This is the Blog for my 40-week Engineering Class for the 2016-7 school year at George Washington High School

6-15-17: This shall be the last day of the blog. Students who come to class shall still continue to engage in activities such as films, demonstrations, games, experiments, breakdown and setup of the classroom, and relaxation. Grades are in. Keep in touch. Enjoy the summer. It was a good year - Mr. Applebaum

6-14-17: We played chess.

6-13-17: With the short period due to noon time dismissal, we assembled a blowing self-propelled cart from an old vacuum cleaner or otherwise relaxed.

6-12-17: We discussed fallout shelters and began watching 'Blast from the Past (1999)"

6-9-17: Classes attended the kickball game.

6-8-17: Student launched their ESTES rockets in the sports fields.

6-7-17: Students finished their ESTES rockets and learned procedures for the launches (putting in wadding, engines, and igniters).

6-6-17: Students continued building the ESTES rockets while I prepared a Tecumseh 5 HP 4-stroke engine for display.

6-5-17: Students began building the ESTES fuel powered rockets.

6-2-17: Students launched the soda bottle rockets as credit toward grade.

6-1-17: All students took the final exam. Make-up exams will be per school published schedule.

5-31-17: Students finished their soda bottle rockets. Finals are tomorrow. We will launch Friday.

5-30-17: Students built the soda bottle rocket. We tested the launch system. By request, subject to 8th period vote, the final for all classes (senior and underclass) will be Thursday, this week.

5-26-17: Have day and move-up day (attendance is low). 8th period (Manny) took a tour of a Toyota Prius Hybrid. 9th Period (Vadym) opted to watch a technically oriented 3 stooges video: "A Plumbing we Will Go".

5-25-17: Last day of launching match rockets. Some great flights!

5-24-17: Student built and launched match rockets after watching the video (item #73 on the reference page).

5-23-17: Today was the last day of our short classes due to Keystone testing. I showed the modifications to the weedwacker engine and discussed how it might become and obsolete technology. We watched a short video about design and operation Walt Disney's multiplane camera, an obsolete technology but an essential step in the development of modern animation (See reference item #69).

5-22-17: We examined the weedwacker engine. We watched a few pyrotechnics demonstrations from the King of Random series (nitrocellulose and flash cotton). 9th period saw and experimented with an electronic ignitor from a BBQ and we ignited alcohol to simulate the firing inside the gasoline engine.

5-19-17: We examined the water bottle rocket but did not build it due to short class periods.

5-18-17: We had a short class (30 minutes) due to Keystone testing. We watched "The Right Stuff". 8th period and 9th periods got to 44:00, the first manned rocket launch.

5-17-17: We had a short class (30 minutes) due to Keystone testing. We watched "The Right Stuff". 8th period got to 23:00, 9th period to: 29:50. 9th period also got to, as an option, build a smart phone camera magnifier using a lens from a dollar store laser pointer.

5-16-17: No classes due to election day.

5-15-17:We explored a flight simulator: Then we watched "The Right Stuff". 8th period got to 16:00, 9th period to: 10:50

5-13-17 (On a Saturday!) Take the short survey using your [ID#] user account for extra credit and a sweet treat at

5-12-17: 8th period finished Apollo 13 and submitted the worksheet for grade. 9th period built and launched match rockets. Rinoy was the only person to achieved the "A" for distance so far - Several "B"'s were awarded for flying halfway across the room, and several "D" for just burning up on the launchpad (try again).

5-11-17: I attended an all-day professional development on the topic of "writing across the curriculum" where my group discussed some of the work we did this year and where my teaching (and your learning!!) might head in the future. Remember, you become better at writing by writing more. The same goes for reading and physical exercise. Today students were asked to pick a book from the classroom library of rocketry and aviation publications and write a summary of something they found interesting in one of those books using proper citation. A sheet was distributed with instructions and citation method.

5-10-17: We continued "Apollo 13" and discussed related items of interest. 8th got to to 1:56, 9th finished the film and submitted the video sheet for grade.

5-9-17: We continued "Apollo 13" and discussed related items of interest. 8th got to to 1:33, 9th to .1:49.

5-8-17: We continued "Apollo 13" and discussed related items of interest. 8th got to to 1:11, 9th to .1:13.

5-5-17: We continued "Apollo 13" and discussed related items of interest. 8th got to to 38:54, 9th to 45:00. 9th period also got to see the potassium chlorate and sugar reaction featured in October Sky.

5-4-17: We watched the beginning of "Apollo 13" and discussed related items of interest. 8th to 13:20, 9th to 24:57.

5-3-17: We discussed the four remaining rockets. I demonstrated a water/air bottle rocket. We watched Grant Thompson's ("The King of Random") match rocket video. Students received a video question sheet for "Apollo 13" and we watched a 1967 video overview ("Progress Report") of the Apollo program.

5-2-17: We launched the stomp rockets outside by the tennis courts. Students handed in a launch ticket at time of launch for credit toward grade.

5-1-17: Student completed building and decorated stomp rockets of various designs. They completed a launch ticket required to get credit for the launch - We will launch Tomorrow if the weather cooperates. Students are required to bring in an empty clean 2-liter soda bottle for using in rocketry experiments.

4-28-17: Students built and decorated stomp rockets of various designs - We will launch Tuesday.

4-27-17: All students received the plans for the stomp rocket and saw a demonstration of its launch. After that, 8th period watched the 25 minute tour of the space station while 9th periods watched a video on the physiology of humans in space (See reference tab item number 49).

4-26-17: Students watched various videos including the 25 minute tour of the space station. Students are required to write 10 interesting facts from the video. The link for the video can be found as item 49 on the reference tab on the left. 9th period completed "october Sky" and are required to hand in the video sheet.

