Creativity in the engineering process is an often overlooked skill. There is a real danger for engineering students to lose focus on their creative side in the pursuit of "safe" and proven methods of obtaining good grades and "winning" products. And there is a real danger for engineering teachers to focus only on the end product, ignoring the innovation on display in "losing" products.
Some top engineering schools like Stanford University explicitly teach creativity. Japan, a noted high-tech society, features the art of chindogu, which focuses on creating un-useless products. And when you look at how engineers have changed our very society and culture, you can see how creative minds sparked inventions as diverse as the Panama Canal to our modern phones that interface with the world's biggest source of information, the Internet. Some call this moonshot thinking.
This project is an attempt to encourage you to generate, to develop new ideas and solutions, which is an aspect of creativity that is of supreme importance in our world today.
Our major learning goals for this unit are:
Conceptual (what do you need to learn?):
Due to the grade 11 Engineering field trip, I am (obviously) not with you today.
So, for those of you who have not yet finished the Locker Buddy, please do so. Remember, this is a review assignment. Eloquence is not as important as proving to me what you can do so I know who may need assistance moving forward.
When you are done and have submitted your code for the Locker Buddy, you are ready to move onto the next stage of your Ruling The World apprenticeship: capacitors. Especially as we move into controlling motors and higher voltage systems, you will need to understand caps and how they work in your circuits.
Please complete this lab. Your Arduino kits have all necessary components, and I have now added 100uF capacitors. Please be careful. Check and double-check your capacitor before plugging in your Arduino.
Experts are saying that, as the technical complexity of our world increases (think smartphones, smart appliances, autonomous vehicles, VR and AR), there is an increasing gap between those who have knowledge (the engineers and computer scientists) and the rest of the world who are increasingly becoming slaves. Cars are a perfect example. As recently as 20 years ago, many people did much of their own maintenance on their cars. But that's becoming rarer and rarer as we move from "simple" combustion engines and rotary window controls to computer-controlled everything. Nowadays, if there is anything wrong with our cars, most people have to call the experts. That same complexity is now appearing in pretty much everything we use. The world is reliant on the experts.
All of you have used Arduinos before. They are perfect for practicing how to become experts rather than slaves to technology. You learn more programming (and the C programming language is now considered to be the most important language in the world), you learn to make systems that can react to its environment, and you learn to troubleshoot these complexities. And hopefully you have fun doing it.
Here are the major learning goals:
Many of you are discovering the challenge of designing complex systems in real time. It takes at least a couple days to build a basic elevator lift, which becomes especially frustrating if it ends up not working.
In the real world, engineers plan using 3D design software. This means you can build a virtual model of your system and test it before committing to it with hours of build time.
We can do this, too. You can download all the components in the VEX system, import what you want to build with into Fusion 360 (which you used to design your BeyBlades in grade 11), and build virtually to see if your plan will work.
There are many lift options: 6-bar, extended linkage, and elevator lifts are just a few.
It's no secret that jobs in the STEM field are the fastest growing careers, and are projected to continue growing far faster than other industries in the foreseeable future. Robots continue to make headlines, and jobs in that industry have grown dramatically in the last decade. Robots now perform surgeries and are able to be controlled via the minds of quadriplegics. They are police officers, and they may just be future marriage partners.
By the time you graduate, over half of the available jobs will likely be in the STEM field, and a large chunk of the rest will require employees to have STEM knowledge.
Controlling robots is something you need to be able to do.
The major learning goals for this unit are:
Conceptual (what do you need to learn?):
Welcome to the ultimate high school high-tech class! In grade 10 and 11 engineeringCentral, you learned a lot about high tech concepts and how to apply them in order to design and build devices for particular uses. Now, we are going to take it to the next level. You are going to have a lot of freedom with the designs you decide to pursue, because I want you to see how you can use they power you have developed to take control! I want you to see that you have the power to be creators, not merely consumers. Most of us can buy what other people tell us we need. But very few have the power to create and then tell other people what they need.
Let's try to answer the essential question for this course: HOW CAN I CREATE MY WORLD AND MY FUTURE?