Have you ever thought about joining the NJTEEA Executive Board but wasn't sure of the commitment or what you would be required to do? Join us for one year as Secretary to see what we do and if you would like to run for one of the positions when elections take place. Wendy Green has been filling in for Past President a couple times now and Secretary and was going to complete her second year of her Secretary term, but needed to fill in for Past President. We need her to stay on as Past President one more year and need someone to act as secretary for her. If you are interested, we could use your help. Contact Wendy at WGreen@njteea.org. She would love to hear from you. The position is very low key and requires someone to take meeting minutes and keep us organized throughout the year. ;o)
3d printers have become the center of Technology, Engineering, and Design (TED) classrooms. While they are valuable tools there is still a mystery that surrounds them. This mystery isn't about how they work; rather, it is about how to get them to work well. Unfortunately, the list of modifications and variables that can be tweaked can be very long. But, what I want to share with you is some of the tips and tricks we have picked up from our members over the years.
To try and keep this simple I'm going to explain each part working from the print bed, up through the nozzle, and ending with the filament. This order isn't special and not a guide for where to start or what do do. Instead, take a look through the whole thing and try what you think is easiest.
Print beds come in four main configurations:
Bed add-ons and modification
Knowing you nozzle comes in two forms. The first and easies to understand is whether or not your nozzle is level to the bed. The standard trick is taking a piece of paper and working it until there is just a bit of drag. This is great to start but I have never had this be the only think I have had to do. The best thing for me is to watch the first layer like a hawk and adjust the bed until I see each line of filament combining with the other. What make this easier is a flat bed. That is why I prefer glass.
The second factor is knowing the diameter of the nozzle in relationship to the print layers. I have been fortunate to not have to worry about this but if you start looking into it you'll find that there are ratios to how big your nozzle is to the layer height to the first layer height (this should be bigger to promote adhesion) and so forth and so on. It gets intense very fast and I would imagine if you are getting into this you have your prints pretty dialed in and are looking to push their limits.
The topics that I have just gone through are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to 3d printing. Keep looking online and asking NJTEEA your questions. Remember, if it works for you it's right!
When a teacher is out of the classroom, it’s easy to assign “busy work.” Technology educators are further challenged since our learning materials often require safety training that cannot be completed with a sub. Additionally, our classes often are elective a have significantly less instructional class periods than a core content. So, if we miss one class with our students we may be missing as much as 2% of our overall time. If we are out for a professional conference of more than one day, that percentage is pushed up to 5%. Rather than name that class period as “wasted time” because the teacher won’t be there, let’s really work to make every minute count.
Here are some top notch resources to utilize when you are not present in the classroom:
PBS Kids: Design Squad is a TV show intended for elementary aged children to learn about the engineering design process. PBS has published a plethora of resources for teachers of elementary school students on their website, following the footsteps of the TV show. http://pbskids.org/designsquad/parentseducators/workshop/process.html
PictureSTEM: This is a resource offered by Purdue University. PictureSTEM includes several elementary level engineering design focused instructional units, rich with computer science connections and engineering concepts. https://engineering.purdue.edu/INSPIRE/Resources
Middle School Resources
Novel Engineering: This began as an $8 million grant to facilitate a partnership between Purdue University and the University of Minnesota. Through this grant the colleges collaborated to create engineering design units based on literature, fostering a love for engineering and a strong integration of literacy. http://www.novelengineering.org/
NASA Engineering: NASA has completely redesigned their education website to include STEM resources and engineering design challenges best suited for the middle school learner. https://pmm.nasa.gov/education/
High School resources
TeachEngineering.org: This website is an entired database of leveled activities that integrate the engineering design process. Searching the database provides engineering/technology teachers with meaningful resources that are tied into specific technology and engineering content. www.teachengineering.org
Engineering Education Service Center: This organization is a great resource for a number of resources, but most specifically lists competitions that are most appropriate for high-school students in engineering content. http://www.engineeringedu.com/store/index.php?route=information/information&information_id=70
STeps to convert your IA cert to a tech ed cert
While STEM is a buzzword that has taken both New Jersey and the United States by storm and engineering is acknowledged as a rigorous, challenging and profitable 21st century career, there is a dire shortage of engineering educators in New Jersey and across our nation. It is absolutely wonderful that engineering and technology are being integrated into core content areas, but isn't it highly necessary that we teach engineering as often and in as much depth as we teach math or science, knowing that we are promoting the continued growth of this career path?
