Capstone Scroll

Blog 4 | Mar 15 - April 2

This year's soldier project was cancelled, however our house still produced the rewards to be used for next year. I redesigned them to not have the year date and we engraved them with the Glowforge. The awards have been finished with stain to bring out the grain look and are now finished. So, I have been prototyping designs for my stickers. Especially as we are going back to school with hybrid, I want to be able to sell stickers for students to use on their Chromebooks and water bottles. Hopefully after break I can get the designs finalized along with working out the Cricut cutting.

Blog 3 | Mar 1-14

Finally, some of the first prototypes of our awards are complete. Using the Glowforge, we were able to engrave really detailed designs into the plywood and it was a surprisingly easy process to set up. Not only does it center itself, but it also autofocuses to any material you throw at it. The Online software allows you to see an image of your material in the bed so you can actually choose where you want the cuts to lay out on the material. Choosing exactly where your cut is going to be takes the guessing work out of it and also saves on materials. Unfortunately, the Glowforge is still not on the school network so we will have to use our mobile hotspots for now. The AlumaMark material we are using is really great, however we still cannot cut through with a laser of this low of a power. Caden will hopefully be able to use the bandsaw in order to cut out the metal.

Blog 2 | Feb 15-28

Working on the awards for the soldier project was the majority of time spent on projects these last weeks. We were able to laser engrave the Best Actor award (top left) in our test sheet of AlumaMark material which is a thin sheet of aluminum on plywood. Although it is engravable, we cannot cut through, so we will have to cut it by hand using a bandsaw. We also tested cutting the designs in plywood for the backing material we glue the AlumaMark to. Another project we are working on is getting the Glowforge Pro set up so that there are again multiple lasers in order at the lab. As it needs to be controlled through Wi-Fi, the district may have set a firewall that blocks using it. We will have to investigate it further.

Blog 1 | Feb 1-14

Over the last few weeks, I've been working on my stickers for the limited run as well as the award for the soldier project. For the stickers, I took a sample image from the web to test with and printed it on scrap paper to test different settings. The packaging for the stickers is going to be a cardstock backing with the stickers in front in a stapled bag. (I've noticed many other stickers around my house being packaged this way) One issue is the lack of waterproofing which is vital for customers to have if they want to apply them to their car, water bottle, or phone. And I still have to figure out how to use the Circut to cut perfect edges. The Soldier project awards are coming along nicely as I've designed all of the designs for the laser cutter. With the help of Caden, Vedang, and Calvin, I am going to engrave this design into alumamark and glued to stained plywood. These designs are meant to fit inside envelopes, so they are limited to 3x5in.

[VIII] October 19-23

Capacitors, resistors, LEDs, chips, servos, and LCD displays; just some of the things present in our devices today. In your cell phone, tv, computer, or even appliances: Component electronics. These tiny cylinders and cubes modify electronic signals and are used just like the cogs and gears of the 19th century. This is the legacy of the technological age. I would like everyone to know about these tiny things because I believe people would be taken back and truly appreciate all the things that power their lives. Cell phones are so intermixed with our reality that they have almost become our portable cybernetic brains. We ask them questions as if we are monologuing, we take note of important dates, they talk to us, and they capture important memories. Yet, we do not know why or how they even work. Look at your device and you see a picture. Look closer and you might see MILLIONS of pixels, powered by a half a cm thick battery, and signaled by a dense multi-BILLION transistor processor, and controlled magically, through the touch of your finger. We have come a long ways since the computer's creation. This is what fuels me to inspire others to design, create, and build the technology of the future.

