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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Mock Contest and Pneudraulic Arms

Today at our Wildlife meeting we had a mock contest.  I put together all of the parts of the contest so it looked as much like the real contest as possible.  Wow!  I have a greater appreciation for the ones who put this contest together.  Of course, the judges are experts and probably know these answers without needing to look them all up in books and on the internet.  However, I can see that it is not something you can put together in an afternoon.

I spent most of the last week culling through past contests (pictures and old emails) as I looked for questions that I never would be able to create on my own.  THEN, I had to make sure I knew the answer!  I threw out a lot of questions and realized how little I know about wildlife.  I realize that I still have a long way to go before I would ever be considered an expert myself.  Thankfully, I still can look to my personal wildlife expert, even though she is MILES away!  Amanda, graciously, answered questions about all the ones that continued to stump me.

So, once the contest was created, I was able to make it to the museum and set it all out for the 4Hers.  It was not exactly like the contest but pretty close.  It took them about an hour and a half to go through the entire contest.

I was all set to give out the high point individual for our mock contest (as promised!), when I realized that two of our 4Hers have not taken the contest yet.  I had promised that they could come back later in the week and have their chance to answer the questions.  SO, I will need to hold off a couple of days before announcing the winner!

However, I can suggest that EVERYONE review their gaming laws.  Here is the website for the hunting safety course that is online.  This will help you to study and it is fun!  Check out the link...

Also, look over the plant preferences and management technique sections in your Wildlife books!

I will announce the winner as soon as I can get the others through the contest, so keep watching for  the announcement!  Oh...and at this time the high score is a 90 (not saying who just yet!) out of 136 points.

After this meeting, we made our way to Robotics.  I wish I could tell more about this project, but it is so far beyond my understanding.  All I know is that the groups continued working on their mechanical arms.  Today they added syringes and tubes to create an automatic movement.  Because this is introducing air into the mechanical action the groups have now created a pneudraulic arm.

I thought it was great how the lessons move into this concept slowly.  The groups began by making pinwheels.  Then, using different methods of thrusting air on the wheel, they were able to move the pinwheel.  They also tried to move a bolt across the surface of the table with the use of a balloon.  From this, the groups could see the use of air to create movement.  They were then expected to use this knowledge to improve on their mechanical arms.  

We have completed our work on the mechanical arms.  Each group was allowed an opportunity to showcase their creation.  I continue to be amazed by all of the interesting designs.  We have some very creative 4Hers.

Next week I think they will start work on a mechanical vehicle.  I look forward to seeing more creativity throughout this month.

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