Hello! It’s been a busy few weeks since I’ve last been on here. The work never ends with Project VENTURA. Each class there is always something that we have assigned or an activity we need to finish from previous classes. Last class (Thursday) we finished learning about a few simple machines: levers and wheel & axles. To get a better understanding of what these machines actually did Ms. JO gave us several physics-like activities relating to how levers and wheel & axles work. Why are we learning about simple machines? Well they are actually all around us and most people don’t realize it. In the Airstream the windows have levers that are used to open them. Wheel & axles can be found on the wheels of the trailer (surprise, surprise). Originally we learned about the basics of these simple machines through a powerpoint made by PLTW but I did not fully understand them until Ms. JO explained them in class. Also, I think that the levers lab we did was very useful in understanding what the different type of levers were and how they differentiated.
This Airstream definitely has a loooong way to go before it’s ready to be presented to our clients. A few classes ago we put together a giant poster with the results of the teacher surveys. The poster shows us how many of them want the specific appliances we came up with, how often and why it’d be used along with other ideas that the faculty mentioned. It seemed like a majority of the faculty wanted kitchen appliances like a microwave, refrigerator, and also places to eat or grade papers. Unfortunately there were a few faculty members who said that they would most likely not use the commons area, however in comparison to the amount of people who said they would use it we have nothing to worry about.
Even though we have not started the floor plan or interior design of the Airstream, many teams including mine have already began brainstorming. From some research I found that darker colors make the room seem smaller and light colors make it seem more spacious. Although the trailer is a good size, it is very possible that it could become crowded as we add furniture and more than 5 teenage girls are inside. To prevent this from becoming a problem my team and I decided that we want a navy blue trim and white base. The white Ally, Meredith, and I have in mind is a soft, creamy white, but light enough to give the illusion that the commons area is larger. When I was on Hofmann Architecture, a website, there was an Airstream Portfolio full of remodeled Airstreams. One of the trends I noticed was that the interior of all of them were painted white.
Interior designing is not the only aspect of Project VENTURA. Many of the faculty said in the surveys that they wanted exterior seating like picnic tables. The 7th grade science classes are designing the landscape of the commons area but I went ahead and researched some native plants to Texas, specifically Austin, that we could include in the exterior. According to the Texas AgriLife Extension, white mist flower, Grandma’s yellow rose, and Texas sage are all different shrubs that could easily grow in Austin’s climate. Some perennials native to Texas are the copper canyon daisy, fall aster, and perennial hibiscus. These shrubs and perennials are gorgeous and I think they would look lovely in front of the Airstream.
It is so exciting to be learning all of this new information. With all of the practice we’ve done I think that I am now eligible to call myself an expert on simple machines. Even though it has been a little stressful I am enjoying this project and I think it is only going to get better. I can only wonder how much I will know about Airstreams by the end of this school year.