Puzzle Box Maker Project
By Kayla Zinsmeyer
Through out this year in PLTW, we have been completing modules that focus on a certain skill or that are designed to make us think about a topic in a certain way. Some modules are about woodworking, others about using the 3d printer, learning about photography, or thinking about how medical science could change to improve our lives in the future. And while PLTW is a class that teaches about a wide variety topics, everything my classmates and I learn comes together to help us make a decision about what high school pathway we would enjoy the most and to make us realize something about ourselves that we might not have known before. There is also one more thing that these modules help us with, and that is the Maker Project, which is what I am here to tell you about today.
The Maker Project is what we have been looking forward to all year, and I know everyone was super excited when we began a few weeks ago. It is a project that we have complete freedom with, as long as it connects somehow to the ARS mission statement. We get to use all of our creativity, and as many of our skills as we want. If anything its almost too much freedom, there were so many ideas available to my partner and I.
Eventually, we settled on making a puzzle box, but even that didn’t narrow down the possibilities by much. There are dozens of ideas and designs available, each with a different level of complexity to solve and build. We ended up choosing a relatively simple plan, but we both agreed that it was still going to be a challenge to anyone who tried to open it.
When we first starting building our puzzle box we used a couple different strategies to make the panels of our box (like the chop saw) but none of them were precise enough for the box to function properly. We decided to use the laser cutter, and while we had a few problems operating it at first, we were much happier with the results. Now, we have almost completed our first box, and are looking forward to more projects like this.