Brandon Steam Reflection #1

The start of a new semester, the start of another gruelling class. In this case, Steam. We were first introduced to a video made by OkGo which was a music video themed on a Rube Goldberg contraption that sets off many other self-moving contraptions. My personal feelings for this project is that its really lagging behind but with our current rate of work, we should catch up with the rest of the class and soon start working on our actual video design.

What process have you gone through to produce the work you’ve done so far?
First of all, we were penned up into groups then the project was tossed at us. For a fair bit of the next few days given we brainstormed contraptions and sequences to add to the overall filmed sequence then after a few ideas we barreled straight into building the prototype which was A: too big and B: the finale so after wasting two weeks on that one malfunctioning thing we had to restart from the top. Which mechanism should start the thing? What can we add? This will only take 2 seconds what else can we do about it? These are just some examples of the questions we repeatedly asked while working on the project. Now we are past that and building a mini prototype but we still have lots to work on for what we built so far would only amount to 30 seconds tops thinking positively.

What resources have you used while working on your final design?
So far, as for the physical aspect of the first stage, we’ve only used the materials provided in class such as tin foil, tape, strings, small wooden sticks, lots of hot glue gun usage, and a ton of cardboard cut by exactor knives and scissors. We also found a bucket of marbles that we used to test our live prototype and paper clips to hold things together while it was hot with molten glue from the glue gun. We’ve also used a saw to finely cut a thicker piece of wood for a sturdier frame in a prototype.
For the research aspect of resources, nosedived with all of our hearts into youtube and after watching the first video by OkGo, the other two in my group wanted messy things to explode. I’ve also referred to Pinterest for they have some pretty interesting ideas and attacked our recent past memories which came up with archery. Although this was a great idea, with so many safety hazards I was reluctant but we are responsible human beings, right? We’ve visited random websites some point in our research phase but none of the ideas implied anything new to us for we’ve already thought of domino effect and bouncing a ball before even referring to the net.

Which ones were especially helpful?
Youtube and our past were the best resources we had in our reach for which child hasn’t tried to experiment or play with simple toys made by ingenious marketers before? We’ve drawn out the fact that our families are essentially oil and gas or human resources partners so we should be able to access more than the normal group. Physically, for me, the wooden sticks were of great help while creating our structure of the prototype because cardboard bends too easily and the plastic straws which were pretty useful until they bent, started melting after we applied hot glue. Another resource I’ve found indispensable is the extraordinary invention of the hot glue gun which assists us to fasten two objects together. It is so ingenious that even with our real life-sized design, hot glue would be used a ton.

Which ones are you thinking you’ll be using a lot?
As aforementioned, the indispensable hot glue gun and cardboard would be used a ton because cardboard is the main material we have to work with. The hot glue gun because we’d gladly use it to replace the unpleasant and unpredictable stick glue and tape. The most used resource, we’ve come upon would be youtube for there will be a demonstration and how to build it if you have the right video for example catapults and the pulley system was pretty easy to obtain.

A diagram~

How do you feel about the work you’ve done so far?
I feel like we wasted a week on the bigger prototype and in the planning but right now I think we are fairing pretty smoothly besides a few hiccups and bumps along the way. In the group, as we worked, we split the work by doing separate parts so we can accomplish more, quicker. For example, I worked on making a tiny non-working crossbow while the others worked on another small part and once we are done we just add it to the prototype. The problem with this is that we build too fast and the mental planning stage is a little slow. Additionally, sometimes we don’t use the right method to do something like where would be the most optimal space to place this next stage and what to make it to afterwards.

What parts of it do you particularly like? Dislike? Why?
I particularly like the building stage because once I know what to do, I can plug in my earphones, without a reason for anyone to yell or scold me, and just hands on build it. I also like that the other two of my group isn’t the type of people with a strong engineering mindset so they create lots of fun problems to fix. The only thing is that once their mood gets sour its no longer fun. I dislike the fact that hot glue is actually hot glue and can burn your hands as you work because I’ve burnt myself more times than I’d like to count at this point. I also dislike it when the positive work mood was disrupted and made sour because of one silly and preventable mistake.

What do you enjoy about designing a sequence/prototype to music?
So far, we haven’t given much mind to the music and just designed and built the sequence though logical placement and the timing of which when the idea was formulated. We’ve already found the music we want to use in our sequence so after we build the contraption, all that’s required is to sync the whole thing to the beat.

What have you found the most frustrating? What has helped you in overcoming the frustrations?
I found that it was most frustrating when we, the group, receive an idea but all have separate ideas and a different image from the same words. We overcame these situations by talking it out like common people and not stressing out too much. I also find frustrating that the ideas we come up with are so limited and to “overcome” this, we watched satisfying mechanism which we could never build. Another frustrating this about this project is that there is so much time for the little that we have.

A frame~

What have you learned about yourself as a collaborator?
I learned that I’m not very good at explaining anything and that sometimes it takes a few tries before I get it right. But by then, the other person is already fed up with me and asking someone else. This is, however, to be expected. This was the case for anything that I was either am unsure or don’t know about. I also found that I speak a little

too soft so sometimes I’m not heard but to counter that, I speak louder. But when I’m loud, my volume is too high and it sounds like I’m frustrated and almost fifty percent of the time other people get frustrated as well, for the lack of my communication.

