12/31/16 senior project…

Beth is a senior in high school. Her senior project is going well. They are designing and building a cage to go around a robot that the school has just bought. The original designing was easy, but the teachers keep coming back with design changes. They changed the thickness of the metal that they were making it out of. The students needed to redraw the cage. The teachers changed the size of the cage, it needed to be redrawn, they wanted feet under the corners, another redraw. They have redrawn it about seven times. The teachers then asked for a table to be drawn and built. They can put the table in the cage and put the things that the robot is picking up on it. So they drew the table. They are all done with the design changes and the teachers are happy and have signed off on the designing stage. Beth’s team figured out what material needed to be bought to make the cage and the table and gave a list to the teachers who will send the list out for quotes at different places. Now the team is trying to find things to do while they wait for their material to come in. All of the changes help the students to see what real life will be like. These changes confused the students at first. Usually in class the teacher asks for a report or a project and never changes it. This assignment is closer to what the real world will be like.

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12/8/16 interviews, school and projects…

William had an interview today at the place where he is going to work. He had already interviewed at the temporary agency, but not at the company that he was going to work at. I have started hyperventilating again. He was ready when I got home to pick him up and take him to the interview. I asked at the door before we left if he had had state ID and the other papers that he needed. He had forgotten them so he went back inside to find them. When William came back out of the house, I asked to see the papers again. He had all of his paperwork. I have learned from many years of having older kids that I need to see the things that they need to bring before we leave the house. We have gotten to so many places and not had the correct items or papers. When William came out of the interview he didn’t look happy or sad, but he did have a three ring binder and papers. He said that there were papers to fill out and the binder had the employee handbook. William said that it had gone well and they would need to look at his scores on the test to see what position they would offer him. I think that he was pleased. He asked if we could have a party this weekend to celebrate. We will get pizzas and maybe library movies. The kids should pick out the movies, they don’t like my choices any more.
Maggie is not doing well in most of her classes. I looked at the grades on the computer. She didn’t realize that she was doing poorly in all of her classes. We made a list of things that she needs to do to get her grades up. She needs to let all of her teachers know that she sees that there is a problem, so that they see that she cares. Maggie needs to find out where she can get tutoring for each class. She also needs to talk to a counselor about scheduling next semester. Maggie has about a month to pull this together. I’m really worried. All of her dreams revolve around things she needs a degree to do.
Beth has been working on her senior project with her team. They are designing a cage for a new robot that the school is getting. They almost have all of the drawings done and are ready to start buying the material. They are using 80, 20 pipe. I am not sure what that is. It comes in half inch thick and one inch thick. They had gotten the OK to build it out of half inch pipe. Today the teacher decided that they needed to use one inch pipe. Beth said that they will need to throw out all of their drawings and start over. I said they should print them and show the teacher the steps that they took to get the job done. The teacher wants finished drawings by Friday.
Beth has printed off her first resume that she had made before she had a job. I said that she should keep it and make a second one that included the place that she worked last summer. The name of her boss, phone numbers, start and stop dates and responsibilities. She may need all of this information some day. If she keeps each one it may have some information on it that a new condensed one won’t have. We will start one for William and Maggie when they start working.

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11/20/16 senior projects, field trips and the creek…

Beth’s class is picking senior projects. They were introduced today. The choices were an invention to keep an air compressor quiet, something to go around a robot or something to do with the little laser lights, making a game out of it. They haven’t chosen yet but Beth likes the lasers the best. They need to pick teams too to do the projects. Her class is going to Chicago in two weeks to see a manufacturing museum and to a manufacturing trade show. She is taking one outfit and some snacks and two teddy bears, one for her friend and one for her. She is still so young, and older. She is going out of town with her class, but chooses which teddy bears to take with them. She needed a planner for school. I never thought I would hear her say that. She wants to keep track of all of her assignments and be in all of these clubs. She likes her classes and will start reading Beowulf this week. We went to the car show yesterday.
Maggie had Environmental Science class today. They went out to the creek today to take samples and to get used to the waders and the nets. Maggie has used waders and nets in high school but to a lot of the class this is all new. They all put on waders and went into the creek to look for crayfish which live in shallow water. Maggie found a spot that looked shallow so she stepped in and it was really a big hole. She was away from the other students so she had to get out herself. Se finally pulled her feet out of this mud but she swayed and got a lot of water in her waders. She had to get out of the hole without falling into the water or loosing the net. She used the net as a walking stick to get out. The kids caught some crayfish and threw them back. They were just practicing with the nets and waders. Maggie came home so happy. She loves going to the creek to collect samples. She had wet shoes and socks and pants. Maggie went to her next class and then I picked her up at the bus drop off with no shoes and socks. 

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