Reflection on Volunteer Hours for Maker Professional Development Course, Sonoma State University

As I have taught students to use the bandsaw, or any tool for that matter, I have found it tricky to get a whole class of 25 or so students to see what I am doing close up. I had made previously made a video demonstrating how to use the wood lathe. And since my maker students are going to now learn to use the band saw, I decided it was time to make a classroom presentation. I decided on a PowerPoint.I spent about 12 hours taking photos and piecing together the PowerPoint. I have since shown it in class to my students and shared this with colleagues in my district and in the Sonoma State professional maker development course.

The Autodesk workshop on 123d circuits has been useful. I learned how to use the online application. Additionally I learned of Autodesk’s new environment, Project Ignite. It contains a series of self-paced activities with specific instructions for how to use the 123D applications. There are currently activity series for 123D circuits and for 123D shapes (you can design something and print out on a 3d printer). I implemented the Ignite activity for the circuits by having my students work through an 8 step lesson module. I supplemented it with checkpoints where I had to inspect their work at the computer. I also had them build a couple of the circuits with breadboards, wire and lights. I do wish I had more time to develop the curriculum. I had ideas for them to demonstrate that they could use the multimeter and really understood the circuits. I have been too swamped to carry that out extensively.

The other Autodesk workshop was on Fusion 360. Steve Temple at San Rafael High has switched over to using that from Autodesk Inventor. I can see why. The interface is much more intuitive. Also, it will run on a Mac. Autodesk offers free student licenses for this software but many students have Macs rather than PCs so that has inhibited them from downloading their own copies of Inventor. Now they can get copies of Fusion 360 whether mac or pc.

Band Saws continued

I made an extensive power point for explaining the workings of a band saw including use and safety. Showed this to students in class. Then I made a multiple choice and short written response quiz on Moodle so they could test on-line. Haven’t scored the tests yet.

Meanwhile I am one by one having them practice and demonstrate the use of the band-saw with me at their side. I have gotten through 6 of 24 students. I have them practice on a mock band saw first so they learn not to twist the blade. Most students get it. A few have not and at least one of them twisted the mock band saw hard enough to bend the blade. I have thought of making a mock band maze where they have to get a pre-cut path pushed along a blade with out touching the edges. That can be an electrical circuit with a buzzer. The edges of the cut will be lined with copper tape so that if the blade touches, it will set off the buzzer. A successful trial will be getting through the whole path without setting off the buzzer.

I have a sub today. I left instructions for the students to begin their marble mazes. They will eventually be stacked one above the other so students need to identify the entry and exit points on their maze boards. They then draw their maze out and trace it on tracing paper. They will be gluing their tracing paper cut-outs onto some MDF to cut the maze paths on the bandsaws. This will afford them a low-consequence opportunity to hone their band-saw skills.