Archive for the ‘Tech-Explorer Catapult’ Category

NSF grant demonstrates how to teach applied math

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded a grant that enabled Sierra College to develop a model for teaching applied math while fabricating a catapult project called Tech-Explorer (www.tech-explorer.com).  Findings showed that using hands-on projects, connected to authentic work situations, improves teaching of mathematics. Watch the Tech-Explorer movie on how Sierra College integrated math instruction with a catapult building project.  The Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT) received NSF Advanced Technological Education grant #1003259 for $150,000.

A total of 306 students built catapults using mills, lathes, drills and other industrial tools. Then the students captured speed, distance, and height of a launched ball during a competition and used the data in a parabolic equation to determine the best launch angle. In addition, 32 teachers participated in three workshops on using hands-on math projects in the classroom.

According to the project principle investigator, Sandra Scott, integrating practical application into math classes and math into technical classes is imperative. “Students really responded when they realized that the parabolic curve is used in headlights, snowboards and solar collectors,” said Scott. “We need to show students how math is applied.”

The Sierra College Tech-Explorer catapult project has been adopted at College of the Canyons, College of the Sequoias, and San Bernardino Community College. The Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing’s Advanced Manufacturing in Tennessee used it at a camp for 8-9th graders. Nebraska’s Columbus Public Schools incorporated Tech-Explorer into SHINE, a NSF funded program.

Learn more about Sierra College NSF Tech-Explorer.

 


Colfax Record: Engineers in Training

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Martha Garcia, Colfax Record Editor, wrote Engineers in training at Colfax High on May 24 about the Weimar Hills students’ experience building Sierra College CACT Tech-Explorer catapults.

From the article: “Teachers and administrators hope a recent visit to Colfax High School will catapult Weimar Hills Elementary School students into technical careers. On May 15, the eighth-graders were introduced to design, engineering and manufacturing concepts at the Tech-Explorer event in the classroom of Jonathan Schwartz, Colfax High math and pre-engineering teacher. Students used lathes, mills and other power and hand tools to build and assemble catapults.

The event was made possible through a Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) Collaborative Grant from Sierra College. The program not only introduces students to Colfax High, it also aims to make them aware of opportunities in high-paid local careers and education paths at Sierra College in mechatronics, engineering, welding, energy technology and drafting and engineering support.

Schwartz said the Weimar Hills students first worked on their math skills using the fraction contraption, a game Schwartz developed as a tool for learning math. Last week, the 60-plus students spent the day in Schwartz’s classroom building catapults out of aluminum and wood. ‘They used all sorts of shop tools from a mill to a metal lathe, they got a taste of the high school … and they got an introduction into pre-engineering,’ Schwartz said. …” Read more on the Colfax Record

 


Tech-Explorer used at Tennessee Camp

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

The Regional Center for Advanced Manufacturing in Tennessee (manufacturingfuture.net) adapted the Sierra College Tech-Explorer catapult project to use at an Advanced Manufacturing Camp for 8-9th graders. The students also do interesting science experiments and visit local manufacturers. Watch the movie and learn more at http://manufacturingfuture.net/programs/k-12-programs.php.

The Tech-Explorer catapult project is also being used by

College of the Canyons CACT

• College of the Sequoias

• San Bernardino Community College

 

 


Loomis News: Grant catapults Del Oro students

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Check out the 1/19/2012 issue of the Loomis News Grant catapults Del Oro students to see how Del Oro High School students are exploring Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and benefiting from a partnership with the Sierra College Center for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT). The students built Tech-Explorer catapults in a hands-on learning experience that introduces product development careers.


Catapult Launches Interest in Product Development Careers

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Del Oro High School students in Loomis may never have considered how products such as phones, sun glasses and cars are designed, produced and sold. After building the Tech-Explorer catapults, developed by Sierra College in Rocklin, CA through grant funding, freshman in the Tech Essentials class discovered new skills and explored careers in design and product development.

Daniel Gayaldo, Principal, Del Oro High School says that the school has benefited from the Sierra College STEM Collaborative (www.sierraschoolworks.com). Through the partnership with Sierra College, teachers had professional development opportunities, consulted with college faculty and went on externships at manufacturers. In addition, the grant provided classroom equipment similar to what is used in industry and projects like the Tech-Explorer catapult. “The grant provided by Sierra College through the Sierra STEM Collaborative has opened up an exciting new world of hands-on experiences to our students,” said Gayaldo.

Freshmen are enthusiastic about the applied academics catapult project that included using mills, lathes and hydraulic presses according to Tom Stargaard who teaches Tech Essentials at Del Oro. “For students who have never made something from scratch or used industrial tools, it is a very empowering experience,” said Stargaard.

After completing the catapults during the week of December 12, 2011, students’ evaluations were very positive. Del Oro students reported:

“I had fun getting to work hands-on with the tools and materials. I like the amount of trust we had to do it ourselves.”

“I liked learning how to use new tools and creating something that worked.”

“I enjoyed getting to build a project by myself.”

“My favorite part was finishing it and watching it in action.”

Sierra College’s goal is to interest high school students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and careers explained Carol-Pepper-Kittredge, Sierra College CACT director, who administers the program. “The applied learning experience exposes students to product development careers,” said Pepper-Kittredge. “If students discover an interest in manufacturing, they may want to study Mechatronics, Engineering, Welding, Energy Technology and Drafting Engineering Support at Sierra College and learn more at http://www.sierracollege.edu/programs/cte/programs.html. Local employers are actively recruiting from these programs,” said Pepper-Kittredge.

Students apply math and measurement skills to produce metal parts of the catapult using hand and power tools. Then they assemble the catapults and compete against each other to see whose ball goes the greatest distance and is the most accurate. To learn more, go to www.tech-explorer.com.

The National Science Foundation and California Community College Chancellor’s Office awarded grants to Sierra College to create a pipeline of students from middle school to high school to college interested in and prepared to fill the need for skilled technical employees. For information, go to www.sierraschoolworks.com or contact Carol Pepper-Kittredge, director, Center for Applied Competitive Technologies, Sierra College, at cpepper-kittredge@sierracollege.edu or (916) 660-7801.


Customize your Catapult

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

Tom Stargaard an instructor at Del Oro High School in Loomis is using laser to allow students to customize their catapults by engraving designs into the wood base. Students build the Sierra College Tech-Explorer catapult as part of the Tech Essentials Freshman class.


Catapult Projectile Calculation

Monday, October 31st, 2011

For students building Sierra College Tech-Explorer catapults, you may find the following web sites useful in calculating the distance the ball will travel. Watch the movie showing how applied math has been integrated into the Tech-Explorer catapult project supported by Sierra College CACT, Sierra STEM Collaborative and the Sierra College National Science Foundation grant project.

http://www.phy.hk/wiki/englishhtm/ThrowABall.htm

http://publicliterature.org/tools/projectile_motion/

http://www.tinafad.com/projectile/index.php

http://www.netzmedien.de/projectilemotion/scripting.html