Preparing for Robotics

Preparing for Robotics
Students at DC's Whittier Educational Campus with ReSET Volunteer Peter Mehrevari

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Article on post-grad salaries

The Washington Post on may 24 ran an article comparing average annual income of graduates with various majors.  It included the joke:
The scientist asks, “Why does it work?”
The engineer asks, “How does it work?”
The English major asks, “Would you like fries with that?
Check it out: scientist asks, “Why does it work?”

The engineer asks, “How does it work?”

The English major asks, “Would you like fries with that?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Feedback from Bailey's Elementary School in Falls Church, VA

Bailey Elementary's Science Coordinator Lynn Riggs sent the note below on this term's ReSET program 
by Volunteer Kojo Opoku:   
We had a great experience with Kojo.  He worked very well with me as well as the 
classroom teacher.  He was very dedicated, designing and preparing interesting 
experiments in electricity for the 4th grade students.  It was wonderful to have 
an engineer-in-residence.  He helped me out in the science lab by developing a 
demonstration generator that I've been able to use with all my classes, along 
with trouble shooting some of the equipment and experiments for me.  I know the 
4th grade teacher really appreciated having Kojo work in her classroom. 
 Many thanks to you for setting this up! 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Beverly Yett's Adaptive Evolution Experiment

The two things the students seemed to be most excited  about were the facial reconstruction and what they called the bird beak experiment.  This was a bit of a diversion for me but I wanted to demonstrate both biodiversity and adaptive changes to the environment.
The students made "cootie catchers" a simple origami form that you may remember  as a fortune telling thing or a color guessing game or some such (I'll show you how if you don't remember them, in two sizes.  I distributed different sized  squares of paper-large and small.
There were two types of "food"  ( I used large and small wrapped candies-you can use pebbles, M&Ms  etc.)
The idea was that when food was plentiful, the large beaked and the small beaked birds got enough to eat so they could reproduce.  (we did timed food gathering several times and averaged the results)
 After a drought on one Island, the "small" food disappeared since the plants died.  The small birds didn't get enough food to reproduce and pretty much died out in that area. On a neighboring Island, there were floods and the "large" food producing plants drowned. The large beaked birds couldn't reproduce because they did not have  enough food.  
Fast forward 200 years and you can see that the populations on the two Islands are different and if they come together, they occupy different ecological niches.
That was very popular with the teacher and the students.