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The PancakeBot is a wonderful device for teaching the idea of "Bracketing" as a research strategy. There is a "sweet spot" in the consistency of batter that is largely controlled by the amount of water (or milk) added to a finite and known amount of powder mix. If too little fluid is added the PancakeBot has trouble dispensing. If too much fluid is added, the batter runs with little control. So, before using the PancakeBot, the teacher can explain how to make iterative measurements of the fluid on either side (too little or too much) in ever decreasing amounts until the optimal measurement is found.
Example:
Run #1 - Fluid is 20% less than the directions on the mix recipe
Run #2 - Fluid is 20% more than the directions on the mix recipe
Run #3 - Fluid is 10% less than the directions on the mix recipe
Run #4 - Fluid is 10% more than the directions on the mix recipe
Run #5 - Fluid is 5% less than the directions on the mix recipe
etc.
The cool thing about each run with the PancakeBot is that the affect is immediately demonstrated and points the direction one should go. If using 20% less works; but, doesn't completely fill, then instead of bracketing to +20%, perhaps -10% is the real bracket,. I can visualize children really having a lively discussion about which direction and how much they should bracket.
  • Miguel Valenzuela Thanks Thomas. I appreciate the ideas and posts. Please keep them coming. I think the idea of switching over to a better forum may be best though at some point.