Engineering in Gateway Through Technology

Gateway Through Technology is one of my favorite classes. The modules are fun, the Maker-Space is the coolest classroom ever, and it gives you freedom to explore and learn about the different pathways to prepare you for high school at Ann Richards. But sometimes these modules can be a handful. You have to worry about meeting deadlines and doing the module correctly and sometimes it can be a handful. And sometimes you have to get creative.20141107_100209

Engineering is one of my favorite pathways. You get to work on designing things and actually building something. So I expected the first module to be a breeze and for it to be really easy. Well… I was wrong.

Let me explain, so basically we were assigned to build a bridge made entirely out of toothpicks, string, and glue that was eighteen inches long, no more than four inches wide, and weighed no more than forty grams. This sounds fairly simple but trust me, it’s not. When my group was actually able to decide on a design that wouldn’t take us a month to build we had to figure out how to build it. First, we tried making bunches of about 24 toothpicks and attaching them somehow but they wouldn’t stay when we attached them. Next we tried making two long beams that were all tied together with string but that weighed way more than forty grams so we just took one of the beams away but that wasn’t stable enough. With one more class and a lot of frustration building up between all of us we found a way to attach some toothpicks to the side of the beam to help the stability. But there were other complications as well.

On our second to last class to work on this module our teacher, Ms. Sauter, had been dragged to a training so we had a sub who was really nice and let us about to do our work. But unfortunately we ran out of toothpicks. So if you saw two-three students looking around frantically for toothpicks then that was probably me. We checked the office, the art room, and the supply closet. Who would’ve guessed that no one had toothpicks anywhere? After giving up our search, my partners and I were stuck taking old toothpicks out of a box and either breaking them apart due to the fact that they were glued together or untying them due to the fact that they were wrapped in string from previous users. It was painful, aggravating, and tedious but we did what we had to do to get the assignment done. And at the end it was pretty fun seeing a final product. And it was also pretty fun watching that final product crack and break under the pressure of the 2,800 gram weights that we put on it to see how much it would hold.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that sometimes there’s going to be problems or setbacks but you can’t let that stop you. You have to keep pushing through all the hardships to reach your final victory at the end.

-Darby Buscemi

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