PBL Reflection

During PBL, I think that I showed most of perserverance, humor, and creativity. For our PBL, we came up with numerous plans for what our project could actually be. Even though we kept failing, we perservered and continued to keep trying to come up with a new plan that would actually work. Although we did not succeed in the end, we still continued to try make something work. Even though, we failed so many times, we kept going and tried to think of new ways to approach our problems. Creativity is another one of the VIA strengths because we had to think of nine different plans to approach our difficulties and it required us to think and research a lot. Though work was tedious, we still kept things fun with humor and it made PBL quite enjoyable.

Collaboration and teamwork is very important in problem solving because when someone can’t think of anything to solve the problem, you can rely on someone else to help and their ideas might be very helpful and maybe with all of the team’s suggestions, the problem could then be solved. Collaborating with each other is also very important because someone might have a really good idea but if you shut them out and not let them participate, you might have lost a really great idea. Sharing ideas with each other can help tremendously when it comes to problem solving because everyone has great ideas to contribute.

I liked the penguin video the most because it was very devious and very well planned out. It involved all of the teammates to get involved in order for the whole operation to work and I think that that is a very important part of being a team. Working together is very important because if one important person did something wrong, then the whole plan would go wrong. However, even if something does go wrong, your partners can always help, as long as you ask for it.

PBL Update

1) Where have we been?
We first wanted to build a battery made up of a saltwater copper aluminum contraption to power a blender. However, we discovered that the saltwater battery could not generate enough energy for powering a big blender. We then decided to use hydroelectricity to power the blender. To make it work, we are planning on using a container full of water that is going to then turn a wheel with spoons on the ends. The spinning of the wheel is supposed to be enough force and energy for a transducer to create electricity for the blender. The water is being re-used so that not that much water is going to be wasted. The water that falls into the bottom container gets pumped back up to the top container and that is how we’re planning on re-using the water. Since that still might not be enough energy, we’re also using energy from solar panels. This is our current plan but if there still isn’t enough energy, we might scratch the idea and use it to power something else instead.

2) Where are we going
We’re going to start gathering all the materials that we need and start building it soon. We have finalized the plan for now, but we might change it a little later.

3) Next Steps
– 2 water containers
– blender
– wheel
– a lot of spoons
– water
– pump
– tubes
– alligator clips
– transducer
– solar panels
– heat lamp

We’re going to do everything as a group but we’re all going to bring in different materials.

Motor and Generator Building

Motor Building

James, Nate, Samantha, and I built our DC motor by first coiling a long piece of copper wire around a marker. We then pulled it off and secured the coil by wrapping the extra wire around it 3 times. We did the same on the other side of the coil. Next, we took a styrofoam cup and placed two pieces of magnets; one on the top, and one on the bottom. Afterwards, we straightened two paper clips to create a “p” shape. Then, we placed them on opposite sides of the cup. Finally, we placed my coil in between the paper clips. Before we did that, we scraped the bottom of our excess copper wire, so that metal was touching metal. When we turned the volts on, electricity was induced, and a magnetic field was created and the circuit was complete. Because the wire served as an axel, it was spinning. This is because there are interactive magnetic fields. Two magnetic fields react because of the attraction and repulsion which causes the coil to spin.


After, we made the motor into a generator. In the DC motor, to create electricity, all we had to do was to spin the wire. That way, the electrons can move around. As the relative positiion of the wire keeps moving according to the magnetic field, you will keep pushing the elctrons.

rube goldberg

We started the experiment by placing an elevated and slanted ramp between two tables. Two large marbles were placed behind a thin rope to prevent it from rolling down. When the marble was released and rolled down the ramp, it was a gravitational potential energy change. This energy was then converted into kinetic energy. When the marbles hit the car, kinetic energy is transferred during the collision from the marble to the car. The car is then propelled into the mentos causing another transfer of kinetic energy which made the mentos fall off the edge of the table, through the funnel, and then into the coke. The service of the mentos serves as a nucleation site for dissolved carbon dioxide to transform into gas bubbles, a process that involves the release of chemical energy. Chemical energy from the reaction CO2(aq) => CO2(g) is converted into gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy of the foam.