Alarmed Secret Treasure Box

Fall 2017

This event was hosted at Sophia Academy, the school that Ximedica partnered with for our outreach program.  Ximedica had a previous connection to Sophia Academy, and the school was a 5-minute drive from our office.  Sophia Academy is an incredible charter middle school for girls from low income homes, so I connected with their faculty to plan two annual events with the school and to coordinate many Ximedica employees joining their existing mentoring program.

The Alarmed Secret Treasure Box is a box that set off an alarm when opened.  We gave the students a quick intro to circuits and told them they'd be given an alarm buzzer, a battery, and wire to connect them.  The big challenge with this project is to create a circuit that completes when the box opens.  This was no easy feat, even for our engineers while we were brainstorming ideas in preparation for the event!  There was a range of reactions and engagement levels from the students at Sophia Academy.  In the group that I assisted, the students rigged a battery to be hung from the top of the box.  As the box was opened, the battery would be righted and would sit on a piece of aluminum foil below it, connecting one of it's terminals and completing the circuit.  It was such a creative idea, and one that none of our adult engineers had thought of!  Some of the other teams struggled to brainstorm and relied heavily on their adult engineer helpers.  This activity was on the more creative/unstructured end of the spectrum, and it was interesting to learn that even at a creativity-focused school like SA, some students needed more time and guidance to get confident in their brainstorming and design skills.

© 2020 Tara Pratap Ebsworth