4-25-17: 8th period completed "October Sky", 9th period would have except for the fire alarm. They got to 1:27. We began to explore other applications of rocketry, space, and aviation science including a video showing the Saturn 5 rocket engines firing and information on Werner Von Braun.

4-24-17: We reviewed the assignment from Friday and then continued "October Sky".

4-21-17: I was out for my son's white coat ceremony at Johns Hopkins. Students were given a summary of the go-cart project (same as 4-17-17 blog listing) and asked to submit three detailed descriptions of three tasks of their choice for credit toward grade.

4-20-17: I reviewed the assignment for tomorrow and we continued watching "October Sky"

4-19-17: We summarized the road test from yesterday, discussed the writing assignment students will be required to perform for grade, then continued "October Sky". We also watched a episode of "Celebrity Blow-up" from SCTV.

4-18-17: We road tested the go-cart in the courtyard opposite the lunchroom after a safety briefing. 8th period students transported the go-cart to the courtyard. Students who wished to try it, wore helmets and had several laps around the courtyard. 9th period students loaded it into my car for delivery.

4-17-17: We completed the go-cart and are ready for "Road Tests" (in the courtyard?).
In summary, we converted an existing two-wheel, solid rear axle driven go-cart to a one-wheel drive by splitting the rear axle. The solid rear drive axle with large tires caused the go-cart to plow straight ahead when the steering wheel was turned either left or right. The total cost of parts for the project was less than $50 and was covered by the student owner. The following is a list of work done to make this modification:
1 - Watch a Youtube video explaining the design and operation of a differential rear axle.
2 - Watch a Youtube video of a similar single wheel driven go-cart.
3 - Compare costs and benefits of a differential vs. single wheel drive (we chose the latter).
4 - Measure, specify, and purchase bearings and locking collars to support each end of the split axle.
5 - Measure, design, purchase, and fabricate steel brackets and fasteners to support the new bearings.
6 - Partially disassemble the go-cart to prepare for welding the brackets to the frame.
7 – Position the brackets and weld them to the frame.
8 - Split the axle with a powered hacksaw then grind all rough edges. Salvage the scrap metal.
9 - Assemble the bearing hardware and determine the offset from the original axle position relative to the frame.
10 – Measure, design, and fabricate steel offset brackets to align the drive axle and the free axle.
11 - Measure, specify, purchase, and install a new drive belt and drive chain extension links to make up for the added
distance between the drive components.
12 - Modify the rear brake pad curvature and position, set the brakes to apply uniform stopping force, and repair the
broken linkage.
13 - Reinstall the engine, test, and adjust cables for proper throttle control.
14 – Road test

4-7-17: I was out for a wedding. Students received an article about Madame Curie and are required to submit responses to prompts about the article as credit toward grade.

4-6-17: We took the tour of the tour of the boilers and generators in our school. Students are required to write a thank you letter to Mr. Gajdowski and Mr. Shuster.

4-5-17: We began our unit on aviation. Students were given a worksheet for the movie "October Sky" They were asked to write Newton's three laws of motion which we discussed as "Do-Now" item # 1 on the worksheet. We watched the video up to the first launch.

4-4-17: Students received a schematic of boilers and we discussed the boiler explosion that occurred last night in St. Louis. We also completed the drive chain modification on the go-cart (All we have to do is mount the engine and test drive to complete the project).

4-3-17: Student saw a demonstration of Superheated steam and are required to submit a constructed response paper about the demonstration (Note: is is not necessary to see the demonstration to complete the assignment). 9th period students were given permission slips for Thursday's tour. 9th period students will not be permitted on the tour without their 8th period teacher's permission.

3-31-17: The boiler/generator tour is on for Thursday April 6th, 8th period. 9th period students will need to get permission form their 8th period teacher to attend. For my 9th period students, I will provide e-mail notice to your 8th period teacher, you will follow-up with them. Today, students were given a handout concerning super heated steam. On Monday, will will have a demonstration and discuss the handout.

3-30-17: I demonstrated the high pressure sodium vapor street light and reviewed its wiring diagram. We compared it to LED street lighting in cost and performance. We discussed the protocol for the upcoming tour of the GWHS boilers and generators.

3-29-17: 8th period students had an opportunity to see the electric motor/generator perform and observe the mount of useful energy lost in the conversion of electrical to mechanical and back to electrical energy. We then began to wire a sodium vapor street light using a wiring diagram I distributed. We discussed the all the necessary components and general safety. 9th period students saw the unit lit up.

3-28-17: Students completed the LED construction. We also learned how a rectifier is designed. Students had an opportunity to see the electric motor/generator perform and observe the mount of useful energy lost in the conversion of electrical to mechanical and back to electrical energy.

3-27-17: Students constructed a simple LED circuit (strip lighting) and learned about how diodes function with electricity (One-way flow).

3-24-17: Classes attended the Town hall meeting.

3-23-17: During these two days of 8th and 9th period town hall meetings (and today's 8th period fire drill!), we could not continue a rigid study. Therefore, we then continued with informal discussions about nuclear proliferation; We saw a you tube video show a timeline of nuclear explosions from 1945 to 1995 (over 2000 atomic bombs exploded!) and clips from the 1964 film Dr. Strangelove.

3-22-17: We finished the Welding video. As many students will need to report to the town hall for their graduating year class, we will watch a science related video for the next two days and report tot the 11&12th grade town hall meeting Friday.

3-21-17: We continued the video about Welding from 3-16. 8th period got to 33:27. 9th period to 40:22. Upon completion of the video, students are to submit 10 facts or inspirations from the video in writing.

