Community Watch: Houston Mini Maker Faire

On Jan 19th, I will showcase student projects at Houston’s first Mini-Maker Faire.  Come see a student-build geodesic dome and participate in a woodworking demonstration lead by student-experts!   Maker Faire brings together families and individuals to celebrate the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset and showcase all kinds of incredible projects. At Maker Faire, you’ll find arts and crafts, science and engineering, food and music, fire and water but what makes this event special is that all these interesting projects and smart, creative people belong together.  It is a show-and-tell format for people of all ages that brings out the “kid” in … Continue reading Community Watch: Houston Mini Maker Faire

Community Watch: Build A Box!

Eight students, six boxes built and finished.  It was a long day in the shop – nearly seven hours with only a few breaks for liquids.  I can  think of a number of great moments: the first box getting nailed together, the last coat of shellac being applied, the look of what-have-I-got-myself-into as the students tackled nearly 40 linear feet of hardwood for the first time.  We captured the moment which stands out most for me in the picture below. Take a good look at the boy in the white shirt.  Take a good look at his smile.  He didn’t get … Continue reading Community Watch: Build A Box!

Community Watch: SIMPLE MACHINES

Some times, I can feel like I’m the only guy out there.  Woodshop teachers are a pretty individual breed and we seem to be evolving or dying or drying out.  Looking around the net, I’ve seen work like http://www.woodshopteachers.org, a “traditional”-minded site, and then I see Doug Stowe’s Wisdom of the Hands blog, a superb educationally-reform minded mediation on sawdust, beauty and the hands’ role in our mental development.  I’ve taken another direction altogether. I’m happy to point out today – I’m not the only guy on the block anymore.  Up in Boston, an elementary school teacher’s started shakin’ and … Continue reading Community Watch: SIMPLE MACHINES

Community Watch: It’s Build a Box Day!

Today at TX/RX Labs, I’ll be leading a class in building a few of these tea boxes.  I’m sending a box to one random contestant on WoodshopCowboy Facebook page, just in time for Christmas. Remember to like WoodshopCowboy on Facebook! And remember: Make it safe & keep the rubber side down this weekend. Continue reading Community Watch: It’s Build a Box Day!

Come Build the Simple Tea Box @ TX/RX Labs Dec. 1st

The good folks at TX/RX Labs invited me back for another weekend of teaching woodworking.  This year, I’ve asked to build some Christmas gifts. We are building the Simple Tea Box – and I’m sending one to the winner of my “First to 30” likes raffle on WoodshopCowboy’s Facebook Page. So like WoodshopCowboy on Facebook, sign up of for a class at TX/RX Labs… …and make it safe & keep the rubberside down. Continue reading Come Build the Simple Tea Box @ TX/RX Labs Dec. 1st

This Week in the Classroom: Art Car

For the past three spring semesters (way back to my work at Citizen Schools) I have led a team of students in the design and construction of an Art Car.  An Art Car, if you don’t know, is an embellished vehicle of some sort.  Last year, I ran a sharkcar, the year before, a gatortruck.  This year, I received permission to use the school bus.  We run our car in The Houston Art Car Parade every second Saturday in May. Of course, whatever I did had to be removable.  Nothing like a challenge. Over two months my students designed, cut out, painted … Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: Art Car

Community Watch: GE Garages

GE Garages. Houston makers, woodworkers and crazed tool-lovers – GE is putting on quite a show at Rice University this week.  I went down on Saturday and got to check out some 3D Printers, Epilogue Laser Cutters, CNC Mills, Injection molders, welders, grinders, sheet metal benders and shapers, Arduinos and more.   A great learning experience if you can get the time – it’s on everyday until May 3rd, so check it out! Continue reading Community Watch: GE Garages

Community Watch: TX/RX Labs

This fall, I will be attending the 3D CAD, Plasma Cutter, Arduino & Welding I&II courses @ TX/RX Labs of Houston, TX.  TX/RX is a non-profit hackerspace – a place for machine and electronic-centric project work -which recently opened on Commerce St.  I’ve been by on their Friday night Open Houses and the crowd seems friendly, diverse and intensely interested in their “thing” – whatever project has lit up their world that day.  It’s a crowd where a teacher like me gets to be a kid again. The group is relatively new, having just picked up their non-profit status.  I’ve … Continue reading Community Watch: TX/RX Labs