In PLTW class, there are many different ideas we need to learn, that can be very difficult. Many people think that those concepts can be more difficult than some of the hands-on work we do. Personally, I am not really a hands on kind of person. So when me and my group began the Construction and Fabrication Basics module, I knew that this would be a challenge.
For our independant challenge we are currently creating a “Wood Sandwich”. This is two pieces of wood we cut ourselves using the Miser saw. That was the easy part. Next we had to learn how to drill and hammer to connect the wood pieces together. Hammering is not quite as simple as it looks, trust me. I had a very hard time with this seemingly simple task. Next I had to drill a hole, when drill a screw into the wood. Once again, I went in thinking it would be a piece of cake, and then was met with a challenge.
One of my group members is exceptional at hammering, so I had to ask for help on multiple occasions. The key to it as far as I know is to go from the top, angling yourself above the nail to get it in straight. One problem I had was my nail was going in sideways! Nailing it in took much longer than expected, almost 20 minutes for a single one. Even with help, I was still struggling. For the next part of the assignment, all I could do was ask for help to try and pull me through it. We had to first drill a hole, then drill the actual screw in. The hole part was easier, because as long as you put enough force on it you were good to go. But the next part, I had many difficulties. For this section you also had to put a load of force onto the drill, to make sure it goes down. About halfway through, I had to change the batteries in my drill because it was making a ton of weird noises!
After I struggled through these two tasks, I felt very proud of myself. It is very difficult to do this, and I did it! I couldn’t help but be extremely proud of myself. I definitely need some more practice in this activity, but I’m sure that over time I will improve. I think this is a very practical skill to have, so I hope that soon enough I will be able to do it on my own.
Overall, I think this was a really good experience for me. It was good to step out of my comfort zone and what I’m used to, and try something very new. Using hammers and drills definitely isn’t easy, and I now have a huge respect for people who can use them faultlessly. It might sound strange, but when you are doing so badly at something that you’ve seen others do great at, you can’t help but have huge admiration!