First, success. My Physical Computing students are making progress on the Rube Goldberg machine. Today I tweeted:
— Laura Blankenship (@lblanken) December 2, 2013
That was the list my students gave me so that we could continue working tomorrow. Two students ran off to the wood shop with a plan. How glad am I that we even have a wood shop! The rest of us stayed and worked on the other pieces. We programmed a robot, printed a scoop for the conveyer belt and planned out what the pulley mechanism will do. Here are some photos from today:
We’ve basically looked around the room and said, “Hmm, wonder what we could do with this?” or “Hmm, what do we have that we can build x out of?” And then we’ve got something put together. So it’s been fun, and I think we’ll have something cute by Friday. Did I mention we have to be done by Friday?
One thing I’ve been thinking about is what this has to do with Computer Science. We do have some programming parts, but mostly, this is not obviously about CS. But it is about logic and engineering–more logic than anything. The students planned from the end backwards. They’ve broken the problem into parts and worked on each part separately before connecting the parts together. Sounds like functions to me! It’s a little more linear than most programs, but the concepts are surprisingly similar when you think about it.