Engineering Blog Post #4

The above images are the final products of the car. After I re-adjusted the chassis and wheel sizes to fit better, putting the car together was easy. However, I found that it was hard to get a rubber band around the back beam to have enough traction to be able to be wound back. After some experimentation, I managed to twist the rubber band so it would have enough friction to rotate around the back beam.

Although this did work, the back wheels would spin rapidly, but it would not propel the front wheels, rendering the mechanism useless. To fix this and give the wheels more traction, I added thicker, flatter, and smaller rubber bands to act as tires. In the end, although the car did not go as far in terms of distance as I envisioned, it was successful.

The mechanism that the car operates on is a rubber-band powered propulsion. In the chassis of the car, a small hook is placed on the front end of the car. The rubber band is looped into this hook, twisted sideways several times, and then looped through the beam connecting the two wheels. When one goes to rotate the wheels backwards or likewise wind the car up by pulling is backwards, the rubber band builds up elastic potential energy. When released, the movement of the rubber band snapping back to its original position causes the car beam to rotate, in turn moving the back wheels and the entire car.

Overall, I feel like my project was a success, but if I had more time or I was able to do the project again, I would first reiterate the design of the car so it would be easier to manipulate, and then I would make sure that the actual propulsion part of the car would work better. I could 3D-print more cohesive grips and hooks for the rubber band itself, and I could also change the wheel thickness so a rubber band functioning as a tire for grip would fit perfectly into the wheel.

Engineering Project #3: Create and Improve

After editing the design of the car and printing it out, the first try was successful, but the 3D-printed components had a few problems with it. For one, the dimensions for the printed wheels were too small, making it hard for the beams to fit inside well. Alongside this, the holes in the chassis of the car meant for the beams weren’t large enough, and although they were able to fit neatly inside, they could not turn properly. As a result, I re-sized all the parts so they would fit and I reprinted them. Next class I’ll focus on putting the parts together and making sure that the device works.

As you can see, the beam fits just perfectly in, but has no space to turn.

The smaller wheels are on the bottom (the ones I printed first try) and the larger, more compatible ones are above.

Tutor Training Introduction

Helping others has always been something that I find interesting and enjoying. A lot of the time, by helping others, it gives me insight on how to act better with people; at times I’m not sure on what to say or do in social situations. Every once in a while, I’d help out a groupmate or another peer student in class, and the feeling that I was helping them was definitely something that I wanted to repeat. Alongside that, by talking and helping out my classmates, I would find better ways to interact with people and learn more about what to say and what not to say in certain situations.

I often find that being able to communicate and persuade well is one of the most important skills someone can develop, and I think that tutoring is a great way to exercise and improve that skill. While tutoring, both the tutee and the tutor converse with each other about an academic topic, and this broadens the knowledge on both the academic side of it, as well as the side that involves social interaction. This way of social prompting makes sure that I develop important speaking and listening skills that are indispensable to life later on.

As well as this, I also enjoy playing volleyball, playing music (I play the drums), reading and writing. I occasionally attempt to draw, and it usually ends up in several crumpled up sheets of paper with incoherent doodles on them. I’m excited to learn more about tutoring and improve my own skills in doing so!


Engineering Project #1 and #2: Define & Inquire + Planning

For this engineering task, out of the four available task goals;

1. Design and make a toy that converts energy

2. Take a renewable energy source and convert it to electrical energy

3. Design and create a device that transfers energy

4. Design and create a device that can be used to learn Physics

I chose #1, Design and make a toy that converts energy.

Toys are usually simple, engaging, and easy-to-work-with items that captivate someone’s attention. For this project, I decided to create a 3D-printed plastic toy car that’s powered by a rubber band to show energy transfer.

This shows energy transfer because the kinetic energy from the movement of the car is directly transferred from the elastic potential energy of the rubber band. This energy transfer can be repeated multiple times for educational purposes, and is easy to learn about due to its engaging nature. 

My design topic also covers the alternative design task, Design and create a device that can be used to learn Physics, as this toy car can also be used as a model for energy transfer, given it’s simple, easy-to-understand nature and it’s entertaining qualities.

It’ll have a basic chassis, a tail for aesthetics, and it can be of different color (the template will be in white). I used an online template for 3D-printing the parts, and I’ll attach the parts myself. Since they’ll be made of plastic, they’re 100% recyclable and very durable and flexible, anyone can change the plastic composition to make it tougher, more waterproof, whatever aspect they wish to change.

