STEAM(okGo Project) First Reflection

So far in STEAM, my group has made 2 and a half prototypes(and  sketched out many ideas). We started with the brainstorming process. We jotted down all out our ideas on a big sheet of paper and from there we picked out ideas that we thought would be a good fit for our filmed sequence and developed them further. By this I mean sketching them out, labelling parts/materials, and writing the steps.

The sketch for our “Vortex”

The two parts of our sequence that we have made a prototype of are the automated crossbow and the “Vortex”(Its a collection of different tubes at different heights that balls of different sizes will go through). We had brandon make the crossbow since he is the expert in archery.  meanwhile, me and Barbs started working on the  “Vortex”.  This was quite challenging even though it was prototype because the parts had to be in a specific position for it to work. Lastly, we started working as a group on our small scale sequence plan.

We built our prototypes out of what was available in our classroom/school. This includes cardboard(very useful), tin foil, wooden sticks, string, and a glue gun(also very useful). We also used scissors and a small saw. As for our ideas, our number one source was our combined brains and creativity(though we did also look at Pinterest and youtube). It is very likely that we will be using all those materials as we continue this project.

Even though we’ve had our struggles, I am proud of the work we’ve done so far.  Even though it can be messy, our group is doing a good job because our work includes details. I also really like the ideas we come up with our combined creativity. Another thing I like about our group is the fact that being creative also helps us solve problems that we encounter along the way.

Designing a sequence is definitely an exciting project because we have a lot of room for creativity. Creating a sequence of reactions is definitely something I’ve daydreamed about before(it makes me think of Home Alone), but I never realised how frustrating and challenging it would be. The most frustrating thing is finding a way to link our different reactions together. The key to overcoming these frustrations is to just spend time brainstorming possibilities and talking them through with your group. Building a prototype is a bit easier, since we are building them based on the designs we made. However, when something doesn’t match up or doesn’t work like we wanted it to, we ask ourselves a lot of questions like “Why doesn’t this work?” and “What changes can we make in order for it to work? ”. In my opinion, communication and questioning are essential for our project to be successful.

From now on, one thing I think we really need to work on as a group is to make sure we’re all on the same page when it comes to the ideas we’ve developed. What I’ve found out while working with my group for this past month is that there are always misunderstandings between us. This is because when we come up with an idea we don’t explain it/talk about it enough, therefore, we all have different perceptions of the idea. Continuing the process this semester, it would great if we were all able to have the same ideas in mind.

One thing I’ve noticed about myself as a collaborator is that I tend to take charge/ leadership of the group. I try to get us going, and ask questions to provoke more in depth thinking(on the behalf of all three of us). When we encounter difficulties or disagreement, I try to motivate my group mates to get past them. As a designer, I always try to think outside the box, but I am also reasonable to an extent. I also think that the theme/ overall look of our room is a very important aspect of the project. As a learner, I find that I process information a lot better when I see it written down.

I work differently from my classmates when it comes to the organisation or prioritisation of tasks of the project. For example, though some may disagree, I think it is better to have the whole sequence figured out before starting to build. That way, we can prevent any mistakes later on when its too complicated to change things.

As for a personal goal, I would like to work on trying to manage the work load better, and being done with things on time. I think to do that, as a group we need to already plan what we will be done with by the end of next class. Also we need to be able to come in during our free time to continue working if we’re not on schedule.

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