Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Feedback is a Necessity, Not a Luxury

This past weekend, team PivoRest met with the physical therapists at Wesley Heath Care Center again to get feedback on our current design. They gave us great advice on how to improve the elbow piece and suggested we use Kydex plastic to make the armrest more durable. In class, we modified our Inventor drawing of the plastic so we can cut the holes out with the laser cutter instead of with a drill. In addition to this, we re-presented our introduction portion of our final presentation.

Presentation Skills

Lets be honest, public speaking is daunting for many of us. Presenting to a class can be flustering but presenting to a board of professionals will become more stressful. This is why we need to improve our public speaking skills to show those professionals that we are serious about what we do and that they should also be interested. Our group has taken pointers on how to improve our slide shows, using the information as a guide and not a book. Poise has also come up as a topic of discussion. Things that are not thought of when presenting can make you seem uneasy or hidden. We just want the people judging us to be focused on our work an not just how we present it.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Fundraising and Presentations

We were able to do some fundraising for our class by putting on an laser tag event at Outerzone. We were able to raise around $250 but we still need to fund raise more to meet our goals. In class all three of the groups presented their intro for their final presentations. We each have things to work on so we are going to present the intros again next class. Our group has to work on adding more details and pictures. After we practice several times it should get easier and easier and all of the groups should be able to make a great final presentation.

Developing the Final Step

As the year's end approaches, our focus is transitioning from the testing phase to assembling our final presentation. We're still working on testing our product, of course, but at the same time we're starting to put our presentation together. This includes both working on organizing our process throughout the year and on developing our public speaking skills. After giving presentations of our introductory slides which covered the problem our group spent the year solving, we received some valuable constructive criticism from the class. As we keep adding to both our presentation and our performance skills using this feedback, we expect to streamline our final presentation into a smooth, professional reflection of our efforts throughout the year.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Growing STEM Opportunities

With technology advancing, Saratoga Springs High School is creating more and more STEM opportunities for students.  Read more here!

Preparing to Present

Today in class Connor and Brian were diligently working on the PowerPoint for our presentation for the Board of Engineers meeting. We want to make sure that it is perfect. As well Tom began working on the progress report for the month of April. The progress report is a wrap up of what our group accomplished this month. That includes testing the backpack and the bar. We are very excited about the results we have gathered. Alex and Eric also were making slight adjustments to the backpack that we currently have to improve the strength and look. We plan to finish up the backpack and the presentation soon. 

Wrapping Everything Up

We have began editing and creating parts of the final presentation. The testing procedures and the introduction are the focus at the moment. We are also gathering data from the video review rubric to implement in our final presentation. To gather more video reviews, we plan to give community service hours to people who want to help out and review videos. Each member of our group has individually taken home copies of the rubric and rated videos themselves. Once this is complete we will cross-test the videos to prove the validity of our testing procedures.

Divine Design

Today in class we began the final presentation for the PivoRest that we will show at the final presentation in June. It is a PowerPoint that contains all the information we have gathered over the course of the year; we are currently working on the introduction. It will include our problem, competitive technologies, and an overview of our solution. We also joined the ball-and-socket joint to the rest, which can be seen in the attached picture. Preparations are being made for our meeting on Friday at Wesley, where we will present our final design to the physical therapists and get their ultimate feedback on it. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Testing Procedures

Today in class, we presented our testing procedure for our armrest. While going through the presentation our peers reviewed us.  We took the criticism and now are in the process of refining it. Doing this will help us judge the success of our project better towards the end of the year using feedback from others. At the same time we also have kept working on the armrest, trying to better our design, and pushing it further towards the final project we will present in June.

Video Evaluations

We have been reviewing videos and testing our rubric. Soon we will have a plethora of videos to put up on the website at our current rate of reviewing. The next step is to cross check the videos we approved and to make sure that our user actually likes the videos we are choosing. We also plan on emailing all the owners of the videos to let them know how they did on our test and also give constructive criticism.

Wrapping Up

Today we outlined everything we needed to get done by the end of the year. We figured out what testing procedures we will be doing and how to test them. Two of our tests are the strength testing where we loaded the bag until failure and also a weather test, where we set out samples of our fabric exposed to the weather for several days. We are going to have volunteers test a bag and its functionality for a week to get some feedback. After testing is wrapped up we will begin to get ready for the final presentation. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Taking Inventory

Today we took inventory of all of our bag materials. Since we only plan to make one more prototype, we don't really need to worry about ordering a lot more materials this time around. A few things we need to order though are; black 3/4" grosgrain finishing ribbon, 600 denier black nylon, 36" black zippers and black nylon type 46V thread. Our group also started to try and come up with ideas for a poster for our E.D.D. laser tag fundraiser later in the month. We also started our materials testing power point  to help explain the different processes we've used to test our backpack.

For the Group and the Class

We are steadily working through YouTube videos and brainstorming ways to test the website usability. The rubric is already a solid testing piece for videos, so we're glad we don't need to worry about that. In addition to working on testing, a member of our group with some graphics experience is also working on an advertisement for a fundraising laser-tag event hosted by our class. It will be a challenge to have it finished in time to post it in the halls of the school, but the funds expected to be gained from the event will be well worth it. 

The Perfect Curve

Today, team PivoRest used our new laser cutter to shape a new piece of plastic for our prototype. The laser cutter allows us to cut smooth edges that will not hurt the sensitive skin of the patients. While the plastic was being cut out, we worked on our testing process PowerPoint. This presentation, which will be given next class, will discuss our testing rubric and become part of our final presentation in June. Soon, we will be able to use this testing rubric to get feedback from patients on our armrest. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Testing Procedures

To be able to present our work at the end of the year with the most professional and working product, we have began testing our work. To find out which videos to put on our website we have a rubric to go over other YouTube user's videos. We will be testing our own website to see how it compares to other websites. Once finished, we will have enough testing done to prove that our website is as good as it possibly could be. 

Final Design and Testing

Recently, the members of PivoRest have come up with a final design implementing various curves into the layout of the armrest.  These curves will make it very difficult for the patient’s skin to get pinched by rotation the armrest about the elbow, increasing comfort.  We are also doing testing on our prototypes to check for final error.  We are recording the results and putting them into a PowerPoint to have them ready for the end of the year presentation.

Weight Testing

Today in class we tested our very first prototype. We tested the bag by hanging it on a bar and adding five pounds at a time to see how much weight we could hold. We ended up running out of room to put the weights in the bag so we had to improvise. We took a curl bar and put it in between the straps and the back of the back pack and added weight that way. We ended up getting over 400 pounds in the bag before it broke.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Blogs go Viral!

Click the links above to see inside footage of all three teams demonstrating tasks that are necessary to complete their projects! 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Rubrics and Robotics

Today in class the majority of our group was at the FIRST Robotics competition, so we had to work on a few odd jobs that would be easy to do without them. This included revising our testing rubric to make the questions more specific, as well as creating the template for our armrest on Autodesk Inventor so we can cut it out with our new laser cutter as opposed to our band saw. We plan on giving the rubric to Heather when we have our meeting in mid-April, when we get back from spring break. That way she has a set list of things to watch out for when testing the PivoRest with a patient. The Inventor drawing will also make it a lot easier to make new rests since we just have to pull up the file and let the laser cutter do all the work! For now, the people who will be around for spring break are planning to meet up a few times to work, and then we will all meet back up on April 8th!