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They see me rollin’

Published April 5, 2018
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By David Shircliff, Pitsco Lab Facilitator, Stone Hill Middle School, Loudoun County, VA

If you have been keeping up with trends lately, you probably know about hover boards – those small, low-to-the-ground, ride-on toys that use gyro stabilization to allow riders to ride, or hover, on only two wheels. Well, back in the day, there was another type of hover board, one that was going to change the world: the Segway.

Maybe you have ridden one on a vacation tour; I rode one for the first time in the Bahamas on an island tour and was hooked. When I got back, I wanted to get a Segway, but I got sticker shock. New units cost around $5,000, and used ones were around $1,500. As a teacher, I have all sorts of money to spend on toys, but even that was a little rich for me. What is a person to do? Buy a broken one and fix it, of course.

I found a used, nonworking one on the Internet for $100 and set about fixing it. It took a while, but with the help of a local Segway dealer and $400 worth of nickel metal hydride batteries, I got it running. Now, I use it in my STEM lab.

Not only does it allow me to navigate my rather large lab more quickly, it makes a great jumping-off point for classroom discussions about this type of technology and its history, which leads up to the hover board toys my students ride today. Maybe Pitsco can include a Segway with each new lab – just a suggestion.

“Everything fell into place with the STEM PD. I’ve been astounded by the creativity and the innovative ideas that our teachers have come up with in doing the design challenges that they’ve been given by the Pitsco facilitators.”

– Nicole Murray, district STEM coordinator, Duplin County, North Carolina

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