PBL Project Final Reflection

1. What kind of strengths did you see within yourself during the PBL unit?
During this unit, I worked together with Ashley to make a mobile. Working on this project allowed me to see strengths within myself that I did not see before. One of which is creativity. When deciding what to make for our project, I found myself coming up with random, brand new ideas along with Ashley, from mini-cannons to moist towel machines to our final project, a baby mobile. I discovered I had some creative qualities when coming up with ideas for the project, and creative solutions for the problems we had, such as wrapping the disk in tin foil to make it look better when it initially did not.
Another quality that I found during this unit was fairness. I found it easy to split the work between Ashley and I. Sometimes I would be making the decorations for the mobile and she would be hot gluing parts. After a while we would switch, depending on how we feel. I feel that this was an easy and fair system that made making the project easy.

2. Why is collaboration and teamwork important in problem solving?
Collaboration and teamwork are both important in problem solving. The saying two heads are better than one is completely true in my opinion. We always come across problems, or we notice our project is not working but we can not tell why. This is where collaboration and teamwork comes in. No two people are alike, so no two people think the same way. This allows people to see things that others do not, and vice versa. When applying this in problem solving, people can work together and input their own views to help each other come to a solution. In addition, people with different views or different opinions can debate about the optimal solution, allowing each other to strive to improve their ideas with other’s, and find the best solution that the two of you together can find. I found this to be true during our PBL project, when our mobile would not turn. Neither Ashley or I knew why it would not work. However, we worked together to figure out why, and come to a solution through talking and trying out different motors together. We eventually found that it was the motor’s problem, so the solution was a stronger motor.

3. Which video do you like the most and why?
During class we were shown several videos with the theme of teamwork. My favorite of these videos was the video involving the Madagascar Penguins. Not only was the video humorous, but it involved great creativity and teamwork. I felt that working with Ashley was great, and that together we became more creative than we could if we were working alone. Ashley and I came up with a lot of different ideas, such as a miniature cannon and a moist towelette machine. Eventually we settled on a baby mobile. I felt that alone I would never have thought of something like that, and I felt that this video of teamwork bringing about creativity is the most appropriate.

January 28th, 2015 – Building a Generator

Today in class we built our own little motor. Using a transformer to lower the voltage and convert the electricity to DC, or direct current, we connect it to the motor we made. The motor is made from a cup, two paper clips, and a coiled wire over a magnet. With the electricity and a little push, the suspended coiled wire starts to spin, and continues to spin. It does not stop spinning without outside interference. This is because of magnetic fields. While the magnet already has a magnetic field, the coiled wire develops a magnetic field when electricity is run through it, essentially inducing an electromagnetic field. This new magnetic field interacts with the magnetic field from the magnet. The magnet attracts pulls on the coiled wire until is flips over on it’s axis. This new side repels the magnet, causing the magnet to push it. This process of pushing and pulling repeats as long as electricity runs through the coiled wire, which spins. This is how the motor works.