DCA or Discover Create Advance exists to make effective project based learning possible for teachers and students. DCA is currently focused on building a library of highly motivating projects, providing alternative funding for great projects, and posting a series of videos that assist teachers and students in facilitating project based learning.
Beta Bot: An Example Project from High Tech High Media Arts
DCA grew out of three years of trial and error in an applied physics course at High Tech High Media Arts. Beta Bot, a project that came from this course, illustrates the engineering design process. Students, Ali, Josh and Shelma decided they were going to do something different when they designed Beta Bot. Beta Bot is an autonomous underwater “mood robot” made out of a plastic cookie jar. When Beta Bot is disturbed by an obstacle or a human it throws a “tantrum” by turning red and shifting its motors back and forth. When Beta Bot is “depressed” it turns blue and sinks to the bottom of the tank. Beta Bot was built by students with no prior experience in electronics, programming, materials science or manufacturing. DCA is working to help make projects like Beta Bot accessible to teachers and students who would otherwise not attempt an engaging project based approach. If you want to learn more or build your own click on the following HTHMA student work archive website: Beta Bot