Making cardboard, #FunkeyFunkey, and @Scratch slot machines starring @brearleynyc’s class mascots for our upcoming Casino Night. #MakerEd #STEAM

Before Thursday’s Upper School performance of Guys and Dolls at The Brearley School, there will be a Supper Club Casino Night for the community with games led by faculty. I offered to help, though I was worried about being responsible for learning and facilitating Poker or Blackjack, so I offered to make some slot machines.

I figured there must be a bunch of programs shared by the awesome Scratch-user community, and they didn’t disappoint. I remixed this project generously offered by Jcg127:

I removed the Yay! and Jackpot! procedures and swapped in nine new costumes representing Brearley’s class mascots (camel, penguin, tiger, owl, duck, buffalo, elephant, bear) and the official school mascot (beaver).  I then found some cardboard in the recycle bin and built some quick yet sturdy casings for three separate laptops.

I knew I’d use some of our FunkeyFunkey boards for the project and was originally considering a physical lever with a tilt sensor. I imagined having a hinge or printing 3D pieces (similar to Makedo parts) to hold a long cardboard tube in place (I have a stockpile of cardboard tubes from wrapping paper rolls). A rubber-band stretched somewhere would allow the lever to pull forward yet return upright for its home position, and the tilt sensor inside the tube would recognize when the arm was lowered and “spin” the rollers in my slot machine.

However, I had four hours today to generate the Scratch program and mock up the cardboard cases, so I used our FunkeyFunkey arcade buttons instead. They are build like a nut and bolt, and they sandwich cardboard beautifully. Easy peasy! Also, Stephen Lewis (creator of the FunkeyFunkey) designed his sensors (tilt, touch, button, infrared, etc.) to work even without being grounded, so they are so much easier to incorporate into projects.

If I had more time, I’d definitely make my slot machines more attractive. These definitely look homemade. 🙂 Here’s a tutorial for a DIY slot machine I belatedly found:


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My notes from #Learning2Teach hosted by @SFPC & @NYUtandon’s Integrated Digital Media and organized by @brain & @tchoi8.

I spent today at Learning to Teach hosted by School for Poetic Computing and NYU‘s Integrated Digital Media and organized by: Taeyoon Choi and Tega Brain. Here’s a description from the conference’s website:

Learning to Teach is a day-long conference for educators teaching computation in creative fields like art, design or digital humanities departments. Led by Taeyoon Choi (SFPC) and Tega Brain (NYU), the conference will feature keynotes by leading educators including Daniel Shiffman, Naomi Clark, Brad Garton. The keynote speakers will share their experiences teaching computer programming and related topics, their strategies for blending critical thinking, engineering, and inspiring creativity in a teaching environment. This year’s program will include a participatory session for attendees to observe the pedagogical strategies of their peers and develop teaching approaches of their own. Join us to explore the intersection of pedagogy and creative practice, and get ready for the year ahead.

Date: January 20th, 2018 (10am ~ 5pm)
Venue: Integrated Digital Media, NYU, 8th floor of 2 Metrotech Center. Brooklyn.
Organizers:School for Poetic Computation (SFPC), Processing Foundation and Integrated Digital Media, NYU (IDM).

Here are my notes (via my tweets) from the day:

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Notes and pics from #TurtleStitch meetup at @TeachersCollege thanks to @susanettenheim @back_face @JaymesDec @TurtleStitch! #MakerEd #STEAM

Thanks to Susan Ettenheim () for knowing that Michael Aschauer (@back_face, Lead Developer of TurtleStitch) was going to be in town from Vienna, Austria! Susan gathered a bunch of educators and technologists to meet today both in-person and virtually — on the Google Hangout were folks from Kenya and Brooklyn, and also Andrea Mayr-Stalder (@turtlestitch, TurtleStitch’s Project Lead) in Austria. We were able to chat about TurtleStitch and talk about their growing community of people worldwide interested in sharing patterns and projects. Thanks as well to Jaymes Dec (@JaymesDec) who offered to have us hang with him at the Thingspace at Teachers College, Columbia University and hosted us during his office hours.

Here are some links:
1. The TurtleStitch website:
2. TurtleStitch cards for beginners which can be download (they remind me of the wonderful TurtleArt cards!):
3. Michael also shared StitchPad which allows you to sketch a picture with your finger on your phone and exported the design as an .svg or a .dst/.exp file to be embroidered with a digital sewing machine
4. Here’s a detailed blogpost by @RichardMillwood about using TurtleStitch:
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