22-23 Week of 2/6 – 2/10

Hard to believe it has been two weeks since the shop welcomed our new Freshmen class into our ranks. This year we gained 21 new students, and we are excited to have such a great group. They are currently beginning to work on the coding and CAD guides as they learn the skills they will need to make the LED Light Box and SumoBot projects next year.

Senior Jackie Whealan is closing in on the final steps of her Snow Globe project. She writes in her blog:

This week in shop first and foremost I have been working on my snowglobe project.

Last Friday I finally figured out how to do the audio file the way I wanted to. I successfully got the audio file to play as a roughly 2-minute-long wav file on a latch loop. This meant when the power went through the soundboard when I pressed a button the Rudolph song would play and loop. When I pressed the button again it would stop. If the button is pressed a third time the song will restart from the beginning, and continue playing. This is exactly what I wanted!

I had also gotten the chance to do the first part of the water test for the globe by filling it with water; there were no leaks! My teacher then recommended I fill up with water again and leave it over the weekend to see how it sustains over time. This will let me know if continuous water pressure would cause it to leak.

When I came back on Monday I found that the water level had not really changed (and any change could have been caused by evaporation.) This meant, it had withstanded the water pressure and had not leaked. I decided to start sketching and 3D modeling some of the other decorations that will be inside of the snowglobe. Some ideas that I had so far were the front of a log cabin, and some trees. I had the idea to engrave the front of a log cabin onto acryllic or wood (most likely acrylic) as it would add to the snowglobe’s ambiance.

I had the idea to take a bitmap of an image online to engrave, into wood or acryllic and have the trees be 3-Dimensional. I have not modelled them yet, however the plan is two laser cut two sides of the tree that will interlock to become 3-dimenisonal.

I also was working on a lot of National Technical Honor Society with some of my shop time this week, as the vocational school is running a food donation drive. This means I needed to create announcements and forms to gather people’s attention for donating, and members of the society to help collect the items.

Read more at her website here.

Junior Zach Bertocchi took on the MBTA this week with the help of Sophomore Scott Campbell and two other Programming and Web Development students. These students noticed a flaw in the MBTA card system and were able to point out the vulnerability in a meeting with MBTA members. In order to to create a meaningful presentation, they designed and built an MBTA card reader from scratch here in the Engineering shop. Very impressive real life skills shown by this group. Read more about it on Zack’s website:

This week I continued to work on the kiosk for the MBTA and gave a presentation with the rest of the team at 10 Park Plaza in Boston. This week has had a lot of ups and downs trying to build the kiosk. On Tuesday, I dropped the touch screen that we used for the kiosk and it shattered, but we were able to get a new one next day. Our original print for the body of the kiosk turned out to just be a giant waste of filament so I changed the design to include an acrylic front plate and back plate. As I stated in the previous blog, this kiosk is to demonstrate and take advantage of the vulnerabilities within the MBTA fare collection system. The team attended the meeting on February 9th and although there isn’t much that is allowed to be published yet, the people at the MBTA were very impressed and we are excited to continue to work with them for the upcoming months.

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