Perefection Isn’t Always Key – Sage O’Brien

This year has been a year full of ups and downs, from field trips and projects, to stressful algebra nights.  This applies to my  PLTW class as well, from all the modules we completed to the Maker Faire project, there have been many ups and downs. Through this class I have learned so many things about communication, building, and computer software. Even though it was difficult from time to time not to have a structured class, I’m glad to have experienced it because it has really allowed me to work on time-management and creativity.

After my group and I completed a module, I felt very accomplished. Through all the steps, design process, building, then reflection, it was a lot of work and I was proud of what my group and I had accomplished, even if it wasn’t the original plan. This is another important lesson I’ve learned. The design in the beginning can change throughout the working period, and that’s okay. I’ve learned that many failures and mistakes turn into a lot of great things and end up making what you’re working on even better than planned.

The subject of failure applies to a new project we began in PLTW this 6 weeks called, Kick Flip Failure. This project involved building and designing our own skateboard. This project has 3 parts to it: design, build and reflect. Since we don’t have enough space for a bunch of groups to be on the same schedule, each group had their own schedule. My group and I had the schedule of Build, Design, then Reflect. Our very first step of this project was to pick a shape for our skateboard, and once we had a shape we applied it to illustrator to laser cut the veneer. Our original plan was to have a curved board, but we accidently started to glue the veneer together before we put it in the vacuum. We were disappointed by the dilemma but we shook it off and faced our heads toward a new challenge, which was design.When we searched skateboards in google images, a lot of graffiti patterns came up and we really liked how it looked. We tested them out in our notebook, then brought it to the testing wood. We realized we didn’t really liked how it looked so we went back to the drawing board. We were having a bad case of designers-block for about 20 minutes, scrolling through endless pictures of skateboard designs looking for inspiration, when Sierra said, “What if we did a galaxy theme?!” Melanie and I thought that was a great idea and went to go get a board to test on. We first painted the board black then sprayed blue, purple, gold and silver spray paint on it. We then took white paint and splattered some white onto the board to give it a “fresher” look and represent stars and other things in space. We then did the same thing for our skateboard. We stepped back and admired our hard work after spray painting for 20 minutes.

I’m so glad I was able to experience a class where your ideas and designs turn into actual products. It’s really satisfying to stand back after completing a project and to think about all of the work and the process that has contributed to your final product, and the things you overcame re-designed, and perfected.

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