Starting off the school year with the launch of LunarHab helped carry over last year’s enthusiasm for STEM projects into the new wave of underclassmen. The Makers Club has grown in size and scope, as it now includes members from each grade level in the Upper School. Seeing this new popularity, it is clear that thorough planning and leadership is integral to the future success of the club and effectiveness of project-centered STEM education.
We’re starting the Makers Club year off focusing on three projects: a quadcopter, tesla coil, and of course, the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC). The biggest restriction placed on project completion is the FIRST Robotics build season starting in early January. Because of the large overlap between members of the Makers Club and Robotics Team, we expect some slowdown on the progress of Makers Projects early next year.
Our primary focus as 2015 comes to a close is TARC. The secret to a successful TARC rocket is rapid prototyping and frequent testing. Fail fast, and fail often. We hope to design and build throughout the winter, test during FRC build season, and fine tune as necessary up until our qualification flights in March. Details on our design process to come in a later blog post.
Because there are no competition restrictions on the quadcopter and tesla coil projects, the plan is to gradually improve and experiment design changes throughout the upcoming year. Specific goals, deadlines, and design decisions are up to the members of these projects. The main objective here is to learn and experiment creatively wherever possible.
To say the least, we have a very exciting year coming up.