What have you learned about yourself as a designer?
I learned that I’m overly realistic and a mechanically based mindset of a designer for we have many ideas that we shot down by me because they weren’t realistic like adding a bow to the contraption. First of all, safety issues, for what if someone gets injured? There are many parts of a bow and the process of using one is already a danger for anything can snap or break because of its fragility. Then, I’m most likely going to be the first one injured because I’m really clumsy when it comes to fine details such as this in a whole bigger picture and second of all, accuracy. It will take many tries to make it go where we want it to go and each time and because it is smack dab kinda in the middle of the whole design, we’ll have to reset the whole thing which is too time-consuming and can be considered a waste of time. However though instead of renting a bow that no one will supply, we can make an automated on where the likelihood of better accuracy and consistency should be much better. I also discovered I have a mechanical engineering mindset for apparently, I’m really straightforward in saying it’s not possible for common sense. For example, it’s not realistically possible to somehow make something be there at a certain time and do a certain precise cation in 2 seconds without wasting a lot of time in the construction of the thing and fine-tuning the angle and such.

What do these things tell you about yourself as a learner?
I learned that I’m really negative and blunt when I want to do something. Negative as in I keep shooting down ideas for we can’t possibly do or hope to accomplish if we spent our time like we did, and blunt as in, I prefer to cut to chase so we don’t waste any more time on the mater. I also learn that As long as I’m interested in the idea, I’ll persistently try to get it right.

Laura & Barbara working on framework~

In what ways does the way you work differ from that of your classmates’ style?
I am different from my group mates and classmates for I like to know what I’m going to do and finish it before I do anything else or until I lose concentration or focus on the task I was working on. This mindset works because our group splits off to accomplish small tasks like making the prototype book dominos and glueing it down right while someone makes the contraption that will start after the all the books fall and etc. However not all of us agree with this and sometimes one or two of us want to work on a small basketball hoop together or plan something out together. This disrupts the concentration on the items we were working on then and we are all gonna start arguing about something that one person could and should’ve done because we trust that the person has good ideas.


In what ways do you work differently?
We work differently in the sense of logical thinking even though our artistic designing and overall creation skills are fairly similar. I, myself, preferably like the idea of getting the whole thing done and made first so that the actual functioning and everything can come second and documentation of it all last but the other two of my group like sticking to the book or the teachers instruction so first as all projects should, we brainstormed then brainstormed more. Then instead of making the prototype, we started diagraming every part of the videoed part and that, to me, is not a good use of time then after that, we started making small parts of the prototype. only to realize that it will only last at tops 20 seconds of the 1-minute video. Then back to brainstorming and sketching diagrams. I would’ve done this differently by first looking into ideas and then straight away building the prototype. Only once we are done with the whole thing, we diagram each contraption or spring and voila! done. Then time to make the actual parts of the actual thing which is what most groups are already doing.

In what ways is your work process similar?
We work really similarly in the case where we are perfectionists. Every part needs to look like the actual thing and semi-works. We are also similar in the sense that we want to be efficient with what we are doing but not really efficient so we lag behind in many cases.

One thing I would like to get better at as we continue the process this semester is…
One thing I’d like to get better in doing at this stage of the process is thatI’d like to learn to be more persistent and patient for my group, like me, who loves to the moment they see a path to their goal, recklessly take it. But the problem with recklessly taking shortcuts and random paths are that not all of them are actually going to work.

One goal that I would like to set myself for the rest of the semester is…
One goal I have for this semester is to develop some of my human characteristics, for example, persistence and patience and lowering my perfectionist expectancy. One goal I have for the near future is to be able to work with my groupmates for sometimes throughout our work time, our sync doesn’t match and thus we don’t really cooperate and this slows down our efficiency in class.

How can you make sure you achieve it?
We can definitely cooperate and sync if we communicate more instead of inferring that the outer group members understand perfectly what you want and such. As for the development of my personal characteristics, I just need to demonstrate them more so that by the end of the semester I am more persistent in the process and more patient so that our understanding doesn’t collide and cause a huge argument that leads to nothing.

Thank you for reading my first reflection and hope you follow us as we journey into the world of:


Engineering Gizmos!

and Impending Obstacles!

#sisrocks #sissteam #OKGo

Barbara- First STEAM Reflection

The process we went through to get to where we are, all started with just simply jotting down whatever ideas came to us. We decided that to create an entertaining, crazy but satisfying contraptions  similar to the OKgo people work is by jotting down any ideas and any ideas, because all ideas were good ideas.

The actual work that we’ve done so far concludes of us selecting all of our ideas and choose the main ideas(the biggest and interesting reaction) and the sub ideas (smaller one) and combined them to a sequence. Till this very point, new ideas are always being added to our list.

For example, Our theme of our section was to contribute all of our abilities or talent and showcase and portal those into our contraptions. Such as brandon who is our arch expert we came up with an ideas where we could  have a part of an arrow shooting through boards and knocking down boards wit lyrics of the sings written on them. As for Laura she likes to show her art skills why using visuals such as paint and colour for aesthetic.

