The Spring Semester Maker Project

Hello fellow people of the world,

Today I will discuss a major project. The reason the Ann Richards School is blessed with a Makerspace is because we got a grant. For the grant, we have to make something with a structure, like a robot, a toy, etc. The project needs to be thoughtful and more than just a one-step process. It shouldn’t just take a couple of weeks. We are going to come up with our ideas and start working on them when we come back from Winter break.

I usually overthink things, so I’m probably going to overthink this project. It’s not that I dislike easy, simple things, and I’m not blind to those ideas, I just have really high expectations for myself. Maybe my expectations are too high, I don’t know, but that is why I sometimes have trouble working in groups. I have really complicated ideas and everybody else has more simple, reachable, and reasonable ideas. Some of my ideas include small statues, like the statue of liberty, a statue of an alien, an alien head, and a really tall person. Some other ideas include 3D puzzles that make a shape when they are put together properly, like a cube, or an eagle. Of course, if I am to do this, I would have to research how to build 3D puzzles, and other stuff like that.

If I make a statue or a 3D puzzle, it will probably be made out of wood. There are some additional items that might need to be used on the final product, like metal, plastic, cardboard, etc. The truth is, I don’t know exactly how I  am going to make the statues or puzzles, but I am pretty confident that when I actually plan it out, it will make sense and be more realistic in my mind and I will be able to make my imagination into reality.

Another idea I had is to make something simple that doesn’t look simple to the human eye, like a rocking horse or a pogo stick. These things are simple when you break them down, but when you just look at a toy like this, it looks complicated. I might do something more complicated than a rocking horse. I might attempt to build a miniature merry-go-round because I loved playing on merry-go-rounds when I was younger and I’m sure that lots of people did, but all the playgrounds got rid of them for some reason, and I want to bring back memories for people. I am hoping that if I make a toy, it will bring happiness to people and they will temporarily be relieved of stress.

Some other ideas for toys I want to make include a rolling duck, a catapult, a toy car, and a scooter. I think that making these would be most simple using wood. To make the toys more unique or fun, I could add or take away things. Maybe, if I decide to make a merry-go-round, I could try to make it lighter and reduce friction to make it more fun, or I could make it automatic so nobody has to push it and more people can ride it at the same time. Also, if I make it automatic, it will go faster and stay at a constant speed.

Something else I looked into is a perpetual motion machine. A perpetual motion machine is basically a contraption that continues to move without using batteries. I looked at a few designs, and decided that if I wanted to do this, I would have to research perpetual motion machines and create prototypes.

The reason I would have to make prototypes is to test the idea and see if it would actually work or if it really is just a fantasy. If I were to do the perpetual motion machine, I would have to draw multiple designs, think of pros and cons for each one, and try to make each one the best that it can possibly be. When I am finished with getting multiple ideas, I would have to choose which idea would be most effective in what I am attempting to do. Then, I would have to build and test a prototype and  if it works, great, I can move on. If the prototype doesn’t work, I have to start on brainstorming again. For some of the ideas I have, I would need to do a great deal of research. This is a part of PLTW. In order to create something that you have never built before, you sometimes need to learn how to make it. Not only sometimes do you have to learn and research, but usually, you have to learn something.

I think that by doing this project, I will be proud because if I can use my talents to create something beautiful, I will see a physical reminder that I can do great things and help the world. This project might help me fulfill the Ann Richards School mission of solving problems creatively and ethically in support of our global community because it can give me ideas of what to create in the future or it could inspire other people to do amazing things for the world. You never know. Anything can be a form of inspiration.

Have fun and make something new,

Regina S.

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