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Summer SAVY Session 2, Day 3 – Robotic Engineering

Posted by on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 in blog, SAVY.

Day 3:  We read some exciting news in the SAVY Business Journal (our classroom whiteboard) – there were some staffing changes! Several colleagues joined new companies! The purpose of this exercise was to expose each team to new colleagues and provide an opportunity to apply teamwork strategies to a new dynamic. As a class, we discussed ways to make new members feel valued, identify both our own strengths and others’ strengths, and ways to ensure every voice on the team is heard. We also discussed leading by example and being a good peer mentor. 

We continued work on our Computerized Numerical Control or CNC machines. Yesterday, our companies went into the business of refurbishing broken machines for resale. This morning each team successfully identified and fixed the four mechanical problems: a missing paper feeder wheel, a top-to-base assembly issue, inverted feeder gears causing the paper to enter the machine too quickly, and a pencil carriage issue. Once the problems were solved students tested the CNC machine by drawing a square. We applied what we learned in yesterday’s professional development to better understand the mechanical advantage.  

Can one size really fit all? Today we built a grabber device with a touch sensor trigger that included two variations: one for light, flexible objects and one for rigid, heavy objects. Each company designed its own criteria to evaluate the two devices then conducted experiments and recorded data in their engineering notebooks before taking on the role of a design engineer. The objective: improve the design to create a more versatile grabber. Teams created test parameters, brainstormed ideas, and made a decision. They sketched ideas in their notebooks before setting to work. There were many iterations as students worked to test and redesign their grabbers. Finally, we talked about making compelling sales pitches. Companies named their products and wrote and presented an infomercial to the class. We were entertained by some incredibly fun presentations! 

Bioengineering is an exciting and growing field. Tomorrow each company will delve into this noble work by designing a prosthetic robotic device to help a client. This challenging project will provide a great opportunity to apply the engineering design process, teamwork strategies, prior knowledge, and creativity! 

Many of our students have requested we send a link to the LEGO Spike Prime robot kit: LEGO® Education SPIKE™ Prime Set 45678 | LEGO® Education | Buy online at the Official LEGO® Shop US. Instructions for the CNC machine and grabbers, as well as many other projects, can be found: SPIKE Prime Support | Everything You Need | LEGO® Education. 

Finally, today’s question of the day was, “If you could spend the day with any person, living or dead, who would that be?” Answers included musicians, authors, artists, entertainers, inventors, world leaders, and more! 

Heather Penne