3-20-17: We continued the video about Welding from 3-16. 8th period got to 28:30. 9th period to 23/ Students saw samples of electron beam deposition welding used on extruder barrels.

3-17-17: Students watched or operated a 50 amp arc welder to weld the metal rods cut yesterday. Students also saw a carbon arc lamp from the same machine. The welder cover was removed so students could see it how its transformer was built. We also saw the rebuilt power switch for the welder.

3-16-17: We started a module on welding. Students were asked to write attributes of a weld. I then showed the illustrations of welding symbols and types of welds. We looked at some basic equipment for arc welding (120 VAC, 50 Amp Sears welder, and safety equipment). We cut 1/8 inch metal rods to weld salvaged from election signs. We began watching Modern Marvels "Welding" and got about 8 minutes into the video.
Here is a link for the video:

3-15-17: We completed the video on Tesla. Students handed in their facts and inspirations. I showed students a demonstration of wireless lighting and how it interferes with AM radio transmission. I also showed a "How to" video on making a small Tesla coil that can power up a compact fluorescent bulb:

3-14-17: Snow day - no school

3-13-17: We continued the Tesla video and discussed some of the significant historical developments in communications, power generation and lighting. 8th period got to 46 min; 9th period to 35 minutes into the video.

3-10-17: We began a biographical video about Nikola Tesla (PBS - The American Experience). Students drew a bicycle from memory as a way of comparing their visual/memory/design/communication skills. We discussed the life of Tesla and related topics and we watched the video. Students are to write and submit 10 facts or inspirations from the activity. 8th period got to 18 minutes into the video, 9th period to 16 minutes.

3-9-17: We completed the resistor lab and I reviewed the results.

3-8-17: Students continued on the resistor lab with soldering, measurement, and calculations for parallel and series resistor circuits.

3-7-17: 8th period continued work on the go-cart. 9th period saw the progress made by 8th then had a general discussion about industrial ventilation and smoke tests.

3-6-17: Shorter class periods due to half day schedule. We worked on the go-cart and completed the fabrication and assembly of the rear axle bearings, brackets, and retainers.

3-3-17: Students learned how to read the value of their resistors using resistor color code and how to measured the value of their resistor using the multimeter. These activities were documented on the lab sheet.

3-2-17: Students completed yesterday's assignment, then soldered two identical resistors in series. We reviewed how the damaged soldering irons were repaired.

3-1-17: We reviewed safety and operational procedures for working with a soldering gun. Students stripped the ends of a solid copper wire and soldered a ring as credit toward grade.

2-28-17: Students received a reference sheet for a series of electrical circuits labs. Students examined a resistor and used its color marking to determine it value. We reviewed safety issues related to the equipment we shall be using. 9th period finished "Flash of Genius". The journal is due Thursday.

2-27-17: 8th period examined the fixture for determining the dimensions of the final part being fabricated for the go-cart. We then finished the video "Flash of Genius". Log item # 6 is to interpret the saying, "He who represents himself in court has a fool for lawyer". 9th period continued the video nearly to the end. The journal will be due Wednesday.

2-24-17: We looked at yesterday's progress made on the go-cart. We discussed log item #6: "Differentiate between three types of intellectual property: proprietary trade secrets, patents, and public domain. We continued "Flash of Genius".

2-23-17: As log item #5, students are to copy the circuit diagram for Kearn's Intermittent wiper and label each part with its name and function. They are also to sketch the Japanese Shishi Odoshi fountain as it is the mechanical equivalent. We watched a video of this fountain at : 8th period got to 1:11 on "Flash of Genius". 9th period to Dr. Kearn's mental rehabilitation.

2-22-17: I demonstrated a half frosted fluorescent lighting tube and discussed the behavior of fluorescence and plasmas. We talked about some of the challenges of creating a nuclear fusion reactor which must contain plasmas in magnetic fields. As item #4 on the "Flash of Genius" Journal, students are required to read the confidentiality agreement provided on yesterday' reference sheet and describe in their own words three of the sections items in the agreement(e.g. Section 3: The five limitations of what is considered confidential information).

2-21-17: We discussed Flash of Genius log item #3: Differentiate between the five types of patents. I handed out a reference sheet that contained multiple items for use in our discussions about intellectual property issues. We continued the film, "Flash of Genius". Use this page for item #3:

2-17-17: Short day (and periods) due to report card conferences. We saw the continued work on the go-cart. 9th period watched "Living Doll" due to the broken "Flash of Genius" DVD.

2-16-17: Short day (and periods) due to report card conferences. We continued work on the go-cart. Students saw how drill bits were sharpened. 9th period began "Flash of Genius" to 3:00.

2-15-17: We worked on the go-cart, fixing the bearing positions and determining where to cut the axle. Then we drilled pilot holes, and cut the axle. Flash of Genius log item #2: Differentiate between patents, trademarks, and copyrights.

2-14-17: I was at a professional development conference. Students were provided with a written and graded assignment to be submitted to the substitute covering the class - A reading and questions about Jeannette Piccard.

2-13-17: Students were asked to start a new Journal titled "Flash of Genius" and as Item #1 - Define the term "Flash of Genius" as it pertains to the 1941 court ruling regarding the intellectual property rights of an inventor.

