Mr. Ginty's "How I spent my summer vacation"

Will we have a snow day?

Pull Toy Challenge

Monkey pull toy example

_Slow as you Go_ Teamwork Challenge.mp4

Fright night magisto.mp4

Fright night 2 magisto.mp4

Amazing Boston Robotics robot

Gears and Mechanisms

Linkages and Mechanisms

What We Are Learning

  • Connecting with our inner child: March 5th - 9th: Our final 8th grade AR (automation and robotics) challenge will require student teams to research, design, prototype and evaluate a child's pull toy. The "inquiry" into the problem will require students to research competing products, and to build and examine various mechanisms that are commonly utilized when it is necessary to get something to move in a particular direction and way. The "Design" aspect of the challenge will require teams to develop a design brief that outlines what the challenge is, and what the design criteria and project constraints are. After this, each team member will sketch their unique solution to the problem and from each of the possible solutions, the team will select the design ...
    Posted Feb 20, 2018, 8:39 AM by Chris Ginty
  • Need for Speed February 19th - 23rd: Student teams have explored DC motors, digital and analog sensors, coding, gear ratios and simple gear trains. Each team has reinforced math and science concepts such as rate, ratio, linear motion and rotational motion. This week we will have our second annual VEX robotic dragster competition were each class will utilize a double elimination structure to determine the class champions. If time permits, we will have a final tournament to determine the overall champion team from the 5 class winners. Click on the images below to see the results for each period and to view a few sample videos. 
    Posted Feb 19, 2018, 6:58 AM by Chris Ginty
  • Repeat after me "Engineering is an Iterative Process" February 12th - 16th: "Iterative design is a process of designing a product in which the product is tested and evaluated repeatedly at different stages of design to eliminate usability flaws before the product is designed and launched. In other words, iterative design is a process of improving and polishing the design over time." Student teams are now in the process of testing out the first iteration of their dragsters. All teams will likely discover at least one of the following design flaws: Dragster goes backwards not forwards. Dragster veers off course and hits the wall. The gear ratio has not been optimized (relationship between speed and torque). Here are some early sample videos:  
    Posted Feb 16, 2018, 6:28 AM by Chris Ginty
  • All Geared Up! February 5th - 9th: Students have successfully identified skills necessary for our next challenge and placed themselves into teams based on the skills necessary for the challenge: Each team is comprised of a facilitator, coder and two students that scored high on our mechanical aptitude test. Each team will complete a series of formative activities that will give them the skills and knowledge necessary to complete the VEX robotic dragster challenge. (stay tuned for pictures and videos)
    Posted Feb 5, 2018, 9:45 AM by Chris Ginty
  • Coding Fun: January 22nd - February 2nd: Student teams are learning how to "code" our robots to perform various tasks such as opening & closing a claw when someone gets too close and creating code for an autonomous robotic dragster that they will then build, race and evaluate. 
    Posted Feb 2, 2018, 9:27 AM by Chris Ginty
  • Slow as you Go Teamwork Challenge videos are in! January 16th - 19th:  All teams have successfully completed this trimester's teamwork challenge! Please click on the links below to view some of our amazing work.                                                    
    Posted Feb 16, 2018, 6:27 AM by Chris Ginty
  • Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much December 18th - January 12th:  For the next two weeks students will focus on developing and refining their team skills while completing a fun but challenging design "build". Teams have been created utilizing a questionnaire that allowed us to identify class members with strengths in team facilitation, mechanical aptitude, STEM knowledge and work ethic. (follow this link to view the survey) Each team has been given a build set consisting of various VEX pieces (think Erector set) and fasteners. Each team will be designing building testing and evaluating a marble transportation system that will allow a marble to move as slowly as possible from start to finish. (Stay tuned for pictures and videos) NOTE: Parents please email me if you have ...
    Posted Jan 16, 2018, 4:57 AM by Chris Ginty