As for me, my skill ability that i hope to incorporate is the idea making itself, Music related things and finally editing and filming.

As for things we’ve created has been this vortex, ball illusion where it does down the slides as the ball “increasingly” gets (looks) bigger and gets smaller.

We’ve got a few other extra things that are happening too so once the ideas starts to flow together so will everything else.

Originally we planned on using a lot more materials, that may not have been accessible in school because our creative ideas involve all sorts of weird things; Glitter, plastic tubes, umbrellas, archery board, balling pins, rubber bands….You name it,  however we only ended up using a selected few. Materials that we did find really useful and most used from the start of project, has been cardboard, tin foil, glue gun and listing the obvious such as scissors and mini saws, tiny wooden sticks. Just anything that was available in the classrooms basically we used them .

All these materials just for the prototype although in the future I predict that those items will be used in our actual models, especially the glue gun. The glue gun is super useful because it’s strong and its fast dry, when it comes to building multiple part you don’t have time to wait.

Talking of resources, it’s been convenient having a document like whole sheet of paper to write your ideas down especially for us, we as a group process better when we have things documented.

So far we’ve been working on the prototype, currently my feelings are concerned because we’ve really spent a long time brain storming ideas trying to form a sequence overall, we have all these ideas although its like were not sure if were capable of achieving them so we scratched those ideas and tried to replace it by forming others, that cycle kept us from actually doing the physical building and enough time, unlike the other group they sort of dove right in. Because of this we were having to last minute rush to get our prototype done. However I’m really proud how well we work under pressure, we are the type of people who are the perfectionist so our product of prototype is really cleaned and well put together unlike the others they didn’t do details. I believe the reason we include so much detail in our prototype is that this will be like our blue print and the more detail we include (not only for extra credits) its just helpful for us. The parts i don’t like might be the fact that were not done, but referring to the model itself nothing I’m really proud of the work we’ve done so far, especially how vortex prototype that happens to actually work, we are still debating whether we might include this as our actual sequence.

The most joyful part on creating a prototype is the actual idea making. Where your creative weird side of thinking can come to life and get to show your side of things. However, The most frustrating thing is acknowledging the other outcomes and the realistic problems we might occur but also the making sure that everything we plan seamlessly goes well together (especially with the music) but lastly, agreeing with your teammates.

That I’m very critical. I tend to really think about the outcomes and possibility, but negatively or positively critical not because I’m trying to be obnoxious but to somewhat guide them by giving critical feedback.

As a designer, Im very visual, i need to have things written down because the way i think flows in and so does the creatively and the ideas. Ive learned that the best way for me to understand is visually. Ive also noticed I’m good at laying out a plan to build although not so much the building, just more of the creating and fixing side of things.

That I highly relay on the visuals because i have a difficult way of perceiving information, and the best method i found is by using visuals. Same with most subjects in school i have a hard time getting things if there isn’t a visually projected because i cannot picture things words. For example: Math, Social, English. I also as a learner realised i work better with people rather than individual.

One thing I’ve noticed is that we as a group work better when we collaborate together. Not only is it a lot faster but 3 minds and 3 different perspectives can really make a huge difference. In Other ways, it’s a way for us to keep each other engaged and focused because even so having a long project, it’s easily that you get distracted because with less people it hard to stay on task if there isn’t someone in charge.

Compared to other groups since they have an advantage of one extra person differs from us but they do happen to do a lot more independent work. In my opinion if everyone was put together in a group, it makes sense to use each other and work together because its a group effort, however in ways that our group is similar to our other classmates is that, I’m guessing we all have different ideas and not everyone agree with them, because of this conflicts might happen.

One thing i’d might want to change this semester is my mindset and my patience because I’m that person who likes to get things done and gets things done fast when were only given a certain amount of time to do it i don’t like to wait but the thing is whenever i rush to get things done its not in the best work. I just need to acknowledge that taking your time isn’t that bad. I began to noticed towards the end when we were making our prototype, ours isincomplete, yes but compared to the other two groups our prototype is by far the most impressive or clean and thought out.

In order for me to achieve is to take time and sync with my teammates pace. Of course i don’t have to be patient all the time sometimes it good o speed up the process but if there time i should be aware and make sense to use make good use of the time. The support ill be getting is from my teammates because already that have told me to settle down so i believe automatically they will call me out.                                                     THIS IS OURVORTEX

Sumin STEAM Reflection

What resources have you used while working on your final design?

While we were working on our prototype, we gathered informations from google and youtube, and for the resources most of them were from Mr. Henniger’s storage in his room. We used long wood sticks and sawed them into small pieces, and we also asked helped from a worker in our school to make a hole with the drill.

Which ones were especially helpful?

I think the tools really supported us to make the piano. What helped us get the idea was youtube however most of the supplement which actually helped us was all from Mr.Henniger’s room. Without the supplies, it would have took us forever to find the perfect pieces of wood that we were looking for.

Which ones are you thinking you’ll be using a lot?

