With the 2018-2019 school year having been underway for some time, we have decided that a new Genius Hour project would be called for. Working together with fellow Helpdesk members Danny Polonsky and the returning Garrett Smith, we ran through several options for our Genius Hour and settled on car flipping.
We had our launching point, so we set out to finally purchase the car. Danny Polonsky and Garrett Smith set out to Oakland and brought the car back on a tow-truck just mere hours later. Our Genius Hour project is finally underway.
The next step in making our superconductor track is to send the specifications for the acrylic circle to TAP Plastics so they can cut it for us. The specifications will also include all of the magnet cutouts. After assembling all of the pieces together, we will be on our final, most difficult step; making the actual superconductor. We will wait until our next blog to go into more detail about the superconductor and the building process. Overall, we have made fairly good progress and the project looks to be successful so far.
Our group members were Garrett Smith, Drew Geckler, Richard Woo and Payam Noori. Over the course of a few weeks, we were tasked with creating a commercial that showcased the class (Help Desk). For the most part there wasn’t a real guideline for us to follow, rather we created the script ourselves which we later followed to make an original video. There were a few difficulties with this. One being that we had to decide what and how we were going to do something before we actually did it. This forced us to really think about what we were saying and how we were going to end up with a good project. Another issue was the technology aspect part of it. Since we all decided to try and split the work as evenly as possible, this meant that everyone had to use their own version of Adobe Premiere Pro 2017/18, phone etc, which caused a few compatibility issues in the future.
Drew was mainly focused on editing the footage together into something that resembles a commercial. Garrett recorded all of the video and helped supervise the editing. Payam and Richard were tasked with narrating the end video. If we were to do the same thing again, we would try and get more footage to work with and have a more descriptive script to narrate. If this were assigned to future students, we would recommend that the students make sure everything they write on the script is easily achievable and that they start filming as soon as possible. Overall this project helped us improve our planning skills and video editing/filming techniques.
Our timeline goal had us doing research until the 16th of March. As of now, that has been going quite well and we are ahead of schedule. We have located a source for the magnets, places to acquire the materials and the prices for the superconductor, and have also done some delving into the processes required to make the superconductor. In order to make the superconductor, we also needed to talk to several teachers around Northgate.
These materials will need to be heated to around 950°C for eighteen to twenty four hours. The end product will be a superconductor, that when coated in liquid nitrogen, should levitate above the magnetic track. In addition to this, we have created a ~19:50 scale model of our proposed design to aid in visualization. It has prevented us from making a counting error and the visualization has helped us narrow down the materials we will use for the base. If our current progress continues, we will remain ahead of schedule and soon have a built track.
During Tobin’s three day absence, genius hour became the main task of the Helpdesk team. The three days allowed us to put full focus onto our projects. The first day was occupied by 3D printing a 19/50th rounded, scale model of our loop. This model also allowed us to confirm previous counts and measurements. We miscounted the total number of magnets previously, and we now need at least 139, not 137.
Day two was used to continue research. We looked into material acquisition and attempted to figure out how to forge the superconductor. Futurescience has been an incredibly useful resource to our project. From it, we have figured out most of what we need to do, we just need to do the work and obtain the materials.
The third day of Tobin's absence, Jocelyn and I were needed to update the PFC website and fix info on the homepage, so my progress on genius hour that day was majorly stunted. Garrett was also occupied, so Richard continued the research by himself.
I'm changing things up on my blog here. I'm moving everything to one page and using categories to make it easy to find stuff. On top of that, I am deciding to also put game reviews of my own here, just to ensure I have a more "filled out" blog.
If you have a need to look at the old Home page and old Tech/App Reviews page, they will be linked down below. This will be the only location for the links.
Novalab's Cybersecurity Lab game is an interesting take on explaining and teaching what cyber-security is and how we work on making it better to protect apps and programs. As a teaching tool around the basics of the topic, the game is a surprisingly good teacher. It explains the ideas in an intuitive manner and then provides mini-games as an example on how to spot phishers and how to create good passwords. But despite this being a strength, it is also the game's fundamental flaw. As you move through the levels or "difficulty" all that changes are the length or objectives. For example, say in the first password crack mini-game you have to guess the password biased of hints given to you, but by the time you get to the highest level, you can only begin to brute force the password, or tell the game to try everything up to "x" amount of characters until it works. All of the "mini-games" progress in this fashion. Each level adds a feature you do not even need to use to get the answer if you're a good enough guesser or have figured out the answer theme. On top of that, few of the "games" are actually fun. They throw basic ideas out at you but fail to build on them in a meaningful manner, which leads to the games being repetitive and dull. The worst games are ones that are not fun, and sadly this teaching tool has to be clumped with them.
The first quarter of the year is finally at its closing hour, and with change in quarters a blog update was deemed necessary. One of Jocelyn Thai and I's long term projects has been the migration of the old Northgate Parent Faculty Club website. The migration has been from standard HTML to a Weebly setup for easier updating and management and should be completed by the end of November at the latest. At this stage, we are working mostly on last minute touch ups and beautification. All the links and content has been updated and double checked for accuracy. The image above is a comparison between the old site and the migrated site.
For our genius hour project, Garrett Smith and I have decided to do a group of projects involving Raspberry Pi 3's to build devices ranging from game consoles to a server block. We had to go through a genius hour slideshow which can be located here. In the beginning stages we will do simpler projects such as a pocket sized retro game emulator and at the end of the year full on a interconnected server rig which several computers communicate to process information.
In addition to those, I have also done some other scattered projects. I reconnected computers to the corresponding assigned printer. I helped transport new tech to classrooms and helped set up the new additions to the classrooms. I've also helped build a desk for the librarians and restored internet to a section of the library.
Today, Tobin told us to get our digital citizenship via an assignment and put proof of it onto our blog, so here is the certificate. Its funny as the short answer questions didn't even need to be an answer. A single letter in the box was good enough for the site.
Loves games, math, science, engineering, playing chess, tech, and playing with animals.