This year was a big year in the STEaMworks (STEM focus, art driven, work/project centered: the STEaMworks), my self-styled Maker classroom. We (and the Math/Sci Team) built a lot of projects: rockets, rocket cars, derby cars, catapults, simple robots, box-making, bench-making, bridge-building, sail-testing, music making, spirographs, pendulums, 3D prototyping, CAD models, Arduino projects, Alice computer programming, Art Cars, shed construction, a digital STEM Fair and more. I’ve just typed that up and still can’t believe it! Nine months and so much sweat, math, science, art and tears. How did we (my co-workers and rock-solid team, my students and my very … Continue reading Making A Makerspace: Top 10 Tools in a Maker’s Classroom (2012)
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
You’ve been to a science fair, right? Tri-fold boards, volcanoes and blue ribbons. This month, my colleagues and I shepherded the “STEM Fair” into existence. The STEM Fair is a showcase for any Science, Technology, Engineering or Math project our students produced over the course of a month. My school produced forty to fifty blog posts, hundreds of digital pictures, a dozen two minute videos, thirty presentations and about ten individual physical showcases. I have a room filled with Japanese art-chemistry, rocket cars, rockets of various propulsion methods, a small robot, a Lego-Branded robot, paper gliders, a seesaw and more. … Continue reading Technology in Education: The Digital STEM Fair
I’m knee deep in the STEM Fair. Some examples of work from my two or three classes of students. make it safe & keep the rubber side down. Continue reading This Week in the Classroom: STEM Fair
The Fall 2011 semester came to an end last week. I’m taking stock of what-used-to-be (my previous semesters classes) and re-tooling, re-gearing and re-searching my way into new course-load.
I’d like to start with my Computer Science & Electronics course. I described this course as:
This course introduces computer programming to students with little or no prior programming or technology experience. Students will use Alice, 3D graphical computer language, to introduce basic computer science theory. Topics to be covered include program design and problem solving, Boolean operators, logic statements, loops and flowcharts. Unlike other languages, Alice lends itself to an exploration of thought, rather than an exercise in coding or mathematical ability. If time allows, the Python language will also be explored. In the electronics portion, students will explore basic electronic concepts of resistance, current and voltage. Students will learn to build, manipulate and understand basic circuits & operate the tools necessary to create these circuits. Students will identify basic parts, such as resistors, switches, wires and capacitors.
So, let’s go over the class and see how I did and what I will do better in the future.
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