I teach Physics in a low-income school in Oregon. All of my students are Juniors or Seniors who have already taken the other science classes in sequence (Bio and Chemistry). Students who take my class are usually dedicated and focused, but still struggle with the issues surrounding a low-income setting. Many have plans to follow a career in either engineering or physics in college.
Physics is a difficult class to teach in a low income school. Not many students take the class every year (less than 20) so not much budget money can be passed that way. As a result, the class tends to be mostly textbook and conceptually based. A tragedy with something like physics!
In order to keep physics from being nothing more than another math class, I am trying to incorporate a series of projects that deal with concepts we are learning in class. At the beginning of the school year, I asked my students to submit ideas for what they would like to gain from this course. I had them give special consideration to what they would like to do for an end of the year project. Upon my suggestion, they overwhelmingly voted for robotics. These soldering irons and solder will be used to introduce electricity and electrical circuitry. From there, we will finish the year with the students building their own robots from an old computer mouse!
Let’s face it: robots are the future. It’s no longer sci-fi talk either; students can look all around them and see robotics in use. The funny thing is, even with this intense influx of robotics into the world, there still isn’t much curriculum related to them in your average high school physics class. Most high school classes don’t go beyond basic AC/DC electronics. Hook the LED to the battery and, neat-o, it lights up. It’s time to take it one step farther and enter into the realm of robots. How does something as simple as electricity enable a piece of machinery to perform tasks? How can you construct a robot that will complete an assignment, such as complete a maze? These are the kind of questions that will be given to students to answer through robot inquiry that your donation will allow. Hopefully this project will help me win student support for a high school robotics team in our small town!
|SOLDERING IRON 30W • Sargent-Welch||$12.15||10||$121.50|
|SOLDER/ROSIN CORE - 1LB SPOOL • Sargent-Welch||$16.65||5||$83.25|
Our team works hard to negotiate the best pricing and selections available.View complete list Show less
This classroom project was brought to life by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and one other donor.