Skip to main content

Geared Up

Working on our Bug, my son learned a lesson about gears and "interchangeable" parts. The original wiper blade motor had locked up and after tearing into the motor, we realized the plastic gear was stripped out.

Most parts places will sell the entire wiper motor assembly, not individual parts but we found an "as is" wiper assembly for a fraction of the cost. The plan was to tear them both apart and cobble working parts together.

Once we had both gear boxes apart and the gears pulled, we suddenly realized that the threads ran in the opposite direction. This meant the plastic gear would not mesh with the worm drive from our electric motor.

We had already established that the "new" motor would not run as it was too rusty. So we took the two motors apart and swapped out the magneto and worm drive. It needed a little cleaning but worked!

This same wiper assembly could be recreated with Legos and would provide great lessons on mechanics: taking circular motion, turning it 90 degrees and converting it into an oscillating motion. I used the example of a steam engine drive piston when explaining the wiper motor's mechanism.

Popular posts from this blog

Classcraft Interactive Notebook Page

Finished crafting interactive notebook pages for Classcraft, an engaging classroom management tool.

This fall I plan to add interactive notebooks to my classroom procedures. The goal is to provide students with something tangible to take home at the end of the semester. So that means creating or borrowing resources to guide students in developing their notebook.

Classcraft is a classroom management tool, an elaborate punishments and reward system designed like an epic role play game. Students create avatars and can upgrade pets and outfits based on experience and gold points earned. They can also lose points and suffer minor penalties. Everything is done in a fun, game like environment.

The computer lab is already divided into five or six stations, which lends itself easily to guilds or teams of students who work together in the game. I want students to develop their own backstory and choose their characters for the good of the group. I also need students to keep their login info some…

Exploring Science and Math through Music and Messes

If you have ever seen a music video by the music group OK Go, you know that they enjoy experimentation and quirky effects. Now all that energy is available for teachers in the classroom, with maybe slightly less mess.

In cooperation with Google and Morton Salt, they have produced a set of three STEM related lesson plans complete with tie-ins to their most popular videos. You can get your hands dirty in this wonderful playground at the OK Go Sandbox.

Lego Mindstorm Maze Runner

Students were tasked with writing a program for their robot to successfully navigate a preset maze. This used only directional command blocks (no sensors). The goal was to recognize sequencing, patterns and to become comfortable with testing and making modifications based on test results.