2-10-17: As the start of our unit on intellectual property, students received a copy of patent #2,853,991 and were asked to identify its claims. We discussed this and began a discussion of patent types and other forms of intellectual property. .
Here are the items required for the Fiber and Fabrics journal due today:
#1 - List four natural fibers from living things, one natural mineral fiber and four synthetic fibers.
#2 - Define "Warp" an "Weft" as it applied to weaving.
#3 - Define "Yarn" vs. "Thread". Define and explain the relationship between the "S" twist and "Z" twist.
#4 - Draw the patterns for each piece of fabric that would be sewn together to make a t-shirt.
#5 - Distinguish between woven and non-woven fabrics.
#6 - A - Define "Intellectual Property". and B - What might some of the terms be on Sydney Stratton's contract?

2-9-17: No school - snow day.

2-8-17: Students were asked to complete the last item (#6) of the log and submit it by the start of the next class. #6 - A - Define "Intellectual Property". and B - What might some of the terms be on Sydney Stratton's contract?" 8th period completed, "Man in the White Suit". 9th period to within 10 minutes of the end.

2-7-17: Students were asked to write item #5 - Distinguish between woven and non-woven fabrics. We completed the videos linked in yesterday's blogs on mechanical looms and watched "Man in the White Suit" to 51:00.

2-6-17: As item # 4 on the Fabrics and Fibers log, students were asked to draw the patterns for each piece of fabric that would be sewn together to make a t-shirt. We reviewed the pattern along with a few varieties. 8th period watched a circular (tube) loom in operation 9th period began to watch a short video on industrial looms. 9th period class caught up to 8th period in the video "Man in the White Suit" (both at 43:00). 9th period saw a demonstration of stain resistant fabric.

2-3-17: As item # 3 on their Journal, students were asked to define "Yarn" vs. "Thread" and "S" twist vs. "Z" twist. I demonstrated a rope making machine. We continued "Man in the White Suit" to 8th 43:00 and 20:00 9th.

2-2-17: I checked that students had their "Fibers and Fabrics" log started with item 1 complete from yesterday. This was a graded assignment. For item #2 (HW) students are to define "Warp" an "Weft" as it applied to weaving. We started "Man in the White Suit (1951)". 8th period got to 26:00, 9th 8:50.

2-1-17: Students saw the brackets we fabricated for the go-cart. We also began a log for the next unit titled "Fibers and Fabric" we examined more items under the microscope. For the first item of the log, students are to list four natural and four synthetic fibers. We discussed these and others.

1-31-17: Period 8 took the midterm. Period 9 was introduced to fibers by examining spun thread and a woven shirt under the digital microscope. We also examined US paper money and looked at the bracket designs for the go-cart.

1-30-17: 9th period had their midterm. 8th period looked at designs for installing the new brackets on the go-cart. After school, two brackets of the four brackets designed were partially fabricated.

1-27-17: We reviewed the questions form the data sheet handed out yesterday. I collected the answers for credit toward grade. We discussed the next unit on fibers and fabric and shall watch the film "Man in the White Suit" as a media for discussion. 9th period will have their midterm Monday, 8th period Tuesday.

1-26-17: Students received a data sheet on thermal conductivity. They then participated in a series of demonstrations of thermal conductivity and expansion of metals.

1-25-17: We met in lab room 334 and students performed the steel metal heat treating and tempering lab. They submitted their lab papers and samples for grade. Students also performed similar studies on cold worked copper wire. 9th period was additional treated to a demonstration of the function of a ground fault interrupter circuit breaker (using INSULATED copper wire!).

1-24-17: I handed out the instructions for the steel metal heat treating and tempering lab. I demonstrated the lab.

1-23-17: Students were shown a demonstration of metal treatment. We made a bobby pin brittle and then bendable and then springy again. Students are to define the terms: Annealing and Tempering. Students were asked to explain the current even involving the "Trans Pacific Partnership". We watched a series of videos on forging metal and examined a adjustable drop forged wrench (made in China). 9th period saw a few "explosive" demonstrations (lycopodium in a paint can and methane in a peanut can).

1-20-17: Students saw a model of a four-stroke four cylinder gasoline engine. I explained its operation and we then looked at various other internal combustions engines by video explanations.

1-19-17: 8th period worked on the Go-Cart, removing the engine, flipping the chassis over and proposing how the new bearing would be installed. We noticed that the new bearing are the wrong size (shaft hole too small). New bearings will be supplied at a later date. We also watched the video of a gasoline engine with a see-through head in operation (See reference item 71). 9th period examined the catacombs of Paris (by photo) as we discussed the limestone quarries used to build the city.

1-18-17: Student witnessed an exothermic solid state phase transformation for the 78/22 aluminum/zinc alloy. We reviewed the phase diagram distributed 12/19/16 to study why this occurred. 9th period saw a video of a gasoline engine with a see-through head in operation. 9th period also discussed the creation of temperature scales and how very cold temperatures are achieved.

1-17-17: The midterm exam schedule is posted on the home page. The midterm is multiple choice and covers material from the start of the course. I counts as 20% of the term 2 grade. Students listed various types of adhesives whihc we discussed. They were then given a card, popsicle stick, and parts A&B of a 5-minute hardening liquid epoxy adhesive resin. Students mixed the resins and observed their behavior. Their assignment, for grade, was to get the popsicle stick to stand on end after the resins turned solid.

1-13-17: Both classes toured room 335 as I cleared it out to prepare for work on the go-cart and other large projects. 8th period finished the video and 9th period began removing some of the drive components from the go-cart. I passed out a list of log items due Tuesday for the Flight of the Phoenix. Here are those items:

1 - Define the controls of a heavier than air aircraft (i.e. Lift, Thrust, Roll, Yaw, and Pitch).
2- Draw a top view of the Fairchild C-119 aircraft.
3 - Draw a side view and front view for the Fairchild C-119
4 - Sketch the C-119 from overhead indicating which parts are used to construct the Phoenix
5 - Write three safety rules for working with sparking metals (e.g. from cutting or welding) around flammable liquids
6 - What skills were needed to escape the desert crash via the Phoenix".
7 – Compare at least 10 design features of the Fairchild C-82 and C-119 flying boxcars.

