Tag Archives: Corinne Okada Takara

Gathering my notes and tweets from yesterday’s mycelium workshop at @GenspaceNYC (organized by @STEMteachersNYC)… #STEMintheCITY #scichat #STEMed

Yesterday, I met up with Tracy Rudzitis and Don Buckley for a workshop at Genspace in South Brooklyn. Here’s some info about Genspace copied from their website:

Genspace is the world’s first community biology lab — a place where people of all backgrounds can learn, create, and grow with the life sciences.

Since 2009, we have served the greater New York area by providing hands-on STEAM education programs for youth and adults, cultural and outreach events for the public, and a membership program to support New York’s community of creatives, researchers, and entrepreneurs. Our programs demystify scientific processes, provide a platform for innovation, and cultivate the next generation of life sciences leaders in emerging global technologies, such as biotechnology, neuroscience, epidemiology, genomics, and many more.

The mycelium workshop yesterday was organized by STEMteachersNYC as part of their annual STEM in the City initiative. Here’s some info copied from STEMteacherNYC’s website’s About section:

STEMteachersNYC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting a community of STEM teachers across the NYC region. Our mission is to cultivate excellence in STEM teaching and to promote deep understanding and success for students through innovative, teacher-led professional development. Our weekend workshops are offered during the school year and multi-week workshop intensives occur in the summer, led by master teachers. We welcome and encourage teachers from across the globe, the US, and the local New York City area!

** Here is more info about the STEM in the City initiative and some upcoming opportunities: https://stemteachersnyc.org/category/stem-in-the-city/

I am totally grateful that STEMteachersNYC organized yesterday’s site visit! Tracy and I are self-proclaimed PD addicts, and while we have participated in many online offerings over the past two years, we much prefer being in-person, exploring together, and continuing the conversation at a local watering hole. When we entered Genspace’s lab, we were able to examine a bunch of materials and projects laid out for us. Don and I particularly loved the examples of leaves imprinted with artwork to highlight the process of photosynthesis(!!). I always appreciate an opportunity to explore a lab/makerspace to see how supplies and works in progress are organized — and I’m now considering ways to hack my tables to include storage below. Also on display at Genspace was the OpenTrons Project robot liquid dropper that began as an independent exploration in the lab but is now commercially available!

Mycelium is a biodegradable fungal material, and during a brief presentation before the hands-on portion of the workshop, we talked about how mycelium is used to create shipping packaging (in lieu of plastic or styrofoam), faux leather, building material, art objects, and more. I know many maker friends who have been integrating mycelium into STEM and STEAM projects (Corinne Takara, Erik Nauman, Chris Sweeney, Tracy Rudzitis…), but I have never experimented with the mushroom spores, and I’m excited to start! Tracy brought some 3D-printed plastic molds designed by her students in Tinkercad to fill with the mycelium mixture; She was inspired by Corinne Takara who has experimented with biomaterials for years and espouses growing materials rather than simply purchasing or consuming non-biodegradable materials. You can read more about some of Corrine’s work in this post: https://grow.bio/blogs/grow-bio-blog/giy-maker-spotlght-corinne-takara

Here is a tutorial for getting started (thanks for the link, Tracy!): https://grow.bio

Here are some tweets posted during yesterday’s workshop:

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Photos and notes from Day 1 of #FabLearn #NYC hosted at @TeachersCollege this past weekend. #MakerEd #edtech #elemaker #ArtEdTech

What a thrill to finally attend a FabLearn conference! While there have been other global events, the mostly annual USA gatherings have always been held at Stanford University in California during the fall — never an auspicious time for me since the beginning of the school year is pretty intense.

Paolo Blikstein, co-founder of FabLearn, migrated from Stanford to Teachers College, Columbia University this year, so the event was hosted in my backyard! Friday night, there was an informal gathering of attendees and presenters; It was great to reunite with friends and former colleagues and get introduced to folks who are makers, coders, community builders, and influencers from all over the world.

Day 1 of FabLearn

FabLearn 2019 began on Saturday with a full line-up. (Here is the program of events: https://nyc2019.fablearn.org/program/) The day began with an awesome keynote by the inimitable Sylvia Martinez, “Making the Future: The Future of Making” — her bio and a blurb about keynote can be found here: https://nyc2019.fablearn.org/speakers)

Next up on the program was a panel, “Making without destroying the planet: is it possible?” full of awesome women including Christa Flores and Corinne Okada Takara.

After the panel, the Short Paper authors and Young Maker posters presenters took the stage to give a brief description of their presentations. I loved seeing Nancy Otero (FABulous human and co-founder of the Portfolio School) support her small students as they presented first in a really long line-up of first-time and seasoned showcasers.

Following the poster session, there was a Young Maker Panel moderated by Sean Justice. I was totally inspired by Corinne’s daughter and friends who formed The Living Leather Project! After their presentation (and Corinne’s awesome work), I too want to make/explore kombucha leather and grow/use mycelium with the girls here at The Brearley School!

There were two more panels of , Full Paper presenters, Full Papers A: Building content knowledge through making and Full Papers B: Teaching and mentorship in maker contexts. Following these presentations was the first workshop opportunity. I wish I could have attended all the Saturday workshops! As I could only pick one, I chose, Making with Machine Learning led by Devin Dillon and Rebecca Anderson of Curiosity Machine. Here’s a blurb from the program about the workshop:

ABSTRACT: Learn about making with AI in this interactive session. This session is geared to educators and leaders working with students from 3rd-8th grades or working with family groups. In the workshop, you will uncover some basic machine learning processes as you build an AI model to explore how machine learning systems use data to make decisions, and will consider how you would modify or apply your experiences with your students or groups. We’ll be using Machine Learning for Kids and Scratch to create a bot that reacts to new situations you introduce.

Following the workshop was an Artificial Intelligence (AI) meetup hosted by Nancy Otero and Stefania Druga.

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