For getting the idea, we will be using youtube and google a lot. These resources give us the idea to think bigger rather than thinking it in one way. For example, if we didn’t look for different videos for the prototype, we wouldn’t have gotten the idea to make a piano with the connection of pieces of wood and it also had short instructions so we used that as a background and tried to challenge that with what we had.

How do you feel about the work you’ve done so far?

Well I’m appreciated to what we’ve done so far since we have worked to make the best piano as we can with what we have. First, I thought it would be impossible because it was harder than we expected because it was hard to make melodies with pieces of wood. However the pieces of wood actually took important roles in the piano and helped it stand  itself and handle the cylinder with water. So in general, for what we have so far, I’m proud of it.

What parts of it do you particularly like? Dislike? Why?

I liked the process when we had to find the music to use and when we started making our prototype. Even though it was only one or two classes to find the music to use in our project, the process that we tried to find a music that fits ourselves but also the theme made me very excited. It was kind of hard since we can’t use unless it’s a free music, but because of that I think we found a music that has a good pace with good beats to combine it with instruments and djing that we are preparing.

What do you enjoy about designing a sequence/prototype to music?

I usually like music so listen to music a lot so when I first heard about the project, I was very excited because the topic was based on music. It was kind of cool that we are kind of remaking the music and that we add on performance into it.  Therefore, designing the sequence and the prototype itself was fun. I enjoyed that we get the chance to create the stage that we want to and make a prototype which will lead the music and use it in our performance.

What have you found the most frustrating? What has helped you in overcoming the frustrations?

It was hard to find a instrument that we can make and use it in the project we’re doing. And since it was something related to music, we wanted to build like a musical instrument and that’s why we’ve decided to make a piano. The most frustrating part was to find the materials to make and lack of machines to help us build in shape. However, the school had a lots of supplies that we can use and resources and also a worker from our school was extremely helpful.

What have you learned about yourself as a collaborator?

Since this project is a team work, I realised that rather than working by myself working with my teammates was more effective. Because we all got to share our thoughts and contribute into one whole project.

What have you learned about yourself as a designer?

For a long time I thought I was bad at designing because I thought it was a part of art. But I realised that there are many meanings to “design” the letter itself. It wasn’t the ability how you’re good at it or not. It was based on how creative you are. So with my teammates they gave me the idea to think creatively and effectively share with them.

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

As a learner, I would say that I had to think in a creative way. The project we’re working on is based on the ok go music videos and their work. Every time I watch they’re video I’m impressed that they thought of that idea and the way that they are performing it. Because I was impressed about it, I wanted our project to look the same. So I learned to think “out of the box” and in a lot of different perspectives to add creativity into it.

In what ways do you work differently?

With the other groups, what we did differently was we included our personalities. And our focus was more related to music than engineering. And at the end we will also contribute djing in our music.

In what ways is your work process similar?

It was similar because when we were planning we all had the same sort of idea and we had to figure out each parts different. However we all ended up having different themes so I think it will work out well.

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

As I work through this I think I will get better at creating stuff and how we can contribute all projects related to music. Since this project is all related to music, beats and creative thinking, by the end of this semester, I will have the confidence to think in a creative way than a formal way, and I will be able to break up the music into pieces and make things fit as the beat goes on. And I will get better at cutting the wood into pieces. During the project, we had to cut a lotto pieces of wood and it took us about 10 to 15 minutes cutting one pieces of wood, but now I have strategies.

One goal that I would like to set myself for the rest of the semester is…

One of my goals that I want to set myself this semester is to concentrate while working. Because I get distracted very easily and I can’t concentrate on something for a long time. So for this year, I ant to improve on my concentration during class. However, since it’s steam class and we get to be active than other classes so I think I’m improving because it’s a lot of fun and interesting stuff.

How can you make sure you achieve it?

In order to achieve on my goals, I will try to set a time for me to concentrate and maybe a break time of one or two minutes. In steam class, we have most of the time to work on our project, so we get the time to make the prototype and research for more informations, but I easily get distracted so I end up doing something else rather than fully concentrating on the project. So from now on, I will seat myself a time, for example, 45 mins of work, 5 minute of break, so on and on.

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

Rather than the piano, we want to create another prototype that we can use during the presentation, but we’re not sure what would fit into it. Can we have some ideas from you? And the goal right now is to perfectly make the piano. In order to do that, if we get time I want to try putting more keys into the piano since we have only one key now. If we practice adding on more keys and also decorate it really nice, I think it will be a perfect piano at the end.

Here’s a video of our piano prototype.

Javier Vaquer- First STEAM Reflection

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

The process my group and I have gone through to design the prototype was collecting ideas, brainstorming, researching, and designing it.

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?

We’ve used many resources while working on our design. Ones the most helpful by far has been youtube because it has tutorials and it shows you how to do it step by step, I will for sure continue to use it a lot.

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

I feel very proud of the work that we have done so far. One part that I really like is that everyone is doing something they like and that we combined all our passions into this project, like for example I’m doing something related to soccer, megs is doing something related to music and Jimmy is playing the piano. One thing that I dislike is that we have to do a video and a live performance because its really hard to execute.

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?

