For this project, due next week, the students have to use Autocad to construct a puzzle, and the teacher explains quite carefully that he will be the “consultant” for groups working on their puzzle, and he explains the role of a consultant.   First, we spend time talking about what puzzle we are going to create.  My group here is going to do a word-search on the autosketch program.  The assignment reads as follows:  ”Dear GeoCadd students: This year, the New Tech journalism staff is set to publish our first series of school newsletters.   The publication staff and teachers have discussed having a puzzle section for the publication.   The students of GeoCadd have been given the commission to develop a series of solitary puzzles like Sudoku or a crossword and solutions to be published for the periodic newsletter.  Puzzle and solutions submitted will be judged by the publication staff and your fellow students in a gallery walk format.    Submissions will be judged based on the quality of: 1. Instruction and Strategy Guide; 2. Solution using Statement-Reason proof; 3. CADD design of the puzzle meeting publication criteria (see rubric); 4. 20 copies of the sample puzzle for judging (presentation day).   Your team must be ready to have your entry judged on Oct. 15th, 2008, in order to be considered for publication.   We look forward to all the puzzles that will make our new publication more enjoyable!”

Our group of three is working on this, in autosketch, and employing some excellent trial and error technique.  They have designed a box for their word search, and now putting in lots of letters trying to make it take the format they are intending.   I go around the room and check out the other projects they have already done, on display on the walls.   “Sketch-a-House” required them to become familiar Sketch-up, and conceptualize a home, build it using sketch-up, and calculate the square footage.    “Zednellim building project” has them conceptualize a high rise building using basic shapes in Sketchup, learn basic area formulas for these shapes and use them to calculate the total area of their building.    “Plot the Dot” introduces them to AutoSketch and has them work with a lot on a sloping hill, divide this lot into several smaller lots, and calculate the true lengths of the sides of their lots using the Pythagorean theorem.   “Equal Access” has them in a situation where they design access ramps for the disabled to get from one level to the next, and learn and apply trigonemetric ratios to meet required lengths and angles for their ramps.

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