- (Engineering-week) : an annual event (every Feb) during which the EEO & D at PTO, in coordination with the affinity groups, invites students from 4th or 5th grade to come to PTO and work on an “Engineering project” such as building miniature green houses with mini solar panels or work on 3-D printers, etc. This year the students built mini aerodynamics CO2 cars to compete at the end in a car race. To assist the students, AMACA provided there volunteers (Meraj Shaikh, Asad Nawas and Ahmad Matar). Out of 28 teams, the teams which were assisted by AMACA were number 1 and 2 in the car race. We had two students from our “AMACA” community and we hope to have more students in future to participate in E-week events. See E-week videos and pictures using this link
- E-Week at PTO, Friday Feb 26, 2016 : AMACA is actively coordinating with Education and Outreach at PTO and with EEO&D to bring kids from a nearby Muslim school to participate in E-week (Engineers Week) wherein kids work on projects (more than half a day at PTO). We’re trying to bring an additional 7 – 10 students. As an AMACA member, if you have a kid that is in the 8th or 9th grade and interested in participating, please respond to AMACA@USPTO.GOV ASAP (first come first serve). Projects : simple coding : creating a simple app, with help, to solve a problem facing the community/society and also Oil Spill cleanup.
Different Ideas for E-Week Program:
- A coding activity where students would create a smart phone app that would be created with the idea of improving something in the community or helping different populations of our community, i.e. homeless, people with a disability, etc…
- The idea is to have students go through the ideation process of creating a app with the end result being teams would create a story board of how their app would work. (there’s not enough time to have them actually learn how to actually code and create the app). The coding process, creative thinking and problem solving are the major takeaways of this program.
- If time and resources allow, an actually coding element, by introducing students to “Scratch” – would be incorporated into this program.
- Coding is not just about numbers, it’s a tool set that people can use to explore ideas and invent new products. For E-week we could have students try creative coding by constructing their own DIY smart house. In this activity, students first build a house out of card board boxes. They then turn the structure into a functional smart house with MESH tags, a creative tool by Sony that uses simple drag-and-drop coding on iPads to program lights, sounds and movement.
Students would be asked to think about problems in their homes before they begin creating their cardboard dwelling. Participants will also be asked to envision “smart” inventions/solutions that could help solve those problems. Next, participants would use MESH tools to build a prototype. Lastly, a “patent application” for their invention would be distributed. The application would actually be a simple worksheet for guests to describe their invention and make drawings of it.
Depending on the size of our E-week program, we would need 5-10 MESH kits, each set retails at $199.99.
This program would provide a great opportunity for students to not only think creatively about coding, but also become familiar with the inventive process as well as how USPTO works.
Add-ons to this project include:
- add many more materials they can use to collect – bringing engineering design process thought into what materials/approaches can separate out more oil, etc.;
- put the “competition spin” on most oil collected, etc.;
- include prices on the materials and include a team budget limiting what materials can be purchased
- have the kids present their approaches/results, etc.
- How did the previous students arrive? (bus, parent chaperone, etc.)
In past years, students have arrived by school bus. I believe the school generally pays for transport. Juan, is that correct? Schools provide own transportation, we do not have the budget or insurance to provide transportation.
- How long is the event? (what hours )?
The event is most of the day – maybe around 9am-2pm. Correct, full day program depending on when students need to get back to school, usually 9-9:30-1:30-2.
- Do the students/teachers need to bring anything?
Last year the students and teachers brought their own lunches, but in past years I believe we provided lunch for the students. Ideally we’d like to provide them with lunch, but it really depends on what our funds are. We’d like to at least be able to provide lunch for all of the volunteers who assist. Yup. 🙂
- Is the date confirmed for Friday Feb 26? (Many examiners/SPEs take Friday off), can the date be changed ?
The date of the event was decided based on the availability of the Madison Auditorium. This was the only day it was available for a large block of time. We have both sides reserved for the whole day so this gives us a lot of space to work on the project and we won’t have to worry about disturbing another meeting next door. I agree Friday is not ideal, however if we advertise with PLENTY of notice, i.e. over a month in advance, then hopefully people will find it in their heart to change their telework day for that week.
- How do we handle expenses (project items, food, drinks) ? (contributions from affinity groups?)
Our office does not have a budget for this event. I’m unsure if the Office of Education and Outreach is planning to contribute funds. Maybe Juan can provide some info on this. In the past the budget has been determined by affinity group contributions. Groups can either provide money and Juan and I will get the materials and food or groups can purchase materials/ food directly if they would prefer. After we decide on the project we will know more about what materials we will need. In the past the AG’s have donated money and the E-Week Committee has created a budget based upon that year’s activity. If money was left over, it was kept and used again for the following year. The OEO in some cases is able to provide supplies for the activities that we are going to do with the students. OEO purchased Lego Mindstorm robots for our use during E-week as well as last year’s Dragster Race cars. Typically we try to make activities reusable so that anything OEO is able to purchase, they can use it again for other activities.
- We have a local school in mind, how many students would we be able to invite ? what grades ( 4th , 5th).
All of this stuff is still open, to my knowledge, we haven’t made any decisions yet on school or grade level. Juan generally reaches out to schools – if you have a school in mind perhaps he can help you with the outreach. How many student we invite really depends on our funding situation for supplies. We have the whole auditorium so we can accommodate more students than last year if we have the funds. The grade level depends on the project. We will be discussing all of this stuff at the meeting on November 30th so if you have ideas/suggestions it would be great to bring them up at this meeting! E-Week generally is 9th grade (8th-10th), however last year we did elementary because of the last minute nature of our program and I had a personal relationship with Cora Kelly as I have worked with their students for 3 years now. With this being said, if we plan in advance, then we encourage inviting multiple schools and allowing students to work together in teams with students from other schools. We have done that in the past with great success.