One thing that I enjoy was our freedom for this project because we can do anything we want and its up to our imaginations what we want to do. At the bottom is a video of one of our prototype that we made.

What I found most frustrating at the moment is trying to imagine how our final project because when you start working on the project you realize how hard it is to do it. Now I really respect the group ok go for all the amazing things they do Its not easy at all. But hopefully everything goes the right way and the final product is good.

What have you learned about yourself as a collaborator?

For this project as a collaborator I have learned that I am the one who does all the physical stuff and not the planning like for example Jimmy designed the piano but all the little wood pieces that the piano has, I cut it with a saw one by one and it was a lot of work, but all the rest my partners did it.

What have you learned about yourself as a designer?

I learned that I’m better creatively and that its is easier for me to draw inspiration from soccer, cause for my part of the project I’m kicking a soccer ball and hitting something to start the show and that inspiration I got it from soccer hopefully in the actual show I don’t miss and it works.

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

I think these things tell me that I like working better in groups rather than individual because everyone brings in a different unique style. I also prefer working in a group because I feel like I get more things done than if I was alone.

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

I think our group compared to other groups is really different because ours is all of our passions combined into one that are somehow connected for example my part has to do something with soccer, jimmy’s with the piano, and megs with music. All of our process are similar because we have all gone through the same stages of planing, choosing a song etc..

One thing I would like to get better at as we continue the process this semester is the efficiency that we work in. Because some classes we are really distracted and we don’t get a lot done so in the future I want to get better at getting things done with out distractions.

One goal that I would like to set myself for the rest of the semester is finishing our project in time.

How can you make sure you achieve it?

I can achieve it by working hard every class time and not getting distracted into other things like it happens to us sometimes. But I think we will finish the project with out a doubt.

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

I think the only support I need is the teachers reminding us about our due dates so that we don’t miss them and stay on track on all of the due dates because if we start missing the due dates we wont finish our project.

Paul Kim First STEAM Reflection

In our STEAM class, we started a new project called the “OKgo Video” where we design a set of performance that uses a chain of reaction to create a continuous sequence that will go with our chosen music. We first strategically divided into two groups: the group that’s designing the prototype, and Leo, who independently worked on building the robot because we thought it will be the most time-consuming. We mainly used aluminum foils and cardboard to build our prototype. Finally, we labeled the prototype and drew arrows in order to show the path and orders of the sequence. Last class, we started crafting the actual parts of our sequence. So far, we finished making the seesaw(or catapult) and the basketball hoop.

Our first prototype finished! #sisrocks #sissteam #OKGo

A post shared by SIS STEAM (@sis_steam) on

In the past few weeks, our team brainstormed the ideas for our prototype by successfully collaborating with each other. We have used many resources while working on our prototype. One of them was the internet. We mainly used Youtube for inspirations and ideas when we were planning our sequence. To name some, OKgo music videos, Rube Goldberg Machine videos and few other highly motivating videos that we watched as a class helped us maximize our creativity. We also used different online sources to help us guide our planning. One that I have found the most helpful during the process of designing our prototype was, with no doubt, YouTube. Not only does this video platform have varying types of inspirational videos, but it also gave us the general idea of how our sequence should look like. I hope our team could further utilize these resources for our additional plannings and for the procedure of building our sequence later on. Although we used numerous resources to help us plan our prototype, most of the ideas for our sequence actually came from our original thoughts.

Materialistic resources that we used when we were designing our prototype were cardboard, aluminum foils, glue gun, tape, measuring tools, cutting tools, and etc.

Our first prototype finished! #sisrocks #sissteam #OKGo

A post shared by SIS STEAM (@sis_steam) on

So far, I am somewhat satisfied with what we’ve produced. The reason why I’m not 100% satisfied with our product is because I feel like there could’ve been more art elements in our project. From the beginning, we were aware that our team was rather strong in science and math field and we were not very confident in producing something aesthetic. I hope our team could overcome this challenge and hopefully succeed in making our sequence with more art elements in it.

In the process of working with our teammates, I found myself as a strong collaborator. Our project’s main objective is to produce well-planned out sequence by collaborating with fellow teammates. I think I successfully carried out our objective so far. Especially in the process of designing the prototype for the complex elements in our sequence, our team divided into roles and executed individual tasks or simply helped each other to finish the tasks faster. As a designer, I used my creativity to its fullest to brainstorm and design our sequence. It was a great experience sharing my ideas with my team members. While I was working with my team, I noticed that my style of working differed from my classmates’. I noticed that I tend to go straight to work rather than closely planning out the steps. I found this style of working quite beneficial especially in our group since some of my team members are way too carefully planning. So sometimes, it takes a lot of time to actually start crafting anything. I believe these two styles of working balanced each other out very well and consequently produced a perfect teamwork.

My goal for the rest of this semester is to continue work productively with my team and hopefully create something visually aesthetic. Syncing our sequence with the music is another goal we have as a team. My suggestion to my group was to use a classical music since most of them are not copyrighted, giving us a wider range of music to choose from. Individually, I will try my best to help my team and to ambitiously fulfill my duty no matter what task is given to me.

