Ken Symington's "Design Thinking and Media Communications" class recently did a breakout.edu. What's a Breakout.edu? It's a mysterious box, protected with numerous strange and unusual locks that can only be opened by solving problems. Problems - about code. It requires teamwork, creativity, persistence, and problem solving. However, it doesn't require a locksmith, because the class...solved it! 

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The cantilever challenge was a week-long activity in Ken Symington's "Design Thinking and Media Communications" class.  

Students had to build the longest and strongest cantilever measured from the desk edge to the end of the cantilever.  Students were given one period to brainstorm ideas, then each day after they built with a different material - starting with newspaper, then moving to straws, and then finally testing their engineering skills with spaghetti. To make things interesting, builders got to use only 1 meter of masking tape per day, and an unlimited supply of the assigned daily material. 

We used a cup hanging over the end and put pennies in it to add weight to test strength and we recorded the weight after it bent 10 cm below the horizon from the desk or collapsed.  We kept a tally of points (10 points for top length, 10 points for top strength) each day and totaled them up the last day for the cantilever grand design champions! 

Here's the newspaper iteration (click for a bigger image)

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 Then moving on to straw. Still only using 1 meter of masking tape! 

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And then finally spaghetti.

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The first episode of CCHS News - a new student-created video production. Click below to play! 

Another challenge from Ken Symington's "Design Thinking and Media Communications" class : carry as many ping-pong balls across the room as possible without dropping them or getting stuck. Oh, and use a robot. Once each Sphereo was successful, the students joined their ping-pong bot carriers to create the ultimate three-bot ball carrying machine. 

Click for some vertical video! 

Ping Pong Ball Design Challenge
Ping Pong Ball Design Challenge - Group Movement

 

This semester CCHS had an international student from Germany visiting and attending classes. He discovered the 3D printer and quickly became enthralled (we know the feeling!) because his own school back in Germany did not have one. Every class he parked himself in front of the printer and worked on various projects.  Some cool results included a bike spoke wrench, souvenir key chains, and hand-lamp and skull. This semester we have more international students keen to try out the 3D printer!   [Click for a larger version] 

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Another interesting problem from Ken Symington's "Design Thinking and Media Communications" class. In this design challenge, students were tasked with building the strongest structure using only newspaper and masking tape. The winning structure held 14 textbooks and stood almost a metre tall! It probably could have handled more but we ran out of textbooks. Prototyping, design, testing - simple materials can lead to complex learning. 

 

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Speed, acceleration, velocity - and possible wet splatty impact!? As part of Ken Symington's Physics 20 class, students needed to build an amusement park ride that took their precious cargo (an egg) on a wild ride without loss of eggy life. The egg amusement ride needed to take the "passenger" a minimum of 45 cm off the ground and needed to be in motion between 30 seconds and 2 minutes.  Check out the pictures to see the wide range of designs! All designs were successful until an overexcited ride operator cranked up the ferris wheel ride to ludacris speed and - SPACE FLIGHT. No video of that unfortunately, since everyone was ducking and taking cover. 

A fun way to learn why physics is so important in making sure our real-world machines prevent humans from going splat. 

Ferris Wheel of Eggy Doom?

Ferris Wheel of Eggy Doom?

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A crazy egg-coaster.

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Engineers protecting egg lives. 

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Proud creators.

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