1-12-17: Both classes saw the Crash that killed stunt pilot Paul Mantz during the production of the 1965 film "The flight of the Phoenix" 8th period watched (2004) "...Phoenix" up to the takeoff (beginning of chase). 9th period watched the end of the 1965 version and discussed the last log item #6, "What skills were needed to escape the desert crash via the Phoenix". The completed log containing all six entries is due Monday

1-11-17: Regarding the go-cart, we decided to go with option 2. Also, we researched and printed an engine manual. Both periods then continued "Flight of the Phoenix", 9th period finished the film. The Journal will be due Friday.

1-10-17: 8th period examined the go-cart to see if the rear axle incorporated a one wheel disconnect (it did not). 9th period also examined the go cart as well. 9th period continued "Phoenix" to 1:38.

1-9-17: We examined the extra credit assignment. We went on craigslist to find differentials for the go cart. We drew up a proposed single wheel drive. It was suggested that there may be a release for one of the wheels already built into the existing design (We shall look at this tomorrow, upon request). 9th period continued the Phoenix up to the "Please" scene.

1-6-17: We discussed two proposals for solving the go cart steering issue: 1 - Finding and installing a differential rear axle, and 2 - Splitting the rear axle and making the go-cart a one-wheel drive. For the latter case, we looked at mounted bearings and shaft collar's on the Mcmaster-Carr website to determine what would be needed (i.e two mounted bearings, and up to four collars). The rear axle is 1.00 inch in diameter. For extra credit, select an appropriate bearing and collar (get part number and price), draw the final assembly of these parts, and determine the cost for them. We continued the Flight of the Phoenix to 1:19. As Item 5 in the video journal, students are to write three safety rules for working with sparking metals (e.g. from cutting or welding) around flammable liquids.

1-5-17: We reviewed the steering issue with Manny's go cart (a new mechanical project we were approved to work on at the school). 9th period rewatched the video from 11/3 that explains the differential (See reference item #62). As item number 4 in their "Flight of the Phoenix" log, students are required to sketch the C-119 from overhead indicating which parts are used to construct the Phoenix. 8th period continued the film to 1:07, 9th period to 1:10.

1-4-17: Students are required to draw a side view and front view for the Fairchild C-119 as item 3 on their flight of the Phoenix log. 8th period got to 54 minutes into the film; 9th period got to 60 minutes (wing separation). We discussed mechanical projects students did over break. 9th period discussed metal recycling.

12-23-16: A substitute covered the class while I competed in the sumo wrestling program. Students are to work on iron wire lab report (due after break).

12-22-16: Students were asked to draw a top view of the C-119 aircraft in their a log. We then examined various drawings of different views of the aircraft. 8th period saw the crash again in teh 1965 version of the film then continued the new version to 32 minutes. 9th period did not see the old crash but rather watched the new version to 42 minutes.

12-21-16: Students were asked to begin a log titled "Flight of the Phoenix" beginning with defining the controls of a heavier than air aircraft (i.e. Lift, Thrust, Roll, Yaw, and Pitch). We began the video, the 2004 version featuring the C-119 up to the conclusion of the crash scene. 8th period also watched the crash scene from the 1965 version featuring the earlier C-82 aircraft.

12-20-16: We reviewed the rather extensive blog entry from yesterday. Students are to complete the report over the holiday.

12-19-16: Students received a phase diagram for aluminum/zinc alloys and a list of Bravis Cells, illustrating severla crystal structures. We concluded the iron wire demonstration and students saw how the wire cooled from high density solid to a low density solid. 8th period saw how a tungsten bulb filament failed when powered up after being exposed to oxygen. The iron wire demo can be seen in these videos IRON WIRE VIDEO #1, IRON WIRE VIDEO #2 and IRON WIRE VIDEO #3 featuring a graphical plot of the exothermic and endothermic phase changes. Students are required to write a lab report in the following format for the demonstration.

1: Title Page
2: Objectives (e.g. To demonstrate .....)
3: Equipment and materials list (this is where your drawing should be presented with parts referred to by keyed item list.
4 - Safety precautions. I would also like to have safety precautions listed in this section that related to the electrical shock and fire hazards that were present.
5: Procedures (i.e. Step by step instructions),
6: Observations/Findings
7: Summary and discussion: Explanations of what occurred during the demonstration.

Here is a link for the Teacher's Guide for that demo that includes much of the information that can be used for your lab report.

12-16-16: We set up and tested equipment for the Iron Wire, Solid State phase transformation lab. Students reviewed what a solid state phase transformation was examining the tin bar and crystals that formed from stress (alpha to beta phase shift from stress). We examined the crystal structures of iron by looking at tennis ball models of body and face center cubic structures. Students are encouraged to take good notes as a lab report will be due upon completion of this demonstration series. 9th period saw how a tungsten bulb filament failed after being exposed to oxygen then powered up.

12-15-16: Students completed the Aluminum Article and are to submit their responses to the four prompts by tomorrow. 8th period also saw and heard the "Singing Tim Bar". Both classes saw the casting of liquid tin to make the bar. We also read an excerpt from "The Disappearing Spoon", regarding the solid state phase transformation of Tin and how it killed Antarctic Explorer Scott and his team as well as lead to Napoleon's defeat against the Russians in 1812.

