Monday, September 28, 2015

Twitter Accounts

        I think that our Twitter accounts are going to be useful because we will be able to expand our knowledge. We can follow accounts that interest us on Twitter. From those accounts we will have access to websites and articles that will enhance our learning. Multiple sources of learning will be more beneficial to us than learning from one source.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Initial Maker Faire Ideas

Today we all looked at possible categories our Maker Faire projects could be about. We all wrote our initials next to the categories that interested us. I think that I will probably be interested in making something associated with programming. I think I want to use an Arduino Board or a Raspberry Pi to program something useful. One idea that our group has is to make glasses with a screen inside so that you can watch movies. The frame for the glasses will be printed out using the 3D printer. For that we will need the following items: a screen, lenses, glasses, and a Raspberry Pi. I will be working on this project with Joshua Goldshteyn. It is possible that if we finish the project early, we will start making something else with an Arduino. 

Raspberry Pi

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Instant Challenge Paper Bridge

A paper bridge that we built

The goal of this activity was to build a long paper bridge under a limited amount of time. I enjoyed doing this activity, but it was very frustrating when the bridge collapses. The bridge ended up collapsing at the very end. The length was only 6 inches, but we were able to have better results before it collapsed.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Product Evolution News Column

STEM Journal

September 15, 2015.
The Evolution of Air Conditioners Will Blow Your Mind
by Nick Solonko

     The extreme heat in some regions of earth really seem to bother people. Sweat is pouring down their temples. They are unable to concentrate, relax, and do their job. Something similar happened President James Garfield after he was shot. Wounded, President Garfield stayed at the White House where it was extremely hot in 1881. It was July, the middle of summer. He had people submerge cloth into ice cold water and then blow air through it. Although that did drop the temperature by about 20 degrees Fahrenheit at the White House, more than 500,000 tons of ice were used to keep him cool over the course of only 2 months. Later, he died. A normal electric fan was invented a year after that. In 1882, Schuyler Skaats Wheeler invented the electric fan in Los Angeles. It was later sold at Crocker & Curtis electric motor company. The rotors of the fan were made out of brass and while they spun they directed the airflow in a certain direction. These fans were used for cooling and ventilation. The motors had silk or cotton insulation which made the motors 80% larger than they are today. Later, the insulation was made of Polyimide coating. In the 1890's fans started having fan cages around them to protect the rotors. A few decades later, brass cages got replaced by steel because brass was needed to make bullets for WW1. Even though fans provide ventilation, it was proven that they don't cool the room. They actually make it warmer because of the heat produced by the motor. It still feels cooler because the air is traveling at higher speeds inside a space. In 1902, Willis Carrier invented the first modern air conditioning system. Ammonia was used to coolant and it was highly toxic. His air conditioner could significantly lower the humidity and that made the room feel cooler. A large % of humidity makes the temperature seem really hot. For example, a person dies within 6 hours if the temperature is 100 degrees and the humidity is 100%. If the humidity is lower, a person will have no trouble living with that high of a temperature. Even 29 years after the invention, the average air conditioner cost between $10,000 and $50,000. In modern currency it is between $120,000 and $600,000. Only the wealthiest of all people were able to obtain one. Current air conditioners are smaller, more efficient, and have more options. They are usually made of steel and plastic to reduce weight. Electric fans are still used today and also keep on evolving. Both mechanical and aeronautical engineers work on evolving air conditioners. Today, air conditioners are almost in any household, office, and store. People in most countries of the world use air conditioners regularly and can't imagine a life without them.

Timeline of air conditioners of the past and present

Green, A. (2015, January 01). A Brief History of Air Conditioning. Retrieved September 15, 2015, from
Mechanical fan. (2015, September 9). Retrieved September 15, 15, from
Cunningham, S. (n.d.). A Brief History of Fans. Retrieved September 15, 2015, from
Oremus, W. (2013, July 15). A history of air conditioning. Retrieved September 15, 2015, from
Rockwell, S., & W., M. (2014). The Electric Fan. Retrieved September 16, 2015, from
Willis Carrier the "father" of the modern air conditioning. (2010). Retrieved September 15, 2015, from
Kennedy, M. (n.d.). First Electric Fan [Digital image]. Retrieved September 15, 2015, from
Blast from the Past: Electric Fans Then and Now. (2012, April 20). Retrieved September 15, 2015, from
Woodford, C. (2015, February 28). Air conditioners. Retrieved September 15, 2015, from
Central Air Conditioning. (2015, June 3). Retrieved September 15, 2015, from
Colonial Inn Motel Tamworth. (n.d.). Retrieved September 15, 2015, from

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Product Improvement Reflection

This activity helped us learn how to work together to come up with creative ideas. Our group took a normal tape roll in order to create something more unique, useful, and advance. Although a product like this would cost too much for normal population to afford, we had a lot of fun creating these original ideas and deciding whether to use each or not. The results turned out to be unusual. Please see the sketch below.
This is the sketch of the improved tape

Concept Sketches Reflection

In class we began doing concept sketches on objects with as much detail as possible. Our goal was to shade them in and make them look 3D. I wasn't quite able to master that. I liked it though because I thought that I would do much worse. I liked it and decided to sketch one extra item. It took me a long time to sketch the glue bottle because of the amount of details in it. If I had a chance to do this over again, I would pay more attention to the way the light falls onto an object. Overall, I think I was successful and I'm looking forward to doing more in the future.
Sketches of a flash drive, EXPO marker, and a stapler.
Sketches of a glue bottle and a computer mouse.