Our first prototype finished! #sisrocks #sissteam #OKGo

A post shared by SIS STEAM (@sis_steam) on

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 🙂

STEAM Reflection Megs

So far, we’ve made great progress in our group regarding planning and action. We have a set prototype ready and a sequence in which to film. The process in how we got there was quite easy. I asked my group what we were all good at, starting with the elements of STEAM. Then I asked, what else are we good at. I found me and a few of my group mates saying: music. Since OK GO is a large inspiration to this project, we really wanted to incorporate the musical part of their videos. In our filmed section we’ll be performing on different homemade instruments. Many involving different medias in which we could express physical motion from sound. The way we ended up there was just going through youtube to see what people have done in the past. Drawing inspiration from that we began brainstorming. I think just using the internet to the fullest extent was the best resource. We found projects that people have done in the past, particularly the piano part. We first saw the homemade piano project and thought, we can do this, then as we discovered through creating the prototype, it was pretty easy to understand how to replicate it. I think just searching for similar projects online or even better, finding tutorials is going to be a great resource for the next phase of our construction. So far, I’ve liked what we’ve been able to do, the homemade piano is a really great model that is functional (yay!!!!) that we can base our real product after. It was all a combined effort from the team. I wouldn’t say I dislike any part of our project, I just think that we could clean up the sequence a bit when we start filming. I do like the fact that when we design to music, everything is perfectly on beat and in time, and I, being a musician, find that the video will look so much better when we time things accordingly.  I honestly think that the inly hard part about setting to music is literally finding the music. It’s hard to fid royalty copy right free music that we can all follow. But we ended up finding a remixed, reproduced version of a song we all liked. I think my group dynamic is pretty good, we haven’t had any fighting and we all agree on things. I had taken on the title of group leader, after drafting the plan and sequence myself, and I think that we are definitely one of the most functional and organized groups. As a designer, I really thought outside of the box and realized that our sequence will be very different from the two other groups. And I thought to change it to make it fit the prescribed formula, but union doing so, our design lost its character. So we have our unique sequence, and as a designer of it, I think it was really important for me to step out of the way and let it evolve by itself. I think since we’ve been given such a big task, I had to rework the way I thought about STEAM, and instead of trying to build something I needed to create something. Using art as a forerunner in our preliminary planning. I learned that I learned from trial and error. Our trials with the piano prototype set us back a bit but we kept on finding new ways to solve a problem. Which I find a great learning experience. Our process and style is really different from the others. We have a style that is following the musical style with elements of STEM. I find our class mates really had a sequence that followed cause and effect. Having strings pulling things and whatnot, but for us, we took a looser approach and gave our sequence the effect of a music video rather than a science project. I find ours to be one of the more artistically based projects, especially with our take on the OK GO videos. One thing I would like to get better at as we continue the process this semester is just to keep on using our combined talents. And not base ourselves off what other groups are doing, to let our creation truly breath and have a life and form of its own. One goal that I would like to set myself for the rest of the semester is to meet deadlines and stay on top of the workload to help even out the duties of the group. My group leader position relies on me helping guide our project, and I think as we continue building it will keep on going from there. All I need to reach this goal is the same level of effort from my teammates and we will be setting sail!

Joshua Kim First STEAM Reflection

Eversince my class was met with the light of the new STEAM project, we were more than delighted and enthousiastic to work with each other for this wonderful opportunity to present the best of our abilities in various areas. On the first day of STEAM class, Leo, Paul, Kelly, and I were assigned to the first group to present the project, and also got a group mission: two minutes of performance incorporated with both complex and intriguing set of ideas. As of now, we have finished our first prototype and are heading on to another, bigger and more complex one before making the actual items. In the past few weeks, I’ve brainstormed with my group members and watched some examples of STEAM project to get an idea of how to produce our own. In working on my clues and final design, I found the OKGo Youtube videos and 5 inspiring videos Ms. Ceci showed us very helpful. Later I used my sketchnote as a reference of possible ideas and how I personally felt toward creating those as part of our group project.

So far I’m satisfied with the work me and my group members have done so far. Everyone works diligently and has his or her unique abilities that shine when we collaborate. I particularly like how we get to plan every step from scratch and create our own prototype as a reference of what we’ve achieved so far. While working on our prototype encourages me to draw in my head what the actual project would look like, it also is possibly a time-consuming work. We occasionally spend a significant amount of time to gather materials we need, which is not the most significant part of working on the prototype. Inspire of some hardships, I find designing the sequence to music quite innovative. I find adding artistic, especially musical, part to the project as scattering colorful rainbow jellies to a white creme cake. Music not only enables me to compose our project based on the rhythm and melody, but it also adds artistic aspect to what we call a STEAM project. One minor thing that boggled me a little when selecting a piece is the fact that a lot of pieces that we know to be trendy or contemporary are copyrighted and are hard to get a permission to use. To overcome the frustration, I encouraged my group members to consider classical music as our background music because most of them were composed before copyrights were established and they can also adds some antique aspect to a very modern project like this.

