Learning and Laughing by Lauren Gredicek

Right now in PLTW, my group is working on our Maker project. What I love about this project is that there are no limits, which allows us to go above and beyond and really create something spectacular. It allows us to make our imaginations and ideas a reality. Also it’s a lot of fun and allows me to learn new skills I never thought I would know. For example, learning how to use a saw and laser cutter.

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Pieces of the real canopy, made with fluorescent acrylic also by the laser cutter.

When we started this project we had an idea to build a unique wind instrument. We had found these wind tubes online, that when you put them in the wind they make musical sounds. We wanted to use them and manipulate them in our instrument to create a beautiful sound when the wind blew through it. But, in life we don’t always stick to our original plans or ideas. Sometimes things come along or we realize that what we first had in mind wouldn’t work out. This happened to my group, as we were planning our project we came up with better ideas and our project has turned into an art piece. I love that we got to explore new things to make this project the best it could be.

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Prototype of the tree canopy made by the laser cutter!

Our design for our art piece is a tree. We are making the trunk of the tree out of wood, and the canopy is made out of fluorescent acrylic. We plan to hang marbles and beads from the canopy and put pieces of glass into the trunk. So, when the beads and glass hit it will create a sound like a wind chime. The base will be a pound made out of wood, where more things will hang. We use the laser cutter to build mostly everything in this project. I love how much our project has transformed but still incorporate the original use of wind.

Of course, we’re not done yet. Right now in our building stage we just finished the prototype and are on to the actual thing. It’s exciting, to think that our idea is finally coming to life. I never thought that I would build something like this. In the beginning of the Make Project I was really not looking forward to it, and thought I could just make something simple and easy. I realize now that I’m glad I chose to do this project and it has been a great learning experience for me. It has taught me an important life lesson. Don’t always choose the most simple and easiest things, choose the harder things that will make you the most proud in the end. I can’t wait to see what the final product of our Art Piece will be. I’m so proud of what my group has already accomplished and I know it will be great.

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