On Wednesday, May 2, 2018, a few students from 6th, 7th and 11th grade attended a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) workshop at Patana International School with Mr. Mechum. Students from many other schools in Bangkok met at the workshop and each grade had a different plan for the day. For 6th graders, the workshop focused on Mathematics, for the 7th graders it focused on Design and Technology, and lastly for the DP students, it focused on Physics. What did we do specifically, you may ask? Stay tuned and read the full article to find out..!
This article will specifically focus on 7th graders experience during the workshop, and in our opinions, the workshop was a great opportunity for students studying in different schools to work together! It felt like 2017’s DCC event but in one day. Our task for the day was to create an F1 race car, and at the end of the day, we got to race them against each other. We were put into 3 main groups, with 3 people in each group to make the work go faster. Each group started off together but when we actually started working, we split up. To begin we created rough sketches of the top and the sides of the car we wanted to design. We then printed them out, then the group split up, one group started to make the actual product with foam, another group learned about different machines that could help test the products, and the last group stayed in the room to learn about technological design on computers using Fusion 360.
I was in the group that started the product after we got the print of our sketches. We cut the outline of the printed side sketch that we drew and then we stuck the paper drawing onto the side of the foam. We then used a variety of machines and devices that helped us outline the side version of our cars. We used sandpaper to polish and soften our models as well. After a while the groups rotated, so we entered the room where we learned how to test our products on a car race track. When you press the button start after your cars are attached to the race string, all the lights go off, and the first person who presses their remote button wins the race.
Lastly, we had a final activity as 3 big groups. We learned how technological design could be much more accurate, and simple to do, than handmade designs. We learned how to use the basic tools that Fusion 360 supplied us with and what we can do with the application to simplify our designs, but with good quality.
In the afternoon session, we were put into groups of 3 that were already organized and set up. We were asked to research and make one sketch of the car together by brainstorming ideas. We then had an hour and 15 minutes to complete the making of the entire F1 car using a new piece of heavy, thick, and expensive foam box to create our model. It was a task which involved a lot of collaboration and thinking because we were asked to collaborate with people we had never met and talked with before, and we needed to get inspired by the ideas that we shared. We were asked to test the speed of the cars every now and then to improve them before the race. Design is a process of plan, make and test, so we decided to pick the top 4 fastest cars and run a race until we found the final winners of the workshop!
We all had great fun during that day, meeting and working with new people, in a different environment, and look forward to the next time we can do this again.