[VII] October 12-18

This week, my business partner and I built a business from the ground up. A business that is designed to survive during times like these and operated solely online. Kits Electronics LLC. is the first supplier of educational, hobbyist, and learner kits designed to teach about component electronics. Our business takes readily available components, our parts guides, and cheap, efficient packaging that results in one of our personalized kits. Our logo was designed by me and is supposed to represent the simplicity of our business model, bright colors to appeal to all audiences, and to have a general aesthetic that is throughout our website, product labels, and merchandise. My partner and I are co-founding this company with the goal to bring hands on STEM related lessons to the classroom so that more students will be inspired. With efficient packaging and relatively low overhead, we believe our kits will be competitively priced and will entice Schools to partner with us.

[VI] October 5-11

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the ways businesses operate and perform. When learning about the types of businesses that were or were not affected, you find interesting things. For example, restaurants, brick & mortar stores, and entertainment places were effected heavily by state guidelines. However online marketplaces, food delivery services, and streaming services boomed. When it comes to startups during the pandemic, many are making masks and specializing them towards people with beards or masks that keep you cool. When it comes to our start up business, we have to take in these situations and evaluate whether or not we will perform under these key trends. We need our business intent and products to match that of the current environment, catering to low cost, safe distribution, and practicality.

[IV] September 21-27

Social interaction is essential for us. I enjoyed finally meeting up with my peers this week to take our photos. Everybody looked different from last year and seeing them without being in school was alien to me. One thing I noticed is how far we have come as a Dynasty and the level of maturity is definitely higher. Vastly different from the socially awkward young adults in sophomore year. We decided to take photos on the pier together for our house website. Caden brought his camera to take the photos and I brought my tripod so we didn't have to ask a stranger to take a photo for us. In other news, Calvin is starting to work on the logo design for our house and they are looking good. He designed a simpler icon for use on t-shirts, business cards, etc. and an improved version of our old logo that fixes some issues with shape paths. I'm looking forward to seeing our group photos edited on our website and for our house logo too.

[III] September 15-20

Organization is the key to an efficient and successful team. This week, House Interstellar formed a game plan for the next few weeks. In order to build a website, design new logos, and take group photos in the next four weeks, we had to split up the work between several members of the house. We decided Caden O'Neil was in charge of photography for the group photos, Vedang Joshi in charge of building a website, and Calvin and I in charge of logo design. A Trello board was created in order to organize these projects and for projects and Shopify orders in the future. Regardless of what project people are working on they are welcome to contribute to formulating our vision and to pitch products they may want to create. The vision of House Interstellar has yet to be decided, however, I know I would want everybody to contribute to it. What I do know is that our house will be strong and successful because the people who make up Interstellar are brilliant and have a genuine mental vision of success.

[II] September 8-13

What does it take to be an effective leader? I have learned a lot about myself this past week and how I can change to benefit myself and others around me. Our house, Interstellar, gained three new members. My worries of our size and lack of members from last week have been addressed, but with that came a wash of responsibility. Now that I am responsible for six people, I can no longer treat my position as being buddy buddy with two friends. I have to coordinate, get approval, and motivate my team members to do their best. That means house meetings, and coordinating projects like building a website and getting group photos. The challenge this year is going to be managing House Interstellar along with my job as a Repair Technician. Both are real responsibilities with real consequences attached to them. I need to show up on time before my shift begins; I need to be present in House, Leadership, and Lord Meetings. I need to keep things organized and clean so I can do my job efficiently; I need to coordinate my team's projects and help them with anything they need.

[I] August 31-September 6

What is the difference between a small business owner and an entrepreneur? Entrepreneurs are people who market or design or innovate. They are game changers and are willing to accept risk for great reward. The first capstone lesson taught us that while business owners can be entrepreneurs, many aren't. Being a business owner does not require the skillset of an entrepreneur. To be a successful business owner, you don't have to be subjected to the initial barriers to entry like scaling up, marketing, research, design, and initial investment. This year, I speculate that we will be facing many of these barriers to entry. Hopefully by getting to know our "enemy," we can avoid common mistakes made by others. House Interstellar is small. We will have limited resources and people to work on our products. However, by choosing a simplistic or more economical product design, by researching our competitors, and by targeting a specific audience we can set ourselves up for success.