Robert’s Rockin’ Rocket
Betsy and Renee Try Out Rocket
Pictures of Design
Robert’s Drawing of Rocket
Renee and Mariel using the saw.
Robert liked our ideas, and gave us his preferences for colors. He wanted green lily pads initially, but after his dad mentioned that they might be hard to see on the lawn, he asked for his second favorite – pink. We spray painted the lily pads neon pink on the driveway. If you see any hot pink out there, it’s not us. He also asked for a red or pink frog with lights inside. Renee tried, but failed miserably. We’ll see how he reacts to the frog today and take his feedback into account (recast if necessary). His favorite parts of our ideas were the rope and that the screen will show how high it went.
Ideas for the Future
Robert’s Rocket Launcher is designed to grow with the child. At first, it is fun to play with projectiles and get experience with projectile motion. Later, the user can be challenge to maximize distance or height or hang time. The Launcher allows these outputs to be related to the inputs of stomping force and angle of inclination. The toy can help with trigonometry (sin and cosine), calculus (optimization), statistics (accuracy, precision, variance, measure of central tendency) and physics (pressure/volume relationships, projectile motion, electricity and circuits) problems. The Launcher also has a “Pixar design” where there are several entry points to interact with the toy including some, like programming, that will appeal to the adult supervisor. Eventually, the student can use the cricket logo code and scratch interfaces to learn programming.