a binder but papers don’t fall out and it is pretty much permanent. Also you can nonverbally communicate with peers. You don't even have to carry it around.


One Note helps with our organization because if we had real binders we would have tons of papers and it wouldn’t be as neat. Also because you’re typing you don’t have to worry about reading someone's bad handwriting. OneNote can help teambuilding because it is more fun than having a piece of paper and a pencil. Also it is good with teambuilding because you can draw with different brushes pencils and colors. Peer support is important because it's good to know when another person likes and admires your work. One note helps with this because you can see all of your groups work with just a couple clicks.


It helps you with communicating because when you work with a group you can learn to work with them on the computer but also learn to talk to them and not be addicted to going on the computer. It can help when you work in collaboration space with a group and other groups are working on collaboration. You learn to respect others work by not going on their stuff. It helps you collaborate because on the projects on the computer you need to work in collaboration space with your group and work together to achieve a goal. You learn the skill of working with new technology.


Sometimes one note doesn’t cooperate so you need to be patient. New technology can help bring us together wherever. However the connection between whatever device your using is very slow and people could write in other people’s textboxes. You can use this new technology to correct or compliment on other peoples writing. Socratic Forum is an experience to help us with teamwork and creativity!

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Multiple Intelligences

While doing our Multiple Intelligences Activities we discovered things about ourselves which gave us the courage to use our talents/ intelligences. We found things that have helped with our self-confidence. Although the class may have known what our strengths were, we found more things about ourselves that we possibly doubted. Our class found out who we really are. After taking a test we found out our multiple intelligences from the results. Some people were very surprised and many people found out lots of things that they didn't know about themselves, some didn't.


All of us found it to be a great experience, we found out who we really are on the inside. (That sounded a lot deeper than it actually was)This helped us know our strengths and weaknesses. If we didn’t we might be asking people to do activities and presentations that they might not be comfortable with. It also allows us to establish jobs for people so they feel more comfortable. It helps us to have a better experience by working with our talents so we use them to our advantage so the overall the project is better. This helped us realize our intelligences and helped us in future projects.


This knowledge is useful to our own strengths to make us be most useful in a group project, and help us make important decisions in our future. This can greatly affect our career later. We can choose a career that will be both enjoyable to us and be a big help to a society and possibly an entire nation! Overall the class had a very positive and fun experience from learning our Multiple Intelligences.

Socratic Forum Team 4A

This Socratic Forum group is filled with deep thinking and dedicated students who have proven to be supportive and enthusiastic team players. They are a joy to work with. Nice work 4A team!