Welcome to my 7th and 8th grade PLTW robotics class at TeWinkle Middle School, Newport-Mesa Unified School District. We have been focusing the first semester on what engineers do, what robotics is, and we are building mechanical systems. Students have been practicing mapping out the design process throughout their activities to see the hard work and dedication it takes to invent something and to be an engineer! Students are using the VEX Robotics® platform to design and build real-world objects. By the end of the semester, all of my students will have built several gear assemblies including a gear train, bevel gears, a worm and wheel, a chain drive, a lead screw, a belt drive, a cam and follower, and a crank and slider!
I have been so impressed at the hard work and dedication my students have shown throughout this semester. They are so intrinsically motivated to finish their gear assemblies and move on to what is next. I have never seen kids so happy and hungry to learn! The maturity I have seen has also gone above and beyond my expectations. The materials they work with are always put back in the correct spot, none of my materials have been damaged due to the care the students take into building and cleaning up their work stations. They help one another out, they share, and they learn from one another. As a teacher, what more can I ask for?