This week in our project:
Students presented their designs for the upper cage. A lot of great critical thinking went into these designs. Students made excellent materials choices, balancing weight and strength, as well as maximizing value for the project on some internal pieces. PvC was often chosen for its waterproof qualities, structural support, and ability to directly support the focuser. Groups then took the best components of each design to make one final design and materials/cost workup. The group with the best design for the upper cage consisted of students Jon Consoli, Brandon Pugh, and Jon Yancey.
Students spent much of the class time on the design requirements for the bearing at the base of the telescope. STEM Director, Mr Scripka, showed many examples of different designs to open the floor up for discussion. Aesthetics, material, design, function, feasibility, ease of use, and cost were all considered very heavily during the process. Part of the engineering design process is combining what needs to be done, what can be done within time and cost constraints, and the team's creativity and execution. This 4th period class has been doing an excellent job at balancing those three parts, and it is such a joy to watch them work!
Friday 1/13/17 - Project Update
This week, students discussed the design requirements for the Newtonian Telescope build. They created a product requirements document after a classroom brainstorming session. On Thursday, the students collaborated on a Gantt Scheduling chart. This created a timeline and specific task breakdowns for each team. The design phase will be completed by late February. The students broke into five teams and worked on designs for the frame and construction of the upper assembly. Much of the discussion centered around choosing the best materials for the task. Next week, teams will present their designs and decide on one design by January 19th. Students will then digitally draw the design using Fusion 360 CAD software. The next design segment will be the mirror box, one of the more intensive portions of the project.
Friday 1/20/17 - Project Update
Student teams have been heavy into design work on the upper body of the telescope this week. On Wednesday, there was intense debate between teams over which materials would be the best fit for the project. Metal, PVC and wood were all valid proposals for the upper cage. Mr. Scripka fielded numerous questions on the feasibility of certain options as the designs became more concrete. Most groups have started to design the parts in Fusion 360, a 3-D modeling tool. Teams are finishing up designs this week, as well as making spreadsheets of necessary parts and other material requirements. On Monday, all teams will present their designs. The class will then vote on the best design, or the best aspects of several designs to create one final design for the secondary cage.