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Archives: February, 2015

3D Printing  February 27th, 2015

In our most recent post, the ME team used a 3D printer for one of their parts. What is 3D printing? There are different ways to print three dimensional objects, which are detailed in this link. Our ME team used the fused deposition process for their part which can be seen below. These printers are not only used for small parts and projects, they are also used to make everything from medical supplies to an entire car (see below).  Companies like Protolabs and Solid Concepts specialize in making molds and parts. These links will help your students understand the things mentioned in the previous ME video. For the future, the hope is that 3D printers will make manufacturing of tools and products faster without compromising on strength and durability. Check it out!


Update from the ME Team  February 27th, 2015

The ME team is at it again.  This time they hit some roadblocks while making their three modules.  The team was able to persevere and their project is nearly complete. Check out the progress and process:

Magnetic Silly Putty Eats Magnet  February 23rd, 2015


Amazing right? But how does it work? In a basic sense, the magnetized putty is trying to evenly distribute itself around the magnet.  This article explains it all. You may want to share this with your students!

High School Challenge Surveys  February 18th, 2015

High School SMILE teachers, we need your help!  In preparation for the April High School Challenge event, we have a survey about bioenergy in your communities.  We would like this survey to be filled out by you and your students and returned before Spring Break.  The survey and additional documentation can be found below.  You can return surveys by emailing Renee O’Neill ( the data in the excel sheet, sending the hard copy originals via standard mail, or scanning in your surveys and emailing them as PDFs.  Whatever format you choose is fine, as long as we can see the data and are able interpret the results for the SMILE High School Challenge.  Please also send a copy of the complete survey your students use to help us interpret the data.

There is a section in the lesson plan on manipulating and interpreting data but please note that this is optional for you and your students to complete.  We will be compiling and interpreting data in preparation for the HSC event.
Thank you so much for your help and we look forward to seeing you all here in April!

Next Generation Science Standards  February 17th, 2015

As you may know, Oregon has adopted the Next Generation Science Standards and the hope is that all states will too. These standards can be difficult to navigate and we are here to help. This source is here to make it a little easier. National Science Teachers Association has a blog that they hope will connect teachers with helpful lesson plans for these standards. Check it out!

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Happy Birthday Galileo!  February 17th, 2015

That’s right, Galileo would have been 451 years old today. To celebrate his birthday we thought it would be great to share this article proving his theory true; a heavy item and a light item would reach the ground at the same time in a vacuum. In the video below, they travel to NASA’s space power facility in Cleveland, Ohio to the worlds largest vacuum chamber to prove his point.

Magnetic Turtle Navigators  February 17th, 2015

We stumbled upon this great activity for middle school science teachers. In this activity students are to learn how to navigate magnetic fields, just like sea turtles do.  This great activity only requires a few supplies and is sure to be a hit in the classroom! Check it out by clicking the picture.


Update: ME team  February 17th, 2015

The team has expanded upon their awesome project.  This week they expanded on their crank.  Here is what they had to say about it:

Building on our previous design, we machined an acrylic sheet into an acrylic disc to mount on the generator for easier use (video 1). We then kept building the power generation module so that we could test our other equipment better (photo 1). We disassembled part of the TV to try and test it with our generator, but weren’t generating enough power or had some other issue (photo 2). We managed to cut all of our acrylic for the hydro power module and we tested flame polishing on one of the pieces (photo 3, 4 and video 2). The video game has been further tested and we can successfully use other buttons to play the game! (Although Pac-Man is still really hard) (photo 5). Finally, we made some welding modifications to the base of the generator to make it simpler and more sturdy (video 3). Next, we’ll be building the structures of the modules and finally have something to really show off!

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