In the process of designing the project, especially when creating the prototype, I honestly found myself as not a very strong collaborator. From what I believe, I sometimes evade from helping other members creating the project and rather focus more on how I could make a certain part even better, often without consulting them directly. However, except some difficulties like it, I find collaborating with my group members as decent enough to freely share my ideas and contribute in collaboration. On the other side is myself as a designer, of which I’m quite proud to see how artistic and innovative I could get. As evidenced by my sketchnote, I found jotting down plenty of ideas and inspirations from some example videos very easy, and more importantly, instinctive as if my brain were holding the pen and drawing the lines on the paper without my fully acknowledging it.

I personally think of myself better as a designer than as a collaborator, on which I would have to work a bit more from now on. Combining all the aspects of myself, I find myself as an enthousiastic learner, who can benefit from other people’s productions and create my own with new aspects. Being open-minded and not afraid to ask other people’s ideas are what I consider as one of my biggest strengths as a learner.

Working with my group members for the past few weeks gave me a decent idea of their working styles and how theirs compare from mine. This part of the project was very interesting to me since I had not had a lot of opportunities to learn and compare other people’s learning process from mine in the past. In general, me and my group members work at a steady space and are usually not in a rush nor being unproductive. However, some members seem to like working and collaborating with others more than concentrating on one’s own work like me well over half of the process. I could say that both learning styles have advantages and disadvantages as they would all come to create better results in the group project. So I came to accept others’ and also learn to know my strengths and weakness and to fix it when needed.

For the rest of the semester, I would like to be a more active and collaborative learner. Instead of being overly passive and self-reflecting , I would like to share my ideas and collaborate with others whenever possible. I will occasionally reflect on my process and possibly get advice from group members in order to make sure I achieve this goal by the end of the semester, which is only a heartbeat away from now. SIS STEAM ROCKS!

Leo Chang First STEAM Reflection

In our STEAM project so far, I was in charge of creating a robotic dog that would link the three sections of the performance together. Luckily, I was able to use the LEGO EV3 Robotic Kit to create a dog and I found a set of instructions online to assist me in the creation of the dog. The assembly of the dog is finished; however, the programming has not been worked out yet. I will need to figure out how to connect the dog to a remote through Bluetooth then learn how to control it.

Because the assembly of the dog was a step-by-step process, I found that a youtube video was really useful because it clearly marks the pieces I needed to find and where each individual piece fit. I think with design and instructional procedures, Youtube works really well as it offers not only very specific and clear instructions, there’s also a wide variety of videos to choose from. I foresee our group utilizing this platform a lot in the future when we bring the prototype to life and begin the construction of our sequence.

I am rather proud of the work that I have done so far, having finished the robotic dog. The entire process took around 5 class periods. Some aspects of the process were really fun and rewarding, such as the assembly of the robot and watching it slowly come together and take on the form of an actual animal. Other aspects were tedious, such as the location of single parts and digging through boxes of lego parts. Throughout the process, I realized how intricate the work of an engineer was. The parts I had been working with were already simplified for me so that I didn’t have to deal with much of the technical aspect of the robot and gears. It is fascinating to imagine how much work an engineer would have to go through to create their own blueprint and create everything from the most elementary parts.  I feel like this process has conjured my respect for the field of engineering, a field that I had never before considered as interesting.

I am extremely excited for the end result of this process, however, along the way I feel like our group has encountered more frustrations than delight. We have our prototype planned, but the synchronization aspect has been vaguely considered. We will have to be extremely precise with the math and timing involved so that our video and sequence doesn’t just turn out to be an unsynchronized mess. We haven’t started designing the life-size parts of the project yet, but I feel that as time goes on, we will be able to better grasp the concepts and ideas that will allow us to overcome this challenge.

I have not yet learned much as the robotic dog was sort of a sub-project within our group. I worked mainly alone with the exception of assisting my group with the provision of ideas and opinion at times. I think the next part of the project, however, will require a generous amount of collaboration as well as communication. I think I will be able to work well with my group mates because, luckily, they are all extremely cooperative and I think we are very like-minded in the sense that we are willing to put behind our egos in order to achieve the greater goal of creating a well-rounded performance in the project.

I would believe that I enjoy design, turning imagination into reality. With these types of projects that are already unique and outside of the box on their own, I have realized that to excel we must stretch our imaginations and really challenge our critical thinking. Our group’s theme for this project is unpredictable with an element of surprise. Essentially, we wish to add another dimension and layer to our project to really take it to the next level and shocking the audience, to a certain extent.

Throughout the past couple of weeks, I’ve been allocating a lot of brainpower to projects involving creation and design, from directing videos in social studies to planning the sequence for our STEAM project. In doing so, I’ve learned that I am one that likes to put out the best work instead of having something mediocre. Sure, I lack the will to put the effort in at times and I procrastinate sometimes, but if I put my name on it, I will make sure that it’s the best that it can be. It might sound egotistical and everything but I expect a lot of myself and I think that’s what drives me to create work of good quality.

