Thursday, July 30, 2009

Example Lab Report

Designing the next generation of shoes


First century humans who lived in the arid deserts of modern day Israel, Iran and Saudi Arabia wore rags for shoes. Some people even went shoeless. And recall, most of these people didn’t have cars or bicycles to travel on, but they walked everywhere. Today, many diseases and foot, leg, and back conditions are caused by people not wearing the right kind of shoes or no shoes at all. My team was hired to design the best possible shoe to send back in time to the children of these 1st century inhabitants using any materials we wanted, but we had to begin with a modern day flip-flop.


How can we transform a flip-flop into a comfortable and protective shoe that is also appropriate for a desert climate?


I think the most comfortable and protective shoe that is also appropriate for a desert climate would have to be made from a variety of materials in a very specific way. I think the shoe sole would have to be solid and wide, like a paddle, with a soft and comfortable insole, where the foot would stand upon. I think this because sand is soft and in order to move across it well, the shoe would need to be wide and solid like a snow-shoe in order to most effectively travel across the sand. I also think the shoe cover would have to be very light weight, breathable and cover the whole foot. It would need to be light weight so as not to get to heavy that walkers would grow tired from its mass. It would need to be breathable due to the extremely hot and arid temperatures. And, it would need to cover the whole foot to protect it from injury from the gritty sand, sharp grasses and cacti that would grow in the area.


2 Flip flops
1 Scissors
1 ruler (with cm)
1 old pair of boots
1 old pair of running shoes with mesh coverings
Needle and thread
Shoe glue
Scotch Tape


Take both flip flops and cut off the straps with the scissors
Take the boots and separate the sole from the rest of the shoe
Sew the soles of the boots to the flip flop bottoms and glue along the seems
Take the running shoes and cut the mesh part off the shoes
First tape the mesh to the flip flop sole so that there is an opening for the foot to go inside
Then, use the needle and thread to sew the mesh onto the flip flop sole


In order to test the comfort and protective nature of this shoe we designed the following tests:

Comfort Test = 10 people put the shoe on and scored it a comfort level 1 being low and 10 being heavenly.
Protective Test = we had 5 different people each walk 1 mile with the shoes on and compared the condition of there feet before and after there walk.

Comfort Test:

Person Score
1 6
2 7
3 5
4 8
5 7
6 6
7 6
8 5
9 6
10 2

Average Score = 5.8

Protective Test:

Before After

Dry and no scrapes Moist and no scrapes
Dry and one scab Dry and no scab
Dry and no scrapes Moist and a small blister
Dry and no scrapes Moist and 2 small blisters
Dry and no scrapes Moist and no scrapes
Dry and no scrapes Moist and no scrapes
Dry and no scrapes Moist and no scrapes
Dry and no scrapes Moist and 3 small blisters
Dry and no scrapes Dry and no scrapes
Dry and no scrapes Moist and 1 small blister


Let me begin by commenting about what we did wrong, I think. First, we hurried through the making of our shoes. This can be a problem because if the shoe has the right parts but you rushed to make it than its quality can go down. Second, I do not think the protective test was set up correctly. We were trying to figure out a way to see if this new shoe would work well for people in a hot, arid desert. However, we don’t have a hot, arid desert around here to test in, so our results here will be different then how they perform in a hot, arid desert. Also, we sent people on a 1-mile walk, whereas, during the first century, I found out that people could easily walk between 5 – 15 miles per day. Thus, the data we have does not accurately show the types of stress the shoes would actually be under when we’d send them back in time to be used by the children.

In our protective test, we showed that foot moisture was very common, and we would likely need to determine a way to decrease sweatiness by using a variety of inner sole materials and varying the shoe cover materials besides just mesh. However, our shoe did show that there were very few feet that were hurt due to external damage from grass, sticks and other things that could damage a foot. That was good!

Further, our test was not conclusive in determining whether or not having a paddle-style sole was helpful. This was due to having no sand to test the walking on. Further, we did not test for how the weight of the shoe affected the walkers’ tiredness. Thus, as you can see, we would need to continue to test these shoes and use our data to reform our questions and design new tests.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

On a More Personal Note

For thousands of Kentucky teachers, myself included, debt is something that may be presummed after completing a Masters program. However, around 5,000 teachers in this state "bought" into a program through the Student Loan People, which promised complete loan forgiveness conditioned upon the teacher continuing to teach within Kentucky in a critical need area. But, the program was quickly vaporized and has left these thousands of teachers in significant debt, with a combined total debt that exceeds $100 million dollars. The issue is complex and layered and illegal. But, this article is the best I am aware of that explains the details behind what happened and how it COULD be remedied. To view this great article, click HERE!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Technology Reflection: Take Two

Before my "Teaching with Technology" class began, I was eager to learn about technology. But, I was also a bit naive and even fearful of how difficult the task could be to master technology, so as to become an asset and practitioner in the classroom and the school where I am employed. Getting into this, I assumed the role of a squire, who in the days of knights and lords, accompanied knights on their adventurous missions, but was by no means the expert fieldsman. Yet, I felt that the route to technology would be as adventurous as following a knight. And, minus the gore, it has been.

In fact, in my first reflection I said the following, "In true tale, technology is more an elusive liviathan than a tamed cat. It is a beast I have yet to slay. It is a peak I have yet to crest. It is a wild mare who bears no bit. Technology is the great land for courageous lords, brave knights, and self- controlled maidens, not for squires, such as I. But, alas, it is my duty. Bring me a sword. Toss me some boots. Hand me a bit. Grant me a map. Adventures are ahead." In stating these words, I was expressing my own limitations and lack of experience around technology. Yet, I also was expressing a certain degree of hopeful optimism, that indeed, I could become more proficient with time, effort and God's good grace.

After about two weeks of intense computer pecking, word searching, scalp scratching, late-night blogging and late-morning computer crashing (today around 11AM. . .yikes, I thought she was a goner), I can say with confidence that this class has added a value to my learning that has scarce been a reality since I've been alive. I love creating. . .it is in this that I often find myself expressing the character of God most joyously. Now, equipped with many tools (while still working on mastery) I believe I can not only integrate technology into my room, but I can help students integrate this tool into their lives in ways that will inspire them to continue the life-long journey of learning.

In particular, I have especially enjoyed the following:
  • Making a digital story to share
  • Podcasting
  • Learning how to Skype
  • Making picture sets on
  • Getting started with a RSS Feed (Aggregator)--still not sure how to exactly use these words in sentences??
  • AND MOST OF ALL. . . blogging.

Though there is much to learn and master, I feel I've gotten my feet wet and am ready to begin to try out the swimming. I am excited to collaborate with my science team at school and to also try and convince my administration of the necessity to clear blocks for students to use blogging and at my school. I am hopeful, through showing off my proficiency and showing assignment samples, that my school will be quick, and yet wise, in adding these resources to our students list of skills and learning pedagogies.

Flikr to Blog Assignment

Students may use the picture and link of the landforms to complete their assignment. Further, if students desire to peruse the online Flickr for a landform, they can use the following search words:
  1. Pictured Rocks, Michigan
  2. Himalayan Mountains
  3. Mt. Everest
  4. Grand Canyon
  5. Mid-Atlantic Ridge
  6. Island
  7. Caves
  8. Sea Arches
  9. Cliffs
  10. Volcanic Eruptions
  11. Weathering
  12. Erosion

Students must identify one photo that depicts a landform and then post the picture on their blog and follow the rubric for commenting on the picture.

Steamer Lane

Steamer Lane
Originally uploaded by MastaBlasta

No Fault of My Own

No Fault of My Own
Originally uploaded by evanembee