12-14-16: Students were provided with a 2-page article about the commercialization of the aluminum industry in the late 1800's. The article included four prompts which students are to submit their responses for credit toward grade. We began the reading and discussion in class and will complete it tomorrow. Both classes saw the low voltage transformer, similar to what might have been used by Charles Martin Hall. 9th period also saw and heard the "Singing Tim Bar" as we discussed metallic crystal structures.

12-13-16: I was out for Chemical Management training. No class was held due to a bomb scare.

12-12-16: We completed the Time video. Students were asked the following question as item #9 for their time log: #9 - Why 11/18/1883 so unique in the history of time? Time logs are due by Wednesday. Here is a summary of the questions (plus a few extra): 1 - Define "Time", 2 - How is a year measured?, 3 - Why were time zones established?, 4 - Why did we need a longitudinal clock? How was it used?, 5 - What limits us from directly remote controlling the Mars Rovers from earth?, 6 - What is relativistic time dilation and when must it be considered?, 7 – Show the calculation needed to Verify Galileo's pendulum equation by determining a pendulum's length for a 2 second swing back and forth., 8 - How did the use of time evolve with the industrial revolution?, 9 - Why 11/18/1883 so unique in the history of time? 10 - How did the definition of a second change in October 1967 and why?, 11 - Why would a person want to own a Breitling Watch?, 12- Distinguish between the Julian and Gregorian calendars.

12-9-16: 8th Period got to 34:10. 9th to 30: 42. We spoke about the Breitling Emergency Watch.

12-8-16: Log Item 8 - How did the use of time evolve with the industrial revolution? We continued the video: 8 to 21:42, 9th to 23:49

12-7-16: Students added 6th and 7th items to their log: 6 - What is relativistic time dilation and when must it be considered. and 7 - Verify Galileo's pendulum equation by determining a pendulum's length that results in a 2 second swing back and forth. We discussed 6, calculated and tested 7 then continued the video. 8th period got to 14:01, 9th to 18:32.

12-6-16: Students were asked to add a fifth item to their log as follows: 5 - What limits us from directly remote controlling the Mars Rovers from earth? The answer was discussed in class. All students saw videos related to the Mars rover landings including "The 7 minutes of Terror" (see reference item #109). 8th period saw the Paul Hewitt video titled, "Relativistic Time Dilation" (See reference item #58). Ninth period caught up to eight period with the PBS video, "How We Got to Now, Time" by Steven Johnson.

12-5-16: Students were asked to display their time logs write the answer to #4 - Why did we need a longitudinal clock and how was it used? Both classes reviewed #1-4 and watched a short history channel video on the development and need for a Longitudinal clock. 8th period began watching the PBS video, "How We Got to Now - Time" by Steven Johnson. They got to 5:47. 9th period watched the Paul Hewitt video titled, "Relativistic Time Dilation" (See reference item #58).

12-2-16: Student began journal titled "Time Log" to be submitted upon conclusion of this unit. The first two entries of this journal are as follows: 1 - Define "Time" and 2 - How is a year measured?. We discussed these. We discussed how noon was measured, how the Julian and Gregorian calendars differed, the purpose of the longitudinal clock and how as cities emerged, each had their own noon corresponding to the time each day that the sun was at its highest. For homework, students are to add item 3 to their log answering the question, "Why were time zones established?".

12-1-16: 8th period examined the titles of several videos from Vsause, a youtube collection science videos, we watched most of the "flat earth video". 9th period finished the Challenger video then started the flat earth video as well. Here are a few videos that might help with the challenger disaster report: animation of an o-ring animation of o-ring failure on the challenger Here a a video of the report findings from the challenger failure. The report must be in teh same format as detailed in the 11-10 blog with the addition of drawings showing how an o-ring works.

11-30-16: 8th period finished the video and watch an animation on how an o-ring seal works. 9th got to 1:06:34. The mini report is due upon completion.

11-29-16: 8th period: we examined and discussed a disassembled Dell Laptop and hard drive. We continued the Challenger video to about 15 min before the end. 9th examined exploding knots and watched the video to 55:07 (about 30 minutes before the end.

11-28-16: We continued the Feynman video. 8th period got to 55:50, 9th period got to 35:35.

11-23-16: A pep rally for tomorrow's football game was held in lieu of classroom lessons.

11-22-16: We continued to examine the Challenger disaster and began to watch the 2013 TV movie: Feynman and the Challenger. 8th period got to 18:47; 9th period to 10:47. Students are asked to write questions and answers about every five minutes as the video plays to allow a worksheet to be developed.

11-21-16: We began to talk about the space shuttle disasters (Challenger and Columbia). 8th period saw the, highlighting the distaster and findings. 9th period just had a discussion about it. We will explore this further in coming days.

11-18-16: We concluded the video from yesterday and learned that the lack of stiffener plates in the final assembly led to the collapse and a ruling that the engineering firm was liable for the collapse. Students are required to submit a mini report in the format described in the 11/10 blog. This report is to include a drawing of the support beams and rods illustrating the original and as-built design.

11-17-16: We continued a discussion of engineering disasters with an overview of the Hyatt Regency walkway collapse of 1981. We visited the Wikipedia article about the collapse and watched most of a video showing the human drama of the collapse from the A&E series "Minute by Minute" (Period 8 got to part 4/5 6:03, 9th to 3/5 5:00)

11-16-16: Students were given a biography about Alfred Nobel and were asked to respond to 5 prompts following the reading. This was submitted (or is due tomorrow) as credit toward grade.

11-15-16: We continued to discuss engineering disasters. We watched a video about the Bhopal Disaster and discussed it. Again students were asked to submit a mini-report like that outlined within the 11-10 blog entry.