This is the main body of the car. It’s where the wheels will be held in place with a beam, and it’s also where the rubber band will be placed in order for the car to work.

This is the model of the back wheel of the car. There are grooves in the wheel surface so that rubber rings can be laced over them to make sure the wheels don’t clatter when they’re moving.

This is the model of the beams I’m using to connect the wheels to the car.

Model of the front car wheels, these are smaller and don’t have a groove.

Resources Required:

3D-Printer (will make two cars if time allows)

Rubber bands

Plastic needed for the 3D-printing process, I’m thinking that PVC or PS is ideal, since both are tough and PS is what most manufacturer’s use to make toys. My plan is to go and print out the parts as soon as I can, and then use those parts to put the car together. I’ll also include photos of the assembly process and have a few test runs to make sure they don’t fall apart.


Impressive Improvement — First Post

For my Impressive Improvement task in Band, I decided to try to play a relatively simply rudiment but at a faster pace, so I could improve on my speed and accuracy of my rudiments and sticking. I cut out this section of a chart for my drum solo:

It’s a simple beat that includes buzz rolls, flams, and accents. My first recording of it was at a slower tempo, but for my final recording I aim to play it at 126 or above. The materials I want to use to help me achieve this is a straightforward sixteenth-note pattern with rolls to help me practice speed and transitioning from single-beat sticking to rolling:

I also decided to use and practice with a triplet buzz rudiment that would help me improve on time signatures other than 4/4.

First (terrible) recording:

My practice plan is to have a section of time (15 minutes) devoted to practicing these skills (speed and transition). 5 of those minutes will be towards warm-up, practicing the two rudiments, and the rest will be for practicing the snare segment with a metronome. I will have a practice log that I’ll insert in the final post.

The First Three Weeks of Band — Testing the Waters

First Three Weeks of Band

Overall, the 1st three weeks of class were quite interesting, me being new to the lessened amount of percussion and increased amount of choices as to what music part you would play increased greatly in comparison to Middle School band. Compared with the orientation of my other classes, the band transition from 8th grade to High School band was mellow and performed well.

I’m looking forward to performing Full on Rumble, Harry Potter, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Everything is Awesome for our upcoming concerts, and I hope it goes just as well as Middle School band.

Frog Designs ©®™


From the data collected and analysed, our catapult was relatively successful. Although is was by large inaccurate, the principles demonstrated by the catapult were consistent. As you can see from the embedded video below, our first trial was somewhat successful, but we could’ve improved on its accuracy.

One of the most important things to learn from this project was in the design process. I learned not to try to go and make the best catapult as we tried, using a unique design. Sometimes, sticking to the norm is the safest and most useful method to go. One of the most challenging parts about the catapult challenge was creating the equations, and using those equations to apply them to the catapult challenge. It really opened a new realm of action and application in our math unit. One thing I would do next time would be to make our catapult more conventional and stable. Although it was fun and a learning experience to experiment with the catapult designs, in function it did not carry out all our expectations while making it. The challenge helped me understand quadratic functions by providing a unique situation and application task(s) that I could learn from.

Overall, the catapult challenge was an interesting project that provided a reprieve from the regular worksheets and videos of math class. The application areas of the catapults was in the challenge itself, where we had to use our functions and scale them in the real world to hit targets. The catapult challenge was interesting, challenging, and fun. A good one.

Polymer Project Journal #4 – Finalizing and Further Steps

Our fourth and final journal entry deals with the topic of what our polymer is after all the testing and changing, what it can do, and what we can do to further develop it. The link to the infographic is below:

Below is the commercial created for the purpose of making the polymer seem appealing to a wider audience:

Polymer Infomercial on Biteable.





Polymer Project #3 — Procedures

Our 3rd journal entry is a carryover of our second, except this time, we describe limitations and create a rough procedure for the polymer testing stage. Here is the link:

At the time of writing, the main focus was on creating a polymer base. Now that a base that is somewhat stable has been rendered, our secondary focus and aims are to establish an even more malleable base and make it more palatable.

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Polymer Project Journal #2 – The Polymer Itself

In this journal entry, the primary focus is to have our polymer’s characteristics and desired qualities defined. Here is the link to the infographic on the second polymer project milestone.

Our polymer’s main aspects will be an adaptable base so different types of foods and nutrition items can be included, a simple and stable polymer so it is pleasing to eat and easy to hold, and finally, a clear and tough appearance so the different types of food incorporated into the polymer can be identified by color.


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