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2014

     Here in Toledo Oregon we have a fascinating opportunity to learn. In our High school in the year 2011 two teachers unveiled the first STEM class in Oregon. The curriculum was vastly different than any previous class held before. The STEM class was a crazy and seemingly outlandish idea but it worked marvels in the minds of those who took it. Over the years, we have lost friends in both a scheduling and literal sense. The class has changed ad adapted to the challenges we have encountered.

 

     I am currently in the third year of the STEM course and we are doing some very exciting things. At the moment we are learning how to use Arduino micro-processors. After we complete the Arduino training we will move on to Stellaris single board PC's, programming and eventually on to making our own Drones. The title "Drones" doesn't necessarily mean flying death machine we are using the title because it is less restricting than "Robot", "RC vehicle" or some other such name. Each student will choose a dream project and we will try to facilitate that dream (For example my "Drone Dream" is to make a Hazardous Environment Protective Exoskeleton or as I like to call it: Asmund.). On September 15, 2014 a group of my classmates and I went to Portland Oregon to purchase and be trained on a CNC machine, the MDX-40a. The company we contacted for this was Peak Solutions. We chose this company for many reasons two of them being that they are local and that it is run by a female. The reason her gender is important was because we wanted moralize the women in our class and because of the generalization that this type of field is only men. This trip was very exciting because now we have both a 3D printer and a CNC machine at our disposal.

 

     This was meant to be a brief description of who we are and what we plan to do. I hope to have more time to continue posting about us but the work load is rather heavy. I apologize if this may not have been informational enough but if you want to know more contact me or leave a comment!

 

     -Hunter Oxley

Since I got my first Raspberry Pi, I have been struggling to find a simple science experiment that I could do around the house.  I wanted to do something interesting, that used something I was familiar with.  It also had to involve temperature since that was the only probe I owned at the time.

 

I have a glass beaker mug that I got from a conference.  I don't remember the conference, but that was a highly coveted piece of swag from the exhibition floor, and I felt that I was luck to have it.  As cool as it looks, it is the worst mug I own.  Drinking coffee from that mug is like a drinking contest; it cools down so fast!  So I decided to see what coffee mug acts as the best insulator.

 

This has all of the core components of a classic science fair project.

  • Observation:  My coffee gets cold too quickly in this mug.
  • Hypothesis:  I bet other mugs might be better.
  • Experiment:  I can measure the temperature of water as it cools down over a long period of time using a temperature probe.
    • Heat 300mL of water (the beaker mug has graduation marks, so it isn't totally worthless) for 2 minutes in the microwave.
    • Pour the hot water into the mug of choice.
    • Stick in the temperature probe.
    • Watch the temperature drop as it cools down.
  • Conclusion:  None yet, but my travel mug seems to be doing the best.

 

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I am a little surprised by this.  I thought my ceramic mugs were better than my glass mug.  According to this, there is little to no difference.

 

I also leads me to other questions:

  • Are there other better ceramic mugs in my house.
  • Will a lid help?
  • What about a travel mug without a lid?
  • What is the optimal drinking temperature - the best mug should be there the longest?

 

It took most of Labor Day to collect this data, and I did most of it while I was doing other things.  I have posted on the temperature probe before.  Again, because the RPi is a dedicated computer, I can dedicate it to watching temperatures for a long time, and do some calculations with it.

 

I wish I were young enough to enter it in the Science Fair!