Each individual in our group has different strengths and weaknesses. As we each excel in different areas of STEAM, our thinking processes will also inherently be different; however, because we are so different, we are able to fill in each others’ weaknesses and function as a well-rounded machine, if I may. Despite the difference in strengths and weaknesses, the processes of thinking within our group are quite similar. We try to accomplish things and solve problems through the most logical ways and we like to discuss and exchange ideas in order to minimize redundant and superfluous work. This is part of the reason why the groups work out the way they did, not that I’m diminishing or belittling the other groups, but the individuals within our group are like-minded. This combined with the variety of strengths, I have hope and high expectations for the production of this group.

One thing I would love to get better at as the semester continues is applying math and physics in the design of our sequence and really understanding the process and work that goes into the engineering of a sequence like this. I’ve never really liked engineering but this opportunity will allow me to experience what it’s like to work on a project involving physics, math, and intricate craftsmanship.

As with any project, it is important to set goals to ensure that I am being held responsible for the project, as well as, just overall self-betterment. I wish to be a well-rounded group member and actively participate in the physical aspect of engineering such as the assembly of the props as well as the intellectual aspect of design and innovation to make our project stand out. Through documentation of my processes, I will be able to show that I am engaged in these aspects of the project. This goal is ambiguous and generic because the roles have not yet been defined. However, I can guarantee that no matter the role, I will try my best to fulfill the previously mentioned goal.

Taughfeek Final STEAM Reflection

Planning process:

Within our planning process to start we thought about the beginning of Alice in Wonderland and just started brainstorming our ideas for where our room would take place. We thought to try the forest, after she leaves the first room in the movie in the new world, or the first room after she is dune falling through the hole. We ended up basing our room off of the room she first falls into in the movie with the cake and the potion. Once that idea was chosen to find out what we would do for clues is we just started brainstorming ideas anything and everything related to Alice in Wonderland. With that idea and process we were unable to find anything else but our liquid clue we decided to title our potion clue. As for the rest we decided to just brainstorm random ideas. We put our ideas together and once we decided to leave trying to base everything around this common theme we found it much easier to come up with ideas and link them together to make our room flow. Or at least we felt like the room flowed in the end. Once the ideas were out there we worked on refining them so that we would use our time much more wisely and should we run into any issues we would just switch to a different one of our multiple plans/ideas. That was our process for creating clues but as for the decorating process we went with whatever we could get. We had the largest room and we had troubles figuring out what to do with all of that space. So there was brainstorming there but unlike the clues we just went with everything and whatever. inconvenience

Clues and what the were meant to do:

Within our escape room we had the idea that if you just stuck going with clue after clue there was no way to go off track. To start it we had our first clue right next to the first step, the riddle and scissors next to the MacBook. The purpose of this was to give them a video from which they will get an understanding and an idea of what they are doing and why. Straight after the video was over we had riddle pop up on screen and that riddle had 6 numbers highlighted in pairs. Also there was a projector that projected the video and it was projected onto a graph which would then draw their attention to that area. Now with the given scissors they would look at the riddle, look at the pairs (the coordinates), then test them by cutting holes in the graph where the highlighted coordinates in the riddle said so. Once the right coordinates were selected there were keys right behind it. With those keys the next step was to go through trial and error with the drawers in the back trying to unlock the correct one. The would know it was the correct one because there would be four liquids and two beakers accompanied by two riddles that read, “top-down, color is the number and the destiny of the liquid will decide where it goes in life”. The point of the riddles were to get whomever was in the room thinking about density stacking the four liquids. Once stacked, “color is the number” meant the number of letters in the color would then give you one of the numbers that would be used in the four-digit lock to get the code for the key to get out of the room. As for, “top-down” that was the order the four digits for the lock. Once the code was obtained and the box was unlocked they would’ve found a laser pointer that was labeled magic wand and a piece of paper that said to look under the head of the bunny. Assuming that they have gone through step by step and finally arriving here under the bunny head there was a black balloon and inside the balloon there was a key to leave the room. From the beginning and as a hint to the process under the first riddle it said, “only the magic wand will make the darkness pop”. The point of this was to also make sure that once the laser was obtained they would know that the point of it was to pop the “darkness” when really it was just a black balloon.


The challenged that I personally faced before I start talking as a group was just being able to look on and be more creative because I found it difficult to connect our puzzles and clues with our theme. It was difficult for me just because my mind doesn’t work like that, I am very practical and straight forward. I like to use logic and for this project that didn’t really help. So to get around this I would look to my team for ideas and inspiration and a great example for this would be the construction of our density clue. This is a great example in my mind because I had my heart set on including this clue into our room, but the only problem here was I was incapable of making it work at first with all of the liquids because I was just being too logical and nothing would fit or work. So my team gave the ideas of how we could make it fit within the theme and gave me different ideas for liquids because they saw I was only getting what I could easily get my hands on(which wasn’t a very good idea), and even though no one had made it to that part I was very proud of it and I was really thankful for having the team to help with that a lot. Besides, that we didn’t really have too many problems besides minor easy fix issues. But on the night of the event, I was to blame for the reason that people probably didn’t escape as for the fact that everyone was unclear on the idea of cutting the paper. I should’ve been much more clear on that but out of this entire process that is the only definitive thing I could say I would change.

1 2 3 4 5 6
Skip to toolbar