PBL Final Reflection – March 24th, 2015


1) VIA Strengths – Which ones did you see in yourself during PBL? How/why? 

Throughout the PBL unit, I thought I was very persevering. This is because even when the trashcan didn’t work the way we wanted it to, I kept trying to find new ways to improve the trashcan as well as trying to encourage my team to keep trying. When our group also didn’t have enough time to finish our trashcan, we also stayed after-school several times and had a morning session to try and finish our trashcan. In addition, since we had a lot of wood to cut, I never gave up, and kept cutting and sawing until it was finally done. For example, towards the last classes we found out that we cut our wood to big and even after I cut it smaller, it was still to big. I then just kept cutting it until it finally fit. Lastly, even though I spent one whole afternoon trying to look for springs with my family and couldn’t find any. I kept persevering and went all the way to Lai Chi Kok to finally get a spring which was an essential piece to our apparatus.

During PBL, I also thought I was kind because I always listened to what my group had to say and always tried to be as encouraging as possible. When we had a problem or an idea didn’t work, I also tried my best not to get frustrated and instead tried to look at the positive that we learned from a mistake. When one team member made a mistake in the design or the measuring, I also tried to be as nice to them as possible and encouraged them to keep trying so they wouldn’t be as frustrated and stressed.


2) Why is collaboration and teamwork important in problem solving?

Collaboration and teamwork in problem solving is essential because if we didn’t have that, we would never get anything done since we would always be arguing and trying to do things our own way. Collaboration and teamwork allows us to understand each other and get better ideas because three brains working together is better than just one. It also allows us to use our time more efficiently which gets things done faster. For example, since we had three people in our group, we divided and conquered different parts so we would be more time efficient. Without collaboration and teamwork, I don’t think our group would of been as successful as we were.


3) Which video do you like the most? Why?

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I liked this video the best because it shows how much better it is to work in a team than to work by yourself. It shows how much more you could accomplish and without the help of one another, they wouldn’t of been able to escape. For example, if the penguin that “got hit by the car” was alone, they wouldn’t of been able to steal the car. I also liked this video because when there was a problem, they were able to solve it together by thinking as a group and trusting one another which was when they saw that there was still a person in the car, they quickly threw her out and knocked her over again.

Final Product – Picture Representation

This is what our final product looks like.

This is what our final product looks like.

This is what the final product of our project looks like from this angle.

This is what the final product of our project looks like from this angle.


This is what our trashcan looks like from the top. The wood is the lid and the compacter of the trashcan. There are doorknobs screwed onto it so when it goes down, we can easily pull it back up.


This shows the hinges on the lid doing its job which is to let trash go inside the trashcan.


The side of our trashcan looks like this. The purple thing is the pedal which is connected to the compacter. You can also see inside the slit, there is a spring. The cardboard on the bottom prevents the spring from going out of place.

PBL Update #4 – Finalising Our Final Product

During Day 6, our group worked very hard and efficiently. Our goal was to finish our trashcan so that we could present it at the BBT during parent teacher conferences.

To do this, we tried to the following things down below:
1) Finish cutting the lid so that the “smusher” (compacter) would fit the bottom of the can.
2) Cut and add the spring to the bottom of the slit to allow the pedal and compacter could go up.
3) Nail down and screw in the track so that it doesn’t fall out.
4) Nail and screw in door handles to attach to the lid so that we could pull it back up.
5) Screw bamboo and wooden stick together.

We did as much as we could do in the 45 minutes given in class but couldn’t complete everything in the short amount of time we were given. However, we will be staying after-school today and coming in tomorrow morning to work more on the project.

Here is a video of Monet cutting the lid:

PBL Update #2 – February 25


a.) What does your apparatus do?

Our apparatus is a trashcan that crushes recyclable objects such as paper, cans, etc. It does this manually by us pushing the lever downwards with our foot. The lever connects with the “smusher” which therefore results in the trash getting crushed.

b.) Where are you at now?

