Computational Deployment: Simulating A Rocket

The model rocket project has long been a favorite at the Academy. For the past fifteen years, students have designed, fabricated and then launched model rockets as the first project of the program. Over the years, I have tweaked the project several times, each time finding new ways to introduce authentic analysis in the process.Continue reading “Computational Deployment: Simulating A Rocket”

The Great (Mini) Robot Race

Robotics – The Synthesis Project The final project of the two year academy program requires that the students design, fabricate, program and test an autonomous robot. We have been doing this project since the inception of the program, but this year we have made┬ásome significant improvements on the project. In this post I will explainContinue reading “The Great (Mini) Robot Race”

Our Custom Designed Bridge Tester

Our Goal – Make A Better Bridge Crusher! This year Bob and I decided to upgrade our bridge project. We wanted to create an improved device for measuring the load on the model bridges created by the students. Specifically, we wanted to design a way for the students to collect meaningful performance data. The problemContinue reading “Our Custom Designed Bridge Tester”

Simulate, Test, Analyze: A Framework For Rigor

“Have Fun Storming The Castle!” At the end of this fall semester, the second year students in the Academy rolled and carried their medieval mechanisms of mayhem to the SRHS track and we spent the afternoon watching the devices hurl lacrosse balls across the athletic field.This project was the final performance assessment of the semesterContinue reading “Simulate, Test, Analyze: A Framework For Rigor”

Building the Electrical Current Model with The Amazing $25 Programmable Power Supply

Not Just For Teaching Robotics Thanks to the generous donations of supporters of the Physics Academy, we were able to purchase a new set of Arduino Uno micro-controllers for use in this year’s robotics competition. As I was planning out the unit on teaching DC circuits, I realized that some of our DC power suppliesContinue reading “Building the Electrical Current Model with The Amazing $25 Programmable Power Supply”