High school: Technology and Design Workshop Series with Jane

Event Details

This event finished on 18 September 2018

These workshops are suitable for children who work at a high school level.  If interested in these workshops, please email the organiser, Jane directly: jane_brennan@msn.com

Technology and Design Workshop Series with Jane

31st July-18th September 2018 workshops, over 8 Tuesdays, in the Small Meeting Room at the Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre, will be held from 11:40-13:10

In this 8-week workshop series, we will explore what technology means to us and how it can help us to work our way through a challenge to get the best possible solution, rather than just settling for the first solution that comes to mind. For difficult problems, this often requires us to think ‘outside the box’, a skill we will practise through weekly short and fun lateral thinking challenges. For more information on lateral thinking check out this weblink https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gB5ve_Bqf0M.

Throughout the workshop series we will also be challenging ourselves with several larger projects:

  1. Balloon-car challenge (week 1-2):  In this activity, you design and build a balloon-powered car to better understand the science ideas related to rocket propulsion. You use ideas of mass and force to work out ways to improve the distance travelled by your car.  Let´s see whose car will propell the furthest!
  2. Perfect pylons (week 3):   Electricity is transferred from power station to consumer (us) using cables which are supported by pylons. Pylons must be strong and stiff; able to support the load of the cables without bending or breaking and withstand all weather conditions. This group project tests how well your pylons are built.
  3. Electric Messages – Then and Now (week 4): This group activity explores electronic communication, the Morse Code system, and advances all the way through text messaging. We build a simple circuit, send messages to one another, and explore the impact of electrical communications on society.
  4. Smart Muscle (week 5):  During this session, you will investigate the properties of materials and model a muscle based on a smart spring. This activity uses a smart ‘Niti’ spring made of an alloy of nickel and titanium. When a current flows through the stretched spring, the metal is heated. The temperature change causes the spring to ‘remember’ the shape it had before it was stretched. Let´s see what potential designs for prosthetic technologies or a robot with artificial muscles your group can come up with.
  5. Working with wind (week 6-8): The “Working with Wind Energy” activity explores the growing use of wind energy to generate or augment energy in businesses and homes worldwide. You work in teams of “engineers” to design and build your own windmill out of everyday items which you select and purchase with a budget. You test your windmill, evaluate your results, and present reflections to the class.

Please note that the schedule might change slightly throughout the term depending on project progress.

In addition to home educating her 13-year old son, Jane has been a GIS lecturer with the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) since 2008. Prior to this, she lectured in Information Systems and Computer Science both at UTS and at the University of New South Wales, where she also did her PhD in the area of Artificial Intelligence and Spatial Reasoning.

Cost: $108 for HEA members; $116 for non-members. To book into this workshop series please email the organiser, Jane directly: jane_brennan@msn.com