For those of you who have been around the forum for a while, “Reports of my death…” and all that
Anyway, decided to peek back into the forum - haven’t been here since the revamp - and I was pleased to see that a few of my posts have even survived. (I have also reached out to Valeria93 and invited her to resume our old habits, for those long-recalling elephants out there who still remember us. Hoping…)
So, this post is entitled “Thinking Space” because it’s where I get a lot of my inspiration for building. To me, a proper “thinking space” for vex has lots going on.
- visible and accessible build components
- partial builds (even failures) lying about
- A few misc hexbug builds floating around
We (classroom teacher, students, and I) recently organized all the vex IQ in the classroom in which I volunteer, putting everything into open bins, and it was inspiring to see the students just “standing there” looking at all the parts and/or staring off into space, “thinking” about their builds.
That’s what “thinking space” is all about.
I travel as a volunteer, so my parts are always in stowaway tackle boxes. (See sample photo - and i f interested in my entire organization for this, feel free to ask.), so when “I” work on vex, I sit right down on the floor and arrange all my stowaways in a circle around me, everything within sight, everything within reach.
Of course, buying all of it (and getting it all organized) took years, and no small amount of eBay auctions, but the organizational piece really is vital to my design process. I spread everything out so it’s visible and accessible, and I never stop with just one build. Usually it takes seven or more And until I run out of parts, I keep early designsfor reference as I build the improved versions, “building on” what worked, improving what didn’t.
In the classroom, this means a partially built steering mechanism or differential gear example, multiple gear trains, (or similar), always lying about somewhere so that students can look at them for inspiration.
I don’t spend much time demonstrating how rack gears work - I leave one assembled and visible!
If any of you are NOT doing this, just throwing it out there: investing in a quality organizational system and keeping everything “right there” makes a huge difference. And a totalky clean lab…? Might be counter-productive. Pick up the individual parts, but always leave a few partial builds lying about.
As always, thanks for reading!