Summer '06
Summer '07


VirtCamp 2006

Barb Lolli's Web Gift


ARP Force Field Map

Promises of Technology

ARP Blog



Pepperdine VirtCamp 2006

VirtCamp 2006 was held at the Graduate School of Education and Psychology at Pepperdine University. Located above the main Pepperdine undergratuate campus, the Drescher Campus is seated among the rolling hills of Malibu. It is definitely beautiful here!

We worked really hard this week and established some lasting friendships. Our technical, culinary, and problem solving skills were put to the test, and in our new experiences we grew as individuals. The week gave us a great glimpse of the year to come. It is going to be very intense but well worth it.




VirtCamp is the beginning of the OMET program. We meet as a group at the Pepperdine University Drescher Campus. We built Lego and web pages. Below is a description of the process we went through to build our Lego cannon.

    Mitchel Mitchel fine-tuning the original cannon design Josh sorting parts
    Benhaz-HeatherBenhaz and Heather arranging the Lego GroupBenhaz, Margaret, Heather, Mitchel, and Barb post-Lego programming
    Second-designDespite crossing our fingers, the third design did not work to our satisfaction BuildingBack to the drawing board
    GearsGearing on the final design CannonFinal cannon design: lookout!!

One of our first challenges as a small team was to build a cannon from Lego. This ended up being a little more complicated than we originally envisioned. We went through four different builds before we arrived at the final design.

Our first design relied on a large gear connected to our motor. Rubber bands could be stretched from the "aim" point at the front of the cannon to the large gear, onto which the rubber band was hooked to the teeth of the gear. However, the motor was not geared low enough to just leave the rubber band hooked to the gear without the tension of the band pulling the gear forward and thus releasing the band.

The second design did not go too far. Based on a crossbow, there was no easy way to put tension in the rubber band. While it would shoot a projectile, there was no catch or trigger mechanism, making it an unacceptable design.

Our third design was based upon an automatic baseball-pitching machine. As geared, the motors were not strong enough to launch a Lego more than three inches. Mitchel suggested gearing the motor with a large gear and the two wheels with a small gear. While this did increase the velocity of the wheels, the motors were still not strong enough to launch a projectile.

After puzzling over the issues we faced I decided to use Barb's suggestion of using a worm gear. By mounting the motor on its side I felt that we could interface a worm gear. Once the engine was moving it would unwind the rubber band and it would launch. However, the "drive train" on the motor isn't long enough to properly mount the worm gear. Back to the drawing board. By mounting the motor flat then adding a couple of gears I was able to transfer the drive of the motor from the horizontal axis to a vertical axis. Eureka! A little fine-tuning and we had a working cannon! This design also allows us to load three rubber bands onto the gear at a single time. It turns out that it makes a difference which direction the worm gear is facing: one way tends to make the third rubber band hang on the cannon. With all the bugs worked out we were ready for the Lego challenge!



Click this link above to open a short movie clip of the cannon firing (2.8 MB mpeg)


Web Gift

One of our assignments as we left VirtCamp was to create some type of Web Gift for a member of our Cadre. This gift could be a banner, graphic, or something that can be put on a web page. I have created a Web Gift for Barbara Lolli. You can see it on this page.



I chose to research the history of the Global Positioning System. You can learn about it on this page.


ARP Force Field Map

You can see my Action Research Plan Force Field map on the following page.


Promises of Technology

I completed some readings on the "Promises of Technology" and wrote my reflections about what I see as hesitation on the part of technology proponents.


Action Research Project Blog

I will let this speak for itself!

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