July 6, 2015, Day 1:

Phil Cook and Daniella DiLacqua

On July 6, 2015, 12 teachers of various disciplines and levels of experience began the SMARTER RET program at NYU Poly. The morning session of our first day of the RET program was spent being introduced to a brief history of RET at NYU Poly, which included an overview of previous projects. After an introduction and program overview by Professor Kapila and Ph.D. candidate Jared Alan Frank, the teachers completed their first task a pre-assessment on principles of circuitry and mechatronics. At that moment, we discovered the uncomfortable feelings our students face when they are given diagnostic testing. It certainly set our expectations of all the principles we hope to learn this summer. We were also introduced to our fellow participants in the program, and were provided project kits which we would use throughout the duration of the training sessions to become familiar with the interplay of software and hardware. After lunch, Jared lectured on the basics of circuitry that was followed by a laboratory experience with the teachers in teams. This first lesson focused on resistors and during lab activities we created several circuits involving series and parallel connections of resistors, and we characterized the circuits in terms of current, voltage and resistance using theoretical calculations as well as direct measurement using tabletop and handheld multimeters. It should be a fascinating and challenging summer as we move from the foundations of mechatronics to craft research projects that we can bring back to our classrooms.