PBL Strengths

During PBL unit, I saw creativity, prudence, and teamwork in myself. I had some great ideas for the project in the beginning like the boat, the light/sound scooter and a plant-watering-motor-spinner. When we were working on the boat, I drew designs and had many ideas on how to make it efficient and effective. During the construction, I had ideas on how to make it move forward such as a motor, steam engine, propeller, and fan. I was creative on how to make an actual moving boat, especially on the engine part because I thought of different ways to move the boat, like attaching a rubber band to a motor and the propeller so that the motor wouldn’t get wet but still spin the propeller. I saw prudence because I almost always thought of the outcomes thoroughly, though in some cases, I needed to take some risks. However this characteristic helped me construct the boat because I was able to properly and carefully visualise what is would look like if I cut some parts in the front, and when I did, it turned out exactly the way I wanted it to be. I saw teamwork because I have worked well with my teammates, we were able to effectively divide the work among the group efficiently and cooperated well when working together on a part, such as the propeller.

Collaboration and teamwork is very important in problem solving because being able to effectively cooperate will help greatly. Teamwork allows more than one mind to think about the subject, allowing for more diverse ideas for solving the problem. This can potentially sprout a creative and a very unique idea that one person might not have ever thought of before. Also working together can help accomplish tasks one person cannot do, such as glueing the propeller blades, in my case.

I personally like this video the most because it accurately portrays the situation my team was in. I had several ideas on how to make the boat moving forward, but another member Justin had other great ideas that I have never thought of. Also he recommended the most efficient material for the construction of the boat instead of mine, which later proved to be effective. This proves that collaboration is important because it allows for more ways for solving the problem that one person wouldn’t have thought of before.

PBL Project Boat – Mistakes Made / Lessons Learned

We have made several mistakes while making the boat. Some were using a motor too big which added a lot of mass and weight and power, but later found a much smaller one that had the similar power. We learned that larger size does not necessarily mean more power and can hinder the boat’s movement. Another one was that we used the plastic bottles to make the propeller, but did not work because the plastic does not stay in shape after bending. We learned that plastic is not a good material and decided to use tin cans instead.

PBL Video

So far we have finished making the boat. I cut some parts of the milk carton and folded the edges and glued, then taped it with black tape to make it waterproof and strengthen it. It is light enough to float and is waterproof. Now we need to work on the motor and the battery and the propeller to make the boat move forward. We will need a propeller and a rubber band to move it with the motor and some batteries.

Some problems we faced were not understanding how to fold the carton to make it look like a boat and took the risk of cutting some parts, knowing that if I screwed it up and cut the wrong parts, I’ll have to start again. Also we’re still not sure if we will use the batteries or the solar panel and if they will be strong enough to spin the propeller fast enough the propel the boat.

PBL – Solar Boat

The machine my group and I will make is a solar-powered boat. The solar panel attached to the top of the boat will collect solar light and generate electricity, powering and spinning the motor. The switch between those two can either turn it on or off. The spinning part of the motor is held by rubber bands and connected to the propeller underneath the boat. The propeller will be in a separate cardboard piece. As the motor spins, the rubber bands will turn and also spin the propeller, propelling the boat forward. The solar panel and the motor will be quite heavy, and to even out the weight so the boat doesn’t capsize, extra weight or an action figure will be attached to the front of the boat, it will be a passenger.

Solar panel will be attacked to the front and the wires connected to it will continue to the backside where the motor is. The passenger will be in the middle. The boat will be made of cardboard. Black tape will wrap it to make it waterproof

DC Motor and Generator

The magnets on the coffee cup has their own magnetic fields around them. Once you connect the alligator clips from the energy generator to the pins holding the copper wire, it transfers electricity to the wire and it has its own magnetic field. The two magnetic fields interact together and the motor spins. Electricity is induces and this is called electromagnetic induction. To make the motor spin faster and create more electricity, stronger magnets and the magnetic field of the motor have to be stronger. For the voltameter, we spun the motor with the needle wires touching the pins, and saw how much electricity it generated, on the scale of millivolts.

Rube Goldberg Machine

There are many energy transfers in our Rube Goldberg Machine. When Janson first pushed the ball down the ramp, there was kinetic energy as it rolled down and was affected by gravitational energy because the ramp was slanted pointing downward, allowing gravity to pull the ball. As it moved down, gravitational energy was applied. The rubber bands holding the scissor were stretched by elastic energy, and applied enough force to close the scissor when the stick was hit. The golf club transferred energy to the weight when it hit and gravitational energy applied to the weight, making it fall to the machine, transferring energy again to press the button and make the sound, using electric energy to make sound energy.