Hack the Classroom | Hands on Learning
- Articles, Blog

Hack the Classroom | Hands on Learning


– [Jason] Just first off I want to say what an honor it is to be here and I just want to thank
Microsoft education also BBC Learning. We’ve had a great time
collaborating with BBC and.. here let me get logged
in here really quick. And it has been just kind of a wild ride of lesson development over the
course of the last 10 weeks, but we feel like we’ve developed
some really fun lessons that I think are really
gonna resonate with students. So as Jennifer said, we have been working on developing lessons that kind of coincide
with BBC Ocean’s video and the first lesson that we’ve developed, is related to sharks. And so to start off with I have a few questions for you Have you ever thought about
where inventors get their ideas? Surprisingly, many new products were actually inspired by nature. For example, sharks have been credited with inspiring the design
of the Mako Shark Corvette, anti-bacterial surfaces and
a drag resistant coating that makes swimmers, sailboats
and airplanes move faster. Now, believe it or not,
robots that mimic fish are actually being developed
around the world as drones to go out and collect oceanic data and learn new things about the ocean. And so in this lesson
plan what we’ve done is we’ve put students in the
authentic role of engineers learning about the science
and the math behind fish movement and then
additionally developing a controlling system to
maneuver a robotic drone fish in a virtual environment. So to start off with.. I’ve got some props down here. We start off with having
students make this 3D model that helps them understand
how a robotic shark might move in the water. And so students are
introduced with concepts related to flight. So over here
on the Z axis, we have yaw. Over here on the Y axis, we have pitch. And then over here on
the X axis, we have roll. And these three positional movements, this three axis rotational
movements, are movements that enable an object to move around in three dimensional space. So after students have gone
through this analog component they then move into a digital component with all of our lessons that we develop we like kids to have this
hands-on maker-based type project ‘Cause you can see right
here this is made from a wooden dowel, a spool and some cardboard, hot glued together and then
just some fun fish on there. But then we also like to
get into the math behind it and so over here we have this
wonderful Excel worksheet that’s been created by some
of our data visualization experts that have serious
experience with Excel. And we can start to look
at some middle school standards based math. So
now we have some isometric transformations where we can
look at a part of that shark and then start to visualize
on the X-Y axis what happens to that fin as it encounters
that pitch movement. So you can see what’s happening with those points on that triangle. And students can start to
look at what’s happening in each of the four
quadrants as that polygon starts to move on there. And then additionally
we’ve had just a great time with this last round of lessons as well collaborating with some other groups in Microsoft education, the NExT team, and they have just developed
some beautiful resources for these lessons on PowerPoint. And so this PowerPoint right
here is a great reference on how sharks move and what we see is we have a little introduction
here into the morphology of sharks and the different
types of fin types and the names of the fins. So what students can then
do is do a little research about the different fins on a shark and the movement that these
fins help these sharks with. So we have the dorsal fin,
we have the pectoral fins, and the caudal fin. And all
of these help these sharks with this rotational movement.
And then additionally we also have some wonderful
3D models and visualizations now PowerPoint has gotten even cooler. Now it does 3D learning. and we can have students
go in and start to look at shark movements. Pitch, yaw,
and roll in three dimensions. (audience applause) I know, isn’t that cool? And then for the first
time in any of our lessons that we’ve done so far we’ve
actually taken a little foray into Paint3D. Here we go. Well it looks like I’m
gonna talk about Paint3D. (audience laughs) So what students can actually do, and there’s this wonderful massive library of 3D models that are
available to students and they can take those
models and they can bring them into Paint and then maneuver those around, manipulate them around in
a very CAD like environment and they can further
reinforce their understanding of this three dimensional movement. And so now that students
have begun to look at the mathematics and the
science and the movement behind shark movement
and pitch, yaw and roll. They are going to be
engaged in an authentic role of an engineer being
challenged with the task of building a shark joystick. So I’ve got another prop for you here. So in our lesson plans,
all of our lessons, our goal is to democritize STEM education so we’re trying to do
everything on the cheap. So instead of having
hundreds of dollars worth of robotics parts and these
big box systems of STEM. We’re trying to stick with the basics and so as you can see
