STEAM Music Box Reflection

     This first semester of 10th grade I picked STEAM over an online course because I believe that it is more helpful for me personally. I personally wasn’t that interested in the courses that were given to us, mostly because they offered only a majority of science classes and I am more interested in classes relating to social studies and English. Last year I enjoyed STEAM because we were able to collaborate in groups to create something that involved all aspects of this course. In addition to this, I like how STEAM is able to incorporate so many aspects: science, technology, engineering, art, and math. Furthermore, students in STEAM are more hands-on with projects and we are able to create and design something ourselves rather than needing the teacher to give instruction. I believe this is a very essential class to teach us the problem-solving method even if our project does not succeed, STEAM from previous years has taught me that not all projects have to work in order to learn something from the process.

     Although we have only had 5 or so classes, I am enjoying it thus far. I think having our groups do the brainstorming and designing was challenging in the fact that we don’t completely understand how music boxes work and we have to learn from the basics in order to design a successful music box. I think having Mr. Kummerlin come in was very helpful, even though the technology didn’t work, we had to present on the spot and be able to explain our idea to a consumer. Through that class we learned how to pitch our idea seem interesting for someone to buy it, we also learned presenting skills. I’m excited to continue to work with my group on the music box and hopefully make it function well.

     I think the communication within our group is good because since we are all pretty close friends, we are able to communicate openly with one another and present our ideas. We are also comfortable enough to talk about why or why not a certain idea works, and tell each other if we don’t think an idea is adequate for our end product. All three of us have all proposed different ideas and even though our ideas may not necessarily match all the time. We are able to talk and compromise on the solution with the best fit.

     I think for this project we will work as a group in order to efficiently design and follow our timeline for the due dates. This way all of us can experience different roles within the group and all of us will have to design, code, compose, document all the aspects of the project. If there is an error in our design, all of us will be able to look at it as a group and see what we need to do to overcome this problem. For us specifically, we function better together as a group.

     On September 04, our STEAM class went to old Shekou to gather and scout the materials we need. That day, we only purchased a wooden plank for the base and the stick that will be holding the disc up. We might possibly need materials for the art decoration aspect, as well as a metal hairbrush. We ordered it from Taobao, however, this was just a test, as we do not know the sounds that the comb will make, if the sound works with our project we will keep it, however, if it doesn’t make the sound we desire, we will purchase perhaps another metal comb from old Shekou. The materials we need are wood, 3D printer, comb, Lego Mindstorm motors, computer, decoration supplies.

     I hope that we will do well, and I think we will succeed, as all of our dates for making and designing each part is already set, if we follow our timeline, I believe we can conduct something that will work. By theory, we watched a video that did conduct a similar music box to us so if we follow the procedure from those music boxes, it should work.

     My group will teach ourselves how to program music by watching online videos regarding the hand crank music boxes and cylindrical music boxes to learn how to program the pegs on our disc, though our music box is not necessarily that similar to those two, we can learn from the basics of the other two. If we still have problems with coding and programming music, we can always ask a teacher for support, only if we have tried it multiple times ourselves.

     Even if our project doesn’t work in the end, I hope to learn something in the process of designing, creating and testing this music box.