Marble Maze

The electronics unit ended with a whimper. A few students still need to finish the required circuit. I did not have time to make an electronics quiz. I did have them put up their hacked notebooks with an LED and a hand-made switch.

Students will soon take the drill press quiz on-line. They will need to use drills for the Marble Maze activity.

I have had them start making spoons by using gouges and mallets on short blocks of Alder. They are taking to it readily. The next step of the spoons will be for them to make cuts on the bandsaw. The main activity that requires the use of the band saw is to make a marble maze. I still need to make a sample marble maze for them to emulate.

I am wondering how to set things up so I can get all the students passed to run the band saws. There are several steps and it should take 1 – 2 weeks.

  • Demonstration by me. (I would like to have my demonstration recorded on video. Easy to make rough but if it needs any editing that is time I might not have.)
  • We review vocabulary and safety rules as a class.
  • Students practice on a mock-up band-saw to get a feel for how to make the curves.
  • Each student demonstrates that they can do basic adjustments on the Band saw and cut curves on practice stock.
    • There are only three band saws to use and I have 24 students. Having another activity for the other students can be challenging. The ones who learn the band-saw quickly can work on their spoons. For some of them, I could cut out the spoons on the band saw for them and then they will have a lot of work filing and sanding their spoons.
  • Students take a paper quiz. They must get 100%.
  • Once they have demonstrated safe use and passed the quiz, then they have permission to use the band saws.

About Geo Monley

I teach Wood shop, Architectural Design, and Mathematics to high school students in Mill Valley California where I also run an Adult woodworking program through TUHSD Community Education (Marinlearn.com).
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