11-14-16: We continued to discuss engineering disasters. We spoke primarily of earthquakes, making structures earthquake proof and some of the solid states of steel.

11-10-16: 8th period finished "Making Stuff Stronger" and the video questions are due as points toward the term grade. As a matter of introducing the topics of the responsibility of the engineer in society and ethical decision making, we continued a discussion of Engineering Disasters and watched a news report video commemorating the New London School explosion. Students are required to submit a mini-report, no longer than a page in the following format: 1 - Title TITLE, 2 - Describe the Event (Who, What Where, When), 3 - Explain what happened (Why), and 4 - Describe the remedy (i.e. what was done to prevent the even from happening again). This report is also due as points toward term grade.

11-9-16: 8th period continued making stuff stronger to 47:13. 9th period discussed various topics including the humane treatment of food animals (see reference link 101) and a brief history of the engineering and political accomplishments of Ross Perot.

11-7-16: 8th period tested the last bridge then discussed materials science applications in turbine engines. 9th period finished the "Making Stuff Stronger Video. Its worksheet is due for 2nd term grade grade.

11-4-16: Students used the period to catch up on term 1 work. We tested one more bridge.

11-3-16: We tested a bridge 8th (it barely survived testing) then continued watching the NOVO video to 42:00. Again, 9th period was poorly attended, one group worked on the last remaining bridge in that class while the remaining students watched the TED video by Temple Grandin (see reference #101). Toward the end of 9th period, teh entire class (those present watched the 1930, General Motors film about the development of the automotive differential (See reference item #62)

11-2-16: 9th period was poorly attended, one group worked on the last remaining bridge in that class while the remaining student performed independent study. The following applies to 8th period: We reviewed a preliminary project proposal for the rebuild of a glass furnace. and reviewed the work from yesterday. Since we stopped the NOVA video yesterday at the development of Kevlar fiber, I showed a video on the manufacturing of ballistic helmets that I had in my DVD file (disc 180). Here is a similar video produced by the same company featured in my presentation:

11-1-16: We continued watching NOVA's "Making stuff Stronger" that we saw the first 12 minutes of on 9-20. 8th period got to 25:39, and 9th to 20:14. We also saw a few other related short films about human G-force testing, crash test comparisons (New vs. old Chevy and a Smart Car), and Bullets in Slow Motion. I introduced a classification of materials system (Polymers, Metals, Ceramics, Glass, Assemblies, and composites).

10-31-16: Last day for bridge building and testing. Uncompleted projects must be finished separate from future class activities. We played with the smoke machine and laser.

10-28-16: Students are wrapping up this project. The final report format has been distributed as well as the group member evaluations.

10-27-16: Students are wrapping up this project. The final report format has been distributed as well as the group member evaluations.

10-26-16: Students are wrapping up this project. We tested another bridge today. The final report format has been distributed as well as the group member evaluations.

10-25-16: Students are wrapping up this project. We tested another bridge today. The final report format has been distributed as well as the group member evaluations.

10-24-16: Students continued building their bridges. We tested one during 8th period. Students who need extra credit can write the test method according to the format distributed in class to those interested.

10-21-16: Students continued building their bridges.

10-20-16: Students continued with bridge building. The group who was ready to test delayed testing for one day because they had to redo their drawing to detail some of the design features, fix a weak spot that was discovered, and because, more importantly, the old drawing was lost, so they need to prepare a new one.

10-19-16: 9th period class was cancelled today due to PSAT and SAT testing. 8th period continued with bridge building. One group is ready for testing tomorrow. The 1 kg sandbags for testing were delivered to the classroom.

10-18-16: Students continued building their bridges.

10-17-16: Students continued building their bridges. For Extra credit, watch the Antares rocket launch at 7:40 pm tonight visible in our southern skies (launched from the Virgia coast, we will see it around 90 seconds later). Take a selfie of you with the rocket trail in the background (or have someone else take the picture) then show it to me to receive the credit.

10-14-16: Students continued building their bridges.

10-13-16: Students continued building their bridges.

10-11-16: Students continued building their bridges.

10-10-16: All groups have approved drawings. After counting 200 sticks, students were issued a weighed amount of glue, and began or continued construction of their bridge.

10-7-16: Students continued or completed their drawings, then got them approved, counted out 200 sticks, were issued a weighed amount of glue, and began construction of their bridge.

10-6-16: We looked at various project bridges on-line to discuss their features. Students continued their drawings. Three groups have gotten drawing approved and are ready to build. All periods saw a video showing a 200 stick bridge that supported over 1000 pounds. 9th period saw a video of the 1940 failure of the Tacoma Narrows suspension bridge.

10-5-16: We went over some of the features that should be included in the bridges drawings. Students worked on their bridge design drawings.

9-29-16: My apologies for the lack of notice; at 2:25pm yesterday, I received an e-mail notifying me that I was selected to attend an all day professional development session covering "Writing across the curriculum" and that my classes would be covered by a substitute. Students were expected to form their groups for the bridge building project and create then share their designs for their bridge with each other. A group cannot begin construction until I have seen a drawing that clearly shows how the bridge will be built.

9-28-16: After seeing drawings of a railroad tie and a simple house, students were asked to create (and given grade credit for) a six-view orthogonal drawing of a laboratory test stand. We spoke about hidden lines, dimensions, and sectional views that are revealed in the drawings.

9-27-16: Students received the "Popsicle Stick Bridge Project" paper and were asked to read it. Students will form groups of 2 to four people then design a bridge and produce orthogonal drawings before they can begin building. We reviewed the specifications. We also discussed the engineering course list assignment from yesterday (I changed its due date to Thursday.)

