jueves, 14 de junio de 2018

Cyclical Electromechanical Programmer School year 2017/18

One more school year comes to its end. Despite the fatigue and stress of these last weeks, we must congratulate ourselves once again for the effort made to get the end and reach our goals

In this second year of giving our subject in English, it has been time to experiment new methodologies and processes, trying to overcome some problems detected last year. For example, leaving the workshop for the last term prevented us from developing those more practical contents with the necessary calm and attention. The same happened with the contents of electricity.

So, in order to try to solve this, we started working on project from the first term, every Friday. However, finally we have had the same problem. Many of the groups have finished their projects late, fast and running. Sometimes the perspective that there is a lot of time left for the end lead students to invest too much time in the accessory (such as sanding and painting) and little for the essentials (mounting the mechanisms and the electrical circuit). This is known as "Procrastination" and there are interesting theories about it. I'm afraid I'll have to tighten up on the deadlines next year.

Nevertheless, all the groups finished their projects, so we can feel satisfied with the result.

This year, and following the idea of "Continous improvement", we have introduced new steps in the process of designing the project:

  • Analysis of similar cases: studying projects of other years (online and in the workshop)
  • Ladder of feedback activity: expose and discuss initial designs with other groups to clarify and improve them
  • Draw plans of the project using a software for Technical Drawing: Cadstd
  • Self and Peer assessment: intermediate and at the end of the school year.
  • Intermediate assessment for the report: before building there has been a break to check our designs and improve them.
  • Rotating roles in the groups throughout the school year.
  • Final exhibition of projects, explaining how they fulfill (or not) the compulsory and optional conditions. First we have exposed in class, and later to the groups of 2nd of ESO trying to prevent our schoolmates from making the same mistakes we made.

All of them have been very satisfactory but it is true that they consume time, which in this case has had to be detrimental to other parts of the subject. This year we haven't had time to study the unit of hardware and operating systems. Instead, we have gone much deeper into the contents of electricity.

Here you are the description of the main elements of projects of this year:

- Transmision of motion

Most of the groups used a simple worm gear system to reduce the speed of the electric motor

There were groups that added an extra reduction system to their projects to get more control to the final result. They have used pulleys with belt and gears with chain.

- Moveable element and switches

Most of the groups chose cans as moveable elements, and metal sheets as switches

But there are groups this year that chose disks as moveable element. It was a bit more difficult to adjust the wires to keep in contact with the disk.

- Receivers

This is the space for creativity!

- Cinema:

- Car race:

- Don Quixote and windmills

- Stars in the sky

-Clock towers and cars

- A house: 

- Or the habitual traffic light

My congratulations to everybody. I am sure it has been a great experience of working together, in a common project and with a product to show and be proud of it.

Finally, here it is the video with some of the projects working. Despite all the problems it is necessary to face, everything is compensated by the feeling of seeing the project working

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