Author: 20ky01

Kelly Yu – Final Reflection

How did I succeed / fail?

I think we achieved success in various ways. First and foremost, we were able to implement the five specific disciplines of STEAM — Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math — in our Ok Go Project. When we were planning for the sequence of our rubes goldberg machine, we took these five disciplines into consideration. For example, the robot, which we decided to use initially, was part of the Technology aspect; the basketball hoop and the dartboard was part of the Art aspect; the building of catapult was part of the engineering aspect; the magnet ball board decorated with led lights was part of both Technology, Art, and Engineering aspects ; the whole process of the assembling the materials in order to make the sequence flow was part of the Science and Math aspects. Secondly, I personally think that our teamwork was harmonious and efficient. I constantly worked my way throughout the entire process to be a good independent learner and collaborator, in order to avoid being a deterrent against the finishing of our project. Finally, I think we succeeded in that we tried. Although we encountered numerous challenges during the process, we attempted to overcome them, which we sometimes did. Still, whether we achieved our goals or not, we weren’t afraid to try and just go for it. We knew that the most important thing was to do our best, and so we did, which is why I think we were successful.

The most evident failure is that we weren’t able to finish making our rubes goldberg machine. We faced several difficulties regarding the engineering aspects, and we were running out of time. Our original plan was to showcase our final product to the rest of the student body during assembly or AMPed fair; this was cancelled due to the time constraint. It’s sad that we weren’t able to accomplish our final objective of constructing a working rubes goldberg machines, but I’m still proud of how far we reached towards that goal, and I hope we can attain it next time.

What would I do differently?

If we were given the chance to do this project once again, I would change several things. First of all, I will try to use my time more efficiently. In the beginning stage of this entire process, I feel like there were a lot of time wasted that could have been used more wisely. For example, instead of using up the entire class period on checking if a certain part of the sequence works or not, we could have also checked if the entire sequence will work together. Secondly, I would put extra effort on designing the sequence (and building the prototype), because I experienced troubles that arose due to the lack of practicality of our original design. This dilemma directly led to the lack of time and perfection. Thirdly, I would add more of technological aspect. Initially, I was going to create an animation that would be combined with the vortex, which would have been a crucial addition to the Technology aspect; however, since the glue on the vortex kept on melting, causing the vortex to fall apart, I wasn’t able to make the animation.

Overall, I really enjoyed doing this project. I learned a ton of things on the way and it has been a memorable experience. This was also my last time being in STEAM class, but I hope I can continue to do engineering in the future.

Kelly Yu – First STEAM Reflection

•What process have you gone through to produce the work you’ve done so far?

Currently, our group is done with making our prototype and is working on creating the materials needed for the real model. The initial step that brought us to this point is research. After being introduced to the project, we searched for similar projects online. But before brainstorming ideas for our own, we first identified the strengths and weaknesses of each member. Since STEAM requires five different skill sets — Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math — it was important for us to be aware of which skills we have to make good use of and which skills we have to improve on. When brainstorming ideas, we jotted down lists of accessible materials. Each of us created a part of the whole sequence; then, we combined them together. After receiving feedbacks from the share out of our final design to the class, we began making our prototype. We decided to use aluminum foil because it is easy to use and can be easily shaped into desired forms. In fact, we were the first group to finish our prototype. After obtaining an approval from the teacher, we started to work on our real machine. Last class, we finished making the dartboard; we will continue making the basketball hoop next class.  

•What resources have you used while working on your clues and final design?  Which ones were especially helpful?  Which ones are you thinking you’ll be using a lot?  

I mostly utilized the internet. Since this is my first time creating a Rubes Goldberg Machine, I did not have enough ideas to start brainstorming. On Youtube, a lot of people had already posted videos relating to the topic; this helped me gain new insights. I was especially inspired by a music video by Ok Go — their use of colors, the music, and the camera movement were all refreshing, which motivated me to make our group’s project as fascinating. 

•How do you feel about the work you’ve done so far? What parts of it do you particularly like? Dislike? Why?

I think we have done a pretty good job so far. We identified the necessary materials. We have a design that is quite complete. We finished our prototype on time, and are ahead of other groups. The part that I particularly like about is the process of making the basketball hoop. We really had to collaborate as a group, which helped us build teamwork. I don’t really have a part that I dislike yet.

•What do you enjoy about designing a sequence/prototype to music?  What have you found the most frustrating? What has helped you in overcoming the frustrations?

We haven’t started working on the music yet, but I guess the moment I will enjoy the most will be when our sequence matches perfectly with the music — that feeling of satisfaction. The most frustrating moment will most likely be the process of making the sequence match with the music — this will require a lot of calculations and attempts. 

If I have to choose a frustrating moment that I had already encountered, then that would be when the necessary materials weren’t available. The solution we found was simple: we decided to make them with the materials that were available.

•What have you learned about yourself as a collaborator?

I learned that I am capable of effectively collaborating with my teammates. I was the one who had a solid vision in mind, so I often took the lead and informed the other members of what is needed at the time, and what should be done in the next hour, etc. As it turned out, our group not only finished the assignments on time but was also ahead of other groups.   

•What have you learned about yourself as a designer?

As a designer, I learned that I tend to focus more on the practicality of the design than on the artistic aspect. In my head, I would have a simulation, and I would watch out for any defects that would hinder the whole sequence. I feel like I should pay more attention to the aesthetics of the design from now on.

•What do these things tell you about yourself as a learner?

These things tell me that, as a learner, I am a person who initially takes inspiration from other people but builds on that in multiple directions. I also constantly look back at my work, reflect, check for any mistakes or flaws, and employ that knowledge in future steps.

•In what ways does the way you work differ from that of your classmates’ style?  In what ways do you work differently? In what ways is your work process similar?

I am a deep thinker. I tend to go through a long thought-process in my head. I am also a very visual person, so, in my head, I would imagine the whole Rubes Goldberg Machine working smoothly. Before I take any actions, I would first plan out all the steps that I should take in order to achieve my goal. During the working process, I would also stop from time to time to look back at the work and organize my next actions.

My work process is similar to other people in many ways as well. I would do research and take notes at the beginning stage. I would create an initial design and revise it several times in order to get the best result. And I would also reflect after the project is finished.  

•One thing I would like to get better at as we continue the process this semester is…

As we continue the process this semester, I would like to get better at handling technology. Although it is not in my best interest, I want to at least make an attempt at incorporating the technological aspect into our sequence and making it stand out to the viewer’s eyes.

•One goal that I would like to set myself for the rest of the semester is…  How can you make sure you achieve it?

One goal that I would like to set myself for the rest of the semester is to be better at handcrafting things. In order to accomplish this aim, I will have to create some of the necessary materials by hand. I can also try out various DIY items. 

•What support/help do you need to meet your goal?

In order to meet my goal, I would need some help from my group members for extra assistance. Constant support from the teachers would also be very helpful 🙂

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