New Year, New Classes

Spring 2012 is here!  I have just a (few) new classes.  A quick rundown after the jump:

STEM Fair Month:  Due to personnel issues, I’m extending myself to cover science/math class (two in fact).  I’m also hoping to be the creative energy behind a STEM fair this January.  I’m not sure why I volunteer to do these things.  I’ll post some of our brainstorming resources and project progress as we approach the showcase date.  So far, my students will be engaging in 3D printing, Arduino projects from Make magazine, rocketry, Mentos fountains and perfume through distillation, car rockets and robotic camera cars. Yeah.  I definitely don’t know why I volunteer to do these things.

Tech Classes:  Once the STEM fair is finished, I will be attached as a Technology teacher again.  I will offer CS II, Microcontrollers, and 3D Printing.  I plan on ignoring Electronics until I myself walk through the Make: Electronics book.  But I might build an RC car.  That’d be fun.

I've christened my classroom the Steamworks. Why? Because it's nominally a STEM class - but I come at it with a healthy dose of Arts and I hope the kids will work there. Hence, Steamworks.

Woodshop Classes:

My woodshop is attached to a group of students with limited academic skills, but too old, too wise and too socially astute for a developmental curriculum.  I see them  working in stockrooms, as apprentice carpenters, gardeners and landscapers, even low-skilled caregivers.  I see these students through two periods, Math/Science and their executive functions course.

I’m currently building seesaws and paper gliders in support of the above STEM Fair during the Math/Science portion of my day and benches during the executive functioning portion.  As an outreach to the community, I plan on holding a “community” workshop with my boys.  The boys, I hope, will teach their fathers, uncles, grandparents, etc. the basics of hand-tool woodworking.   More so than traditional make’m-take’m projects, I feel this endgame will give the students a certain pride.  I know if I ever get good enough to teach my father a few things, I’d be proud.

Also, I will try to participate in the Art Car parade and continue the success with the Bike Barn.  Art Car will be a tough gig to participate in.  I sense lots of opportunity, but even more and more effort.  I’m a little unsure of the work/life balance if I pursue this.

I leave you with some pictures of my first days back in the fold.

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Make it safe & keep the rubber side down.