Give me a fulcrum and a lever and I shall move the world. –Archimedes

Classes for this session have already started. Call or email us if you would like to secure a spot in the next Robotic or Simple machine class course. More information on these classes and their dates, will be provided soon.

Simple Machines- Intro to Physics: Ages 6-9

Machines help us in many ways, they help us move people and food, they help us get information, and they help us build everything we see around us. But did you know that machines like cars and bicycles are made of even smaller machines?

In this 7 week class we’ll learn all about how simple machines work and how they help get food to our dinner tables. At the end of the 7 weeks we will even build a model with legos that uses simple machines.

Classes will be held once a week on Sundays from 2pm-3pm. Classes Will start up again soon in June. More information on these classes and their dates will be provided soon.

 

1st class, – Intro to Simple Machines:

Introduce simple machines, model and poster, and the way food gets to our dinner plates.  Simple machines are used to build more complicated machines.  The bicycle, for example, is made from a pulley, wheels, and levers.  Putting together multiple simple machines allows us to create machines that do more complicated actions. Maybe include Bill Nye Simple Machine videos.Talk about the way that food gets to our dinner table.

2nd class, -Pulleys, Wheels, and  Levers:

We’ll talk about and show examples of what the Pulley, Wheel, and Lever are and how they work.  Pulleys are able to change the direction of a force.  Wheels allow us to move heavier objects by reducing friction.  Levers allow us to balance objects as well as lift or move objects. We will then discuss how these tools might be used to move food, and keep food safe and healthy.

3rd class, -Wedges, Inclined Planes, and Screws:

We will start with inclined planes, which are then used to make the wedge and the screw.  Inclined planes are basically ramps; they allow us to move objects up over a longer distance so it takes less energy.  A wedge is an inclined plane that can be moved.  Wedges are used for many things, including door stops and cutting.  Screws can do two things.  The most famous, they can hold things together.  But they can also lift things, including water. Enter: the Archimedes Screw.How do these help move food and keep it safe.

4th class, -Combining Simple Machines and Model and Poster Plans:

Simple machines are great for doing specific jobs, but what if we used multiple simple machines together?  If you combine different machines together you can make machines that can do even more complicated jobs. Why push a box up an inclined plane, when you can add wheels to the box then push it up. Or even attach a pulley to the wheeled box.Now with everything we learned, we’re going to start planning what our big model and poster are going to be like.

5th class, -Model and Poster Building:

We’re now going to work together to build a model that shows one part of how food gets from where it is grown to our homes.  It should have at least one simple machine. We’re also going to create a poster that shows how different simple machines are used to move food and keep it safe.

6th class, Presentation Practice and Finish Model and Poster:

Today we’re going to finish up the model and poster (some work can be done next week too), and we’re going to practice presenting the model and poster to your parents.

Last class, Finishing Touches and Presentation:

Today any last minute details can be added to the model and/or the poster.  And we’re going to practice the presentation some more before the parents arrive.

 

(LEGO®) Robotics   -   Ages: 10-14

BUILD AN AUTONOMIOUS ROBOT!!!!

WORK AS A TEAM TO CREATIVELY OVERCOME CHALLENGES!!!!

LEARN ABOUT HOW ROBOTS WORK, VIEW THE  WORLD AROUND THEM, AND ARE PROGRAMMED.

Everyday scientists are building smarter and better robots. Have you ever wanted to give it a try? In this 7 week class you’ll have the chance to work as a team to build robots that can pick up objects, avoid obstacles, and maybe even tell red from blue. Everyweek we will brainstorm for our robot to complete a task, then we’ll build and program it, using LEGO®’s Mindstorms® kit (http://mindstorms.lego.com/). In the end we may even build a robot that can do everything at once!

The Robotics class will meet on Mondays at 4:00pm-6:00pm. Classes Will start up again soon in June. More information on these classes will be provided soon.

1st class, Intro to Robots and Programming:

What is a robot? How is it different then a remote control car? How do we see the world?  How do Robots see the world?I will show them a robot I built to run a maze, using timing only.  Then I will give them a chance to try that for themselves. Once they’ve had a chance to play with the program, they will get to brainstorm and build a robot that will bump into an object then move around it.

2nd class, Avoid Obstacles :

The Mindstorms robot cannot see like we can, it is very hard for computers to process visual information.  Instead it uses echolocation to “see” the world around it, just like bats and dolphins. In fact there are some blind people who are able to develop echolocation like abilities as well. Today they’re going to try and brainstorm ways to use the Ultrasonic Senor to build a robot that will avoid obstacles. They will then build and program a robot that will avoid obstacles using the Ultrasonic Sensor.

3rd class, Follow a Line :

While it is difficult for robots to see a ball and recognize it as a ball, they can fairly easily see light. So robots can fairly easily see light and dark areas. Today they’re going to brainstorm ways to build and program a robot to follow a dark line.

4th class, Lifting  :

One reason that humans invented machines was to do things that we couldn’t do, or things we couldn’t do easily. Today they’re going to brainstorm ways to build and program a robot to lift a small tray atop a stack of books. After brainstorming they will build and program a robot for that action

5th class, Stop at a Color :

We know robots can see light. This will do more than just let our robot see black and white; it will actually let them see color. White light contains all other colors of light. Because robots can sense light, it is not difficult to get a robot to sense a specific color, or even a range of colors. Today they’re going to brainstorm ways to get a robot to follow a line, passed squares of colors until they get to a specific color, then stop.

6th class, Follow a Color and Pick Up  :

We’re now going to combine a couple of the previous week’s projects. Today they will be brainstorming a way to build and program a robot to follow a specifically colored line to an object that they will then pick up. They will then build and program a robot to follow a specifically colored line to an object that they will then pick up.
Next Week will not have a specific project.  Instead between now and then, students should come up with ideas of robots they want to build.  Next week we will all work together to build a robot that incorporates one or more of these ideas.

7th class (final class), Students’ Project:

Today we will pull on all we’ve learned. Working together the students will discuss the ideas for robots they’ve come up with, decide which they want to work on (I will moderate to keep arguments down, vote if needed, and veto if I feel like it would be impossible), then brainstorm ways to build and program such a robot. On the last day they will build and program a robot of their own choosing.