We have a few challenges as technology and engineering teachers in New Jersey. If we don't promote how rewarding and meaningful becoming a teacher of our content is, the future of the profession will remain at risk. The second challenge is that we are preparing students for future careers in engineering, but are retiring more educators that we are graduating. How will we be able to send our students to continue to study technology and engineering if we have no one to teach them?
So what can we do?
Don't forget to invite your students to the NJTEEA Future Teacher Invitational, where they will learn what it takes to become a top rated technology and engineering eduator at the College of New Jersey.
As teachers we are always looking to challenge our students. This is what led to the flywheel projects. I was looking for a new project that would take my level 2 engineering class and really push them outside of their comfort zone. But, I obviously still wanted them learning extremely valuable skills. So, I drew inspiration from Steve Maietta's (Northern Valley Demarest and Old Tappan) Flywheel Tractor Puller project. I saw all of the skills he was implementing and loved what he was doing. With some heavy modifications on the project and a final vote from my class we started working on the Flywheel Tightrope Walker.
Since this was a new project I wanted to keep it as simple as possible.
It seems that every school in the state of New Jersey is working to integrate a “maker space” into their school in some way.The maker culture strongly supports the integration of engineering into curriculum and instruction when integrated appropriately; but, what makes a makerspace successful?
Simultaneous to the inception of makerspaces in schools has been the purchase of 3D printers. Often, the purchase and placement of equipment like the 3D printer are the only concepts involved in a school makerspace. While 3D printers are a fantastic tool when they are used to support the design process and creation of prototypes, they are seldom used in that manner. All too often, we refer to a space with a 3D printer as a STEM classroom, when students are simply printing from a library of pre-existing, printable designs.
A successful, STEM-centered makerspace embodies engineering design, encourages innovation and promotes student exploration. Teachers and administrators who are tasked with integrating STEM into a makerspace should ask themselves the following questions as they create curriculum and support instruction:
Since we have a real Technology Education teacher crisis, I decided to put students in front of the classroom to give them a teaching experience. I have several well-packaged lessons that I can give to students to look over and be the teacher for that class or lesson. Since that student has already thoroughly looked over the information, they benefit on a different level even though he or she doesn’t participate in the same way as the rest of the students in the class. I find that the students are pretty respectful of the student teacher also. Giving them the opportunity to teach plants the seed for a teaching career.
So I distribute a thorough lesson plan on the Biomimicry of Sea Snakes from a series of articles by Tamarin Wooley-Barker. I talk my way through the lesson while giving the lesson using my props (a slide show with some questions, a video on the sea snake and a lint brush). The students follow along and magically can answer all of the essential questions without looking back at my answers in the lesson plan.
I instructed the students to select one of these articles to turn into a lesson. I informed them that they would each teach three to four other students in one corner of the room and sit in on three or four other lessons. I gave them my lesson plan in electronic form so they could use it as a template. The lesson plan included the graphic organizer and a rubric for assessing the students. Each student had to create a slide show to present their information and could embed a video about their topic to help deliver the information as I did for the sea snake. You will see why I chose to do the sea snake article out of the list once you see the titles. You may want to choose to do the same. In fact here is my lesson template, slide show and links.
~ Wendy Green
Projects have so many part. They stretch from Identifying the Problem all the way to Redesigning. And, most of the time we (the teachers and students) hit all the steps over and over again. My biggest struggle is getting the students to make prototypes that allow quantitative decision making. Much of this problem comes from how many different parts have to work together in a project. For instance, the Power Pole Plane project (which I'll be focusing on here) has the fuselage, wings, tail, propeller, and landing gear. With so many parts the students apply guess and check troubleshooting instead of pinpointing what the problem could be. I'm going to share with you how I was able to isolate one of these variables, the propeller.
The propeller can quite literally take the plane to the next level. In order to work quantitatively the students need to take two things into consideration. How much thrust is being produced and how much energy is needed to produce said thrust. There are many different way that we can effect these two variables but I'm going to leave that up to the designers (students). They can go online and find and immense amount of information to design a propeller. What they cannot find online is this specific thrust and efficiency of their propeller. So how do you test these two? Let's take a look at the development of my tester from simple to severe.
*Note: If you just want to see the final version that I'm using, scroll to the bottom. But, by looking at what I did you might be able to make a lower cost or better one.*
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