9-26-16: Students submitted the carrier log for grade. I introduced the bridge project by demonstrating an "I" beam and a simple truss structure featuring a "zero force member" (when oriented in one direction only). I also had students looking at the various branches of engineering. For HW due THURSDAY (was due Wednesday), students are pick a college and an engineering program, then list the semester by semester course title requirement to obtain a bachelors degree from their selected college and engineering branch.

9-23-16: We completed the Aircraft Carrier video. Students are to submit their journals by the end of the school day Monday. It is to contain the following sections: 1 - A list of ten attributes of Aircraft Carriers, 2 - Five issues with flying a plane at sea, 3 – Facts about each of the ships featured in the video (USS North Carolina, HMS Ark Royal, USS Hornet, USS Midway, USS Forestall, USS Enterprise, and the USS George H. W. Bush or any Nimitz class carrier, and 4 – A diagram of the optical landing system. We examined gyroscopic stability (conservation of angular momentum), and discussed the film "Groundhog Day" as a metaphor for life on an aircraft carrier.

9-22-16: We reviewed the definitions of compression, tension, and shear. We contineud to video up to the start of The USS Forrestal (around 32 min). 8th period missed an important section of the video from 21:25 to 26:00 (we need to see this tomorrow).

9-21-16: We studied steel properties by looked at single layer crystal structures with and without discontinuities using a BB board (with and without BB's of different sizes). We looked at a modification of the macbook "Magsafe" charger. We continued the aircraft video up to the USS Midway. Students are to research for HW details on the USS Hornet and USS Midway, the next two ships featured in the video.

9-20-16: We discussed the history of the HMS Ark Royal. We were unable to continue the video due to internet issues. Instead we watched and discussed the first 12 minutes of the NOVA program, "Making Stuff Stronger", featuring the design of aircraft arresting cables on aircraft carriers. No homework tonight.

9-19-16: We continued our discussion of aircraft carrier development and watched more the video (to 12:15). We discussed a bit of the history of the ACR-12 (USS North Carolina) as students were required to write up this ship for HW Friday. Tonight HW is to write similar facts about the HMS Ark Royal, the next ship featured in the video. I displayed the butane lab heater built over the weekend. We discussed the design of a pressure cooker as high pressure steam is a common resource on ships and manufacturing plants. This lead to a discussion on engineering ethics as pressure cookers and pipe bombs have been in the recent news.

9-16-16: Students continued in their blog with 5 challenges to flying a plane at sea. We continued watched to 6:56. Students are to obtain facts on the USS North Carolina featured in the video including but not limited to: Dated laid down, Date Launched, Date Commissioned, Significant accomplishments, plus any other interesting facts.

9-15-16: We began talking about large engineering projects involving multiple systems developed over generations. Students were asked to begin a log on aircraft carriers and begin this log by listing ten attributes of an aircraft carrier that we discussed as a group. We started watching just the first two minutes of "Big Bigger Biggest, The Largest Aircraft Carrier in the World" (The video is linked via reference item 60). The mixer report is due tomorrow.

9-14-16: We completed the caster installation and made one correction to the design; modifying the nylon lock nuts to jam nuts. 8th period began a video explaining distillation:

9-13-16: We completed all the planning work for installing casters on the mixer and attached a frame to safely lay it on its side. We began to install the casters. Students are required to prepare a report and submit it by Friday in the following format: 1 – Executive summary: Complete sentences that describe the nature of the problem, the solution to the problem and a summary of costs for the work involved (purchased part descriptions, installation labor, engineering);
2 – Measurements, data and calculations: Include drawings to illustrate the important dimensions of the parts and a drawing and/or description of how they will be assembled. 3 - Part specifications: Basically this section should just include purchasing information from the vendor catalog or manufacturing drawings. 4 – Additional Information: Anything else you think should be included in the report. For example, how the weight of the mixer was determined, any unusual problems that were encountered, or recommended improvements for future work.

9-12-16: Students were asked to write an executive summary of the mixer project. We measured the weight of the mixer using beams to determine the torque moments of static levers on a fulcrum (equating the product of force times distance). With the maximum load per caster now known, students can now specify the casters required for the mixer. For HW, students are to have the McMaster Carr part numbers and quantities for all items needed to put the mixer on wheels.

9-9-16: Shorter periods due to noon time dismissal (hot weather). I checked the HW. As the casters all have a maximum load, students were asked to create a drawing and description on how to determine the weight of the mixer. Upon completion of the project, each student will be required to submit a project report that shall include: Executive summary, technical part specifications, purchasing information (vendor, part number, price, and delivery), measurements, and a description (with drawing) of how the weight of the mixer was determined.

9-8-16: We began an engineering project to install casters on an industrial kitchen mixer to reduce our rodent problem. We discovered how to mount them and took a few dimensional measurements. For homework students are to visit the McMaster Carr website and select the items needed for the job.

9-7-16: First day of class. I hope you felt welcome and enthused about the subject. Students received a hard copy print of the syllabus to keep in their notebook and were assigned seats. Note: The syllabus is available in digital format as item #1 on the tab titled "Assignments /EC" on the left. We discussed the main branches of engineering. Your homework tonight was threefold: 1- Complete the two-part prompt handed out in class; 2 - Assemble a 3-ring binder notebook with a dedicated section in it for Engineering to hold your notes, project papers, and data sheets; and, 3 - To visit this website after school in order to read and heed the following update I entered after 3:00 pm. (4:25 pm). Write your seat number next to your name on the syllabus sheet you received in class. Display it on your desk when I walk around to check it.