  • Robots to the Rescue December 4th - 22nd: Our opening activity will require students to investigate aspects of their lives that might be good candidates for automation. For example, if you struggle with taking the trash out, hate to walk the dog in the rain or could do without having to shovel your driveway; is there a way that those activities could be done automatically? Students will identify, research and design a robotic or automated solution to an activity or chore that they would rather not do. 
    Posted Jan 2, 2018, 6:38 AM by Chris Ginty
  • Making it personal November 27th - 30th: Our final activity will require students to investigate aspects of their lives that might be good candidates for automation. For example, if you struggle with taking the trash out, hate to walk the dog in the rain or could do without having to shovel your driveway; is there a way that those activities could be done automatically? 
    Posted Dec 2, 2017, 2:59 PM by Chris Ginty
  • Presentations and Digital Portfolios Week of November 6th through the 17th: Students have completed their amazing Automated Fright Night Robots and are currently creating their team presentations. These presentations will provide proof that they can complete a problem inquiry, develop ideas, realize a solution and evaluate their solutions against established criteria. In addition, each team is required to complete individual evaluations of their performance utilizing IB's Approaches to Learning statements. Parents, please ask your child to share with you both their google presentation and their digital portfolio. Mr. G.
    Posted Nov 6, 2017, 8:33 AM by Chris Ginty
  • Gears and Mechanisms (What lurks behind our robots) October 10th - 13th: This week student teams will continue to research, investigate and build various gear trains and mechanisms as part of their inquiry into the field of robotics. 
    Posted Oct 19, 2017, 12:06 PM by Chris Ginty
  • Algorithms, Halloween and Cookie Design! Each picture series shows a printout of the original cookie that the procedural algorithm was written for and the 2nd cookie that was created from just the algorithm.  
    Posted Sep 27, 2017, 8:24 AM by Chris Ginty
  • Learning our ABCs (Algorithm Based Cookies) Coming this Thursday and Friday (Sept. 21st and 22nd):An algorithm is a procedure or formula for solving a problem. The challenge will be to create a Halloween inspired cookie from a picture and given ingredients while also creating an algorithm that will allow other groups to create a matching cookie without seeing the cookie. (pictures to follow)
    Posted Sep 20, 2017, 9:57 AM by Chris Ginty
  • Opening STEM challenge videos are here
    Posted Sep 26, 2017, 4:58 PM by Chris Ginty
  • Opening STEM Challenge: "Slow as you Go" Students are starting their 8th grade Tech. Ed. course by completing an introductory open-ended team challenge titled “Slow as you go”. This challenge requires students to design and build a structure utilizing our new VEX robotics structural components that can transport a marble from one location to another as slowly as possible. In addition, each team will be responsible for preparing a Google slide show that documented the entire process. By completing this challenge students will be reintroduced to the design problem loop and the skills necessary to work within a team structure. 
    Posted Aug 13, 2017, 1:40 PM by Chris Ginty
  • Significant Scientific Facts and Meaningless Statistical Babble A recent Cincinnati Enquirer headline read, "Smell of baked bread may be health hazard."  The article went on to describe the dangers of the smell of baking bread.  The main danger, apparently, is that the organic components of this aroma may break down ozone (I'm not making this stuff up). I was horrified.  When are we going to do something about bread-induced global warming?  Sure, we attack tobacco companies, but when is the government going to go after Big Bread?  Well, I've done a little research, and what I've discovered should make anyone think twice....1. More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread eaters.2. Fully HALF of all children who grow up in ...
    Posted Aug 13, 2017, 1:37 PM by Chris Ginty
Showing posts 1 - 16 of 16. View more »

2017-18 Schedule:

Winter (2nd) Trimester: 
  Period 1: Planning & Prep. Period
  Period 2: 
Automation & Robotics (Tech. Ed. 8th grade)
  Period 3: 
Planning & Prep. Period
  Period 4: 
Automation & Robotics (Tech. Ed. 8th grade)
  Period 5: 
Automation & Robotics (Tech. Ed. 8th grade)
  Period 6: 
Automation & Robotics (Tech. Ed. 8th grade)
  Period 7: Automation & Robotics (Tech. Ed. 8th grade)

Bell Schedule