Our students have opportunities to design, build, test, and redesign engineering solutions to real world problems. One way they do that is through robotics and engineering challenges. This year, our students are competing in both FIRST robotics and are a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam working to invent a solution to a local environmental problem on the Truckee River.
In both of these challenges, students are using the tools of engineers- computer modeling, engineering notebooks, prototyping, testing and research to design solutions.
Unfortunately, they are missing some of the tools needed to carry out these projects. With the right tools, students are creative, innovative and hard working. They are constantly brainstorming improvements to their designs and revising. This leads to small piles of parts that are challenge to organize with our current system of totes. Our students also use Chromebooks to sketch out idea.
To make these ideas come to life, I have been assembling a collection of maker tools that can be used to create the models. Because the projects are student driven, it is hard to know what they will need but supplies we have collected some of the tools like soldering irons, drills, saws, electronic components, solar panels, and robot parts.
Now students need to a tool to organize their work space and tools for drawing up their ideas electronically.
Staying organized will help students stay productive and avoid wasted time. Drawing ideas before prototyping is a key skill for young engineers to learn.
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