Tag Archives: LeSheepo

Notes and pics from @LeSheepo’s 2D to 3D designing and laser cutting class at @beamcenternyc. #MakerEd

The Beam Center is an awesome makerspace and learning center in Red Hook, Brooklyn. They have tons of equipment and tools and offer free and inexpensive programming for students, families, and educators. Last night I attended a free workshop led by the incredible Nancy Otero (@LeSheepo), Laser Cutter: 2D to 3D.

Here are some of the great things I learned:

  1. Jennifer Jacobs (@jsquare) build a Codeable Objects library in Processing that is an amazing design tool for creating laser-cut lamps. http://highlowtech.org/?p=2675 (Check out her other awesome MIT research projects here.)
  2. Eric Rosenblum (@ericrosenbizzle), co-designer of the MakeyMakey, has shared many awesome #MakerEd gifts with the world including Beetle Blocks visual code for designing in 3D (which is like Scratch for 3D printing)! http://beetleblocks.com
  3. Maureen Reilly (@MaureenrReilly), an incredible teacher and maker and STEAM coordinator, told me about the @OZOBOT which is a tiny line-sensing robot. http://www.ozobot.com
  4. We used Autodesk’s 123D Make to import an .STL file of a