Robotics 1.5 - Englebrecht

TPSF Summer Academy

Week 1!

Summer Academy Week 1 was a blast! I can't believe how quick the week went by. Your kids have made this week so enjoyable! We have had a lot of fun working together, learning all about robotics, and designing creative and fun ideas using VEX!

We started the week with a team building activity called "Saving Sam" the goal was to communicate with their partner to save the gummy worm using only a paper clip. Students definitely struggled trying to find a solution! The awesome thing was seeing how students talked to each other during the activity, they were encouraging and positive with what they said! We discussed the importance of communication and tried the activity again without talking...much more challenging! The activity was a great way to really get us thinking about the expectations we have when communicating and working together. Collectively we came up with teamwork norms for the summer:

  • Respect Others!
  • Be Nice!
  • Solve problems, don't create them!
  • Have FUNNNNN!!!

I have seen each and everyone of our amazing students fulfilling and surpassing these expectations this week! I feel really lucky to have this group for the summer. I am excited by their passion and creativity already displayed!

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Building Robots!

Building Mechanisms... the foundation of robotics!

We started off Monday and Tuesday with our very basic level of robotics, Mechanisms. We were just getting our start learning how to put pieces of VEX parts together and how the tools in our kits work! Students excelled at the mechanisms as they caught on to the way things work. We built a variety of mechanisms that will help us in future builds when we need to increase speed, increase torque, have a linear output, or have something come in at an angle. All of these skills are vital in our future robotics builds!

Students were separated into the Red and Blue team and divided up the mechanism from the list. Before they could move on to the next mechanism they had to teach their table partners about the mechanism they built. It was a great opportunity for us to really understand what we were building.

The mechanisms we built include:

  • Chain Drive

  • Simple Gear Train

  • Gear Train with Idler

  • Cam and Follower

  • Crank and Slider

  • Rack and Pinion

  • Bevel Gear

  • Belt Drive

  • Lead Screw

  • Worm and Wheel

  • Differential Gear

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Pull Toy

Our big project this week was the pull toy! We designed a toy that could be pulled by a string and perform an action by one of the mechanisms we learned earlier in the week. Students went through the entire engineering design process and produced amazing toys! We were able to bring our toys to the 1st grade classes where they played with them and voted on their favorite toy! I was blown away by their creativity and kindness with the 1st graders.



Week 2 Schedule:

Monday: Regular Schedule

Tuesday: NO summer Academy (Enjoy your 4th!)

Wednesday: Regular Schedule

Thursday: PICTURE DAY! Wear your shirt. Regular Schedule

Friday: Academy from 8:30-12:30


Megan Englebrecht