The Robert Land Academy automotive club recently completed rebuilding a 1972 Volkswagen Super Beetle, which was sold during our 2021 online auction.
The club will be working to rebuild another car beginning in 2021. The students learn common automotive skills such as changing a tire, oil changes and dent repairs as well as more complex tasks including window repair and installation, fuel cell installation, electrical work, structural welding and more.
Working in pairs, with time to discuss their work, seek advice or discuss alternative methods to complete a task, students also learn auto body skills such as welding, sanding, grinding, painting, surface preparation, bodywork, fabrication, and many others.
The Robot Club meets every Thursday to design, build and program lego robots. As a starter exercise students begin by building the base, track-driven model to which they can add sensors and actuators.
The first task is to build fighting, sumo robots that can be remotely controlled through a Bluetooth link to their iMac.
Designs are refined and improved as boys battle their robots against each other. Boys soon gain an intuitive understanding of concepts like mechanical advantage as they discover that gears can improve the torque of their flippers, while longer levers are harder to move. Boys are then free to develop their own robots, building on the experience they have gained.
This could be a programmed robot that uses a single light sensor to follow a line, or a multi-sensored robot that is able to navigate our robot maze autonomously, or even an autonomous fighting robot that can sense its opponent and react accordingly.