right here we’ve got this little shark drone that’s kind of fun that the students build and
then out of a piece of cardboard and then additionally
we have this joystick that is constructed of
a square of cardboard, a wood dowel. We’ve
got the shark connected with a washer and a magnet. And then copper tape
that enable the shark to do these three different
positional movements just by connecting the
points on switches on this joystick. And then
the students do some electronics work and they
wire up their joystick and send it into an
Arduino microcontroller. And this is where things get super fun. So students now as they
build this they have a testing environment
and so they can take this joystick and they can
actually test the joystick and get live feedback from their joystick as a result of this
connection to the Arduino. This joystick made out of basically stuff you pull out of the recycle bin, communicates with the
Arduino which then sends serial data into Excel and then we have these wonderful visualizations
that help students get some feedback on what they’ve built. So as you can see here I’ve
got some great yaw action going on here and so now it looks like students can move to the
left and to the right They can control their
drone in that direction. Alright, let’s do a little test on pitch. You can see my 3D model
there on the right, you can see that shark doing
some great pitch action and now let’s try the roll. Oh yeah, there we go. (audience applause) You know and obviously this
is not the case all the time we’ve kinda greased the tracks
here for the presentation but students then if their
control system is not working they then have to go through
that iterative process of going back and checking each connection and determining what is
going on with their joystick so they can fix it and
make it viable to work. And so the next component here is, now that we have tested the controller, now we need to actually look
at a scenario where this shark is being controlled in an environment. So before you take this
robotic shark drone that you have spent thousands of dollars on, tens of thousands of dollars
on, and just through it into a marine environment and away you go, you want to test it in
a virtual environment. So we actually have,
this is all Excel folks, this is crazy. We actually
have this virtual environment that students can now test
their control system on and so what I’m going to do
here is, I’m going to control hopefully here, this
shark with the joystick, and students are placed in
this scenario here where they are taking on the role
of controlling this shark, so they may be going down
in the Challenger Deep submarine, deploy a drone,
and then go out and try to find the nooks and
crannies where the submarine couldn’t get to and find some new life. And so now they’re going
to go on this biodiversity survey mission where they’re
going to go and collect data and see what types of species
are out there and then Excel will tabulate that down there below the virtual environment. So let’s go ahead and start exploring. I’m
going to start exploring and then do that. Try and
get out of the way before I hit something. And so you
can see we’ve got some great yaw going there… and then maneuvering up with pitch. And if you look down at
the bottom you can see those different species being calculated. Do a little roll action there. And hey look at that I
just ran into an octopus and so down there it says “hey it looks like you stopped to examine the octopus after seeing
25 other marine creatures.” (audience cheers) That octopus looked pretty cool
I’m going to go check it out a little bit more here. And
so now that students have had this experience of going in and doing this maker-based project and doing some, engaging in some science
and engineering practices while building and testing this, then teachers can set them free, these resources are a wonderful way to build these foundational
skills and then engage your students in the
engineering design process. And so now, depending on what
you’re doing in your classroom or what your needs are as a
teacher, you can really engage your students in engineering and design by having them take this joystick and redesign it so that it is more comfortable or more
usable for a unique user. Or they can be asked to
redesign the joystick to repurpose it for a different function. So just a fun way to engage in STEM but at the same time it
really allows viability in terms of access because the
materials are so inexpensive. I mean this joystick right here itself costs less than a dollar. This Arduino microcontroller is reusable, so instead of spending hundreds of dollars to design these things
with each group of students in your classroom you can just
really do this on the cheap and students have a really
rich mechanical engineering experience with this as
they build this electrical engineering data science and
they also get some experience in computer science as
well with the programming of the Arduino and making sure that’s ready to go with their experimentation. So, that’s about all I
got for you here today but thank you very much. (audience applause)

About James Carlton

Read All Posts By James Carlton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *