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Author Topic: Congresswoman Judy Biggert Helps Launch Bolingbrook After-School Science Program  (Read 9329 times)
john.emde
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« on: November 04, 2012, 08:51:22 AM »

Program partners include the Fox Valley Electric Auto Association,   Bolingbrook Police Department,   Argonne National Laboratory, and   iCracked Inc.,   a national smart phone repair company.  Loyola University Chicago professor Dr. Marlon James will assist in conducting an evaluation of the programís impact on student academic and social outcomes.

http://judybiggert.house.gov/press-releases/biggert-helps-launch-bolingbrook-afterschool-science-program/

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rich.carroll
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2012, 09:21:18 AM »

FVEAA has agreed to be a part of an after school project at the Brooks Middle School in Bolingbrook.  The US Department of Energy has a National Science Bowl program with two parts, aimed at middle schoolers (6th, 7th and 8th grades).  The first is a 'college bowl' quiz program with a regional competition and a national runoff.  The second part is an electric vehicle construction and race for the middle schoolers.

We are working with City of Hope Covenant Church (who already partners with Brooks Middle School in other programs) and the US Department of Energy, Argonne National Labs (who runs the regional competition for the National Science Bowl), and, of course the teachers and staff at Brooks Middle School, especially the Science Department.

Our program will start in January with the students beginning to construct race cars from the kits provided by the DoE, through Argonne National Labs.  The kit contains an electric motor, lithium battery cell, recharger, and a pack of wheels, tires, axles, etc.  The goal is to develop a race car that can follow a fishing line strung across a gymnasium in the least possible time.  First one to the other side is the winner, and the winners get a paid trip to the finals in Washington DC.

The students are strongly encouraged to try their motor and battery with a simple gear ratio, and experiment with different drive ratios, different wheel sizes, different tires, etc.  Good experimentation will likely yield the best results.  We have been shown a winning car from the past that used a continuously variable transmission (CVT) which is common in the automotive marketplace as an energy saving transmission.  The student adaptation that we were able to watch, used two Baskin-Robbins ice cream cones, each on an adjustable mounting, and connected with a rubber band.  By aligning the cones (by trial and error) the kit EV was able to start the race in a low gear, and continue to change the 'gear' ratio so as to continue accelerating when all the competitors had achieved their top speed.

We plan to be at Brooks Middle School in January on Tuesday afternoons through January and February.  We would love to have company, but call me first to make sure we are meeting that day.

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Rich Carroll                           rc@rc.to
todd.dore
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2012, 08:23:16 PM »

Rich - thanks for your summary.  Does the election result have an effect of this program getting off the ground?
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rich.carroll
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2012, 05:57:48 AM »

Not in the least. Congresswoman Biggert (and her aide Brian Colgan) helped put the initial people together, but won't have any ongoing responsibilities.

Rich - thanks for your summary.  Does the election result have an effect of this program getting off the ground?

We will keep Judy up to date on emails, and she would be welcome to stop by at any of the sessions, but the program seems to be set up to run to conclusion.

Rich
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Rich Carroll                           rc@rc.to
bruce.jones
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2012, 01:53:00 PM »

Got a call from Marlon James (who spoke at our last meeting) and he THANKED the FVEAA for it's excellent work. THey received lots of good feedback from everyone who attended the program.  Rich thank you for taking this on. . .Who else was there?
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rich.carroll
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« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2012, 02:02:20 PM »

John Emde and I were the two FVEAA attendees.  We each talked to over 1200 middleschoolers, usually 6-20 at a time. I was exhausted, but felt very appreciated.  The folks from City of Hope Covenant Church are very friendly and super helpful.

Rich
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Rich Carroll                           rc@rc.to
rich.hirschberg
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2012, 08:28:08 PM »

And a big thank you FROM me as well. Thanks John Emde and Rich Carroll for doing this. I hope it is overwhelmingly successful.

Take care,
Rich Hirschberg
Outreach guy for FVEAA
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