Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Model Rockets

Hi Everyone!

Sorry, long time no post. Schedules have been busy so there have been a few events that have changed up the Tech Club schedule a bit.

Last Tuesday we drew some models of bottle rockets we will build from pop bottles and card board once the weather starts getting warmer. Here are some of the models we created last week.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tech Club Member Charles Interviewed For WCRX Public Service Announcement

Whoa - how cool is this?

Chicago Columbia University's WCRX radio interviewed Tech Club member Charles Hill, who talked a bit about the Cabrini Connections program. Take a listen!

Here's the 60 second version:

And here's the shorter 30 second version:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

History of Video Games

Hi Everyone!

Last week on Tuesday we did some research on the history of video games. A couple of weeks before that we started to create our own video games. Here is an example done by one of the students:

Here is a brief bit of what we learned about some of the very first video games ever:

Computer space
A game created just for fun
1971 Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney

Tennis for Two

Missile Simulator
Locate a missile target
1947 Ray Mann.

This week we will keep looking at the history of video games and start researching how to design our own model rockets from pop/soda bottles.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hey Tech Fans. We need your support

This year's Cabrini Madness tourney has 13 teams of students and volunteers raising money for Cabrini Connections. The team that raises the most by the end of the NCAA Basketball Tournament wins.

Right now Team Five Dragons, which features Tech Club members and Mapping for Justice supporters, is in last place! You can change that with a donation (here) and by asking friends, family, co-workers and tech supporters to give and to blog about the tourney.

Money raised helps keep Cabrini Connections and tech club available to our teens.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Violinist at Tech Club

Tuesday night Tech Club had a very special treat. Engineer, violinist, and entrepreneur Andrew Forde from Toronto visited and spoke about his love of engineering, music and creativity.

Andrew is in his last semester at the University of Toronto, finishing his degree in Nanoengineering. Nanoengineering studies materials at the nano level to find properties one would desire in a material, but from the perspective of some of the smallest pieces that make up that material.

Expanding off of his engineering background Andrew has launched a new company, Sommerfeld Solutions, that implements innovative ideas for other companies. He explained, while nanoengineering is an interest of his, that the research environment doesn't fit with his need to be creative, which is one of his reasons for starting his company.

Since he was four years old he has played the violin, and actually went to an arts high school, not the typical place you would expect a typical engineer to come from. He has released one album, and will be working on a second album in Summer 2011. We were fortunate that Andrew was able to bring his violin and play three songs for us after his talk.

You can check out his music at his YouTube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/violintheory.

Pictures to come this weekend from the event! Special thanks to Cabrini Connections for hosting the event, and to Andrew Forde for sharing his story with Tech Club.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tech Club Special Guest | Music & Science

Tuesday, February 22, Tech Club will have a very special guest all the way from Toronto, Canada. University of Toronto engineering student and entrepreneur Andrew Forde will be giving a special talk at Tech Club Tuesday night to play some contemporary music and to talk about how music and science and engineering are all related. Please join us for what will be a fun and engaging event!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Trucks Computer Games & Science

What does a truck computer game and science have in common? Well, on Tuesday we found out. Jordan is learning about graphing points in math, and he was playing a computer game before Tech Club where you drive a truck off a ramp and the game records how far and high the truck goes.

We wanted to see if the game world's gravity worked like gravity in the real world. Assuming the speed is about the same for each case, the higher an object is thrown, the less far it will go in distance away from the spot it was thrown. Also, the further an object is thrown, the less high it will go. We played the truck game 10 times and recorded the height and distance data.

After recording all of the data, we entered the information into excel and made a graph with it so we could see if the game had a direct relationship between how far the truck went and how high it went. The speed was not recorded in this game.
We found there was no direct relationship in the video game between how far the truck went in height to how far it went in distance.

For the rest of the time we did some more experimentation with the Alice programming software before we get started on the first level of our video games. Jordan added a warehouse and had a train car crash into the wall of the warehouse.

After this week, we will be doing one science experiment each Tech Club meeting. It should be exciting. Also, we will be fundraising for Tech Club very soon to get more resources so we can expand the experiments and projects we cover. Stay tuned to this space to learn how you can donate!