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Teacher Grant Reflection Report: April Nenadal,
Aurora High School

Encouraging STEM through Science Olympiad

  • Please summarize your major activities in the project. Did you find it necessary to adjust the planned activities and/or timetable? If so explain. Based on your experience with this project describe anything you would do differently next time. Upon receiving the grant, a robot arm was purchased through RobotShop.com for our Science Olympiad team. This required research on the part of the students to select the best robot based on technical specifications and price. Students began working on assembling the robot as soon as it arrives and used it for 5 competitions during the school year. The timetable went as planned.
  • Describe setbacks you encountered during the grant project and how you addressed them. The only setbacks were due to the fact that students chose a completely unassembled robot arm and had to put it together and program it from scratch. This took longer than expected for them to do. After many talks with our technology department, google searches, and communication with the help team at RobotShop.com, the robot arm was in working shape!
  • If you were publicizing the single most important outcome of your work, what headline would you write for your news release? Students Reach New Lengths with Robot Arm
  • What measures were used to evaluate your progress? Please attach copies of any evaluation reports. The first measure of evaluation was getting the robot arm made and operational. I thought that students would be purchasing a more "put together" robot but there were literally no pieces together for what they ordered. In retrospect, this was a great learning opportunity for students to build it from the ground up. The students were dedicated enough to put in the time and effort to build the device. Less dedicated student groups would benefit from a different type of kit, with some already assembled components.
  • Other evaluation measures were performance at competitions. The best score earned this year was a 1st place at the Akron Regional Tournament.
  • Please attach actual project budget. And include any in-services or other funding resources. Was it necessary for you to make any changes to the proposed project budget? If so, please explain. Project Budget:
    • Lynxmotion 4 Degrees of Freedom Robotic Arm Combo, $356
    • Servo Motor (2), $32
    • Ni-MH Rechargeable Battery (2), $54
    • Controller, label paper, transport bin, bubble wrap, $58
    • TOTAL, $500
    I anticipated spending a little more on the actual robot arm but it ended up being better this way because then we had money for batteries and accessories that I didn't anticipate (like the controller). The team practicing in my classroom and in action at a competition.

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