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:
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.