We are still constructing our trashcan at the moment. So far, we have spent two whole lessons cutting out the two wooden plates and got the pole from a bamboo that we are going to use for the slit.

c.) What do you need to get/do to get it done by next Day6 (ish)?

We need to gather all our materials such as springs and hinges for the trashcan. We also need to finish cutting out the wood pieces and the slit for the bamboo in the trashcan. In addition, we should start trying to fit/glue pieces together.


PBL Update – February 13th

1) Where have we been?

We have thought on our final idea that we will do for PBL which is a trashcan that smushed trash so that the trash would take up less space. So far we have a general idea of how it would work, what materials to use and have drew out the design.

2) Where are we going?

Our next step is to get materials for our trashcan like the hinges, and a shovel. We will go to Stanley sometime and get the materials so we are ready to build the trashcan. Afterwards we would build the trashcan.

3) Next Steps

We are not quite sure what our next steps will be until we get all the materials but we will probably build it together and decide later who does what later.

DC Motor

DC Motor 

Turbine Generator

When the wire is spun, electrons are being moved through the magnetic field.

-Plastic Cup
-2 Paper Clips
-2 electric leads with alligator clips
-Copper wire
-Voltage deduct machine

Steps to Make It:
1) Take the copper wire and wrap it around a marker. Afterwards, pull the wire out and it should be in a circular shape with a bit of wire sticking out of each side.
2) Scrape off the ends of the wire and colour one end.
3) Turn the cup upside down and one magnet on top of the cup and one on the bottom.
4) Attach he paper clips on opposite ends of the cup
5) Use the energy source, and attach the alligator clips to the paper clips.
6) Put the copper wire on top of the paper clips and turn on the energy source.

How Does It Work?
DC stands for Direct Current, which means the electricity flowing throughout the motor is moving in only one direction. The wire spins because of the electricity that is continuously passed through the coil from the power source and the paper clips, creating an electrical circuit. There is also a magnetic field produced by the magnets without the electricity going through it. When the electricity is running through it, the copper wire also creates a magnetic field (electrons moving). The coil and the magnets magnetic field interacts with each other, enabling the wire to spin.

Rude Goldburg Project

Energy involved that were used to do work
Gravitational Potential- At the top of our machine, we had small box with a lid. We funnelled several marbles into this box for them to rest on the lid. That is where the gravitational potential came in. We waited for gravity to act on the marbles enough for them to weigh down the lid to let them all spill out.
Gravitational- The first gravitational aspect of our project is our risen ramp. Without gravity the ramp wouldn’t stay down and allow the marbles to roll down it smoothly. Another gravitational aspect is when the marbles fly out of the funnel and into a bowl. Without gravity then the marble wouldn’t fly out of the funnel and into the bowl it would fly out.
Kinetic- There was kinetic energy in several places in our machine. There was the kinetic with the marbles rolling down the ramp, them pooling through the funnel, them swivelling in the bowl, the see-saw tilting down, and finally the food coloring splatting everywhere.

Energy involved that did not do work
Sound- The sound of the balloon popping and the marbles running down the ramp.
Heat- All energy gives off heat but in our experiment it didn’t help anything get done.
Types of energy that we didn’t use
Elastic Potential

Explanation of our Machine
Marbles were dropped down into a box through a funnel. That box had a lid at the bottom so the marbles were concentrated until there were enough of them to weigh down the see saw at the other end. Once the lid collapsed, the marbles rolled down the ramp into a funnel where they were once again focused into single file, where they then fell into a bowl attached to a seesaw mechanism. Once that side was weighed down, pushpins and a blade poked at a balloon filled with food coloring. When that balloon bursted, it splattered the food coloring spraying colored food coloring everywhere onto the surrounding ‘canvas.’

Materials we used
Box x4
Wooden Crate
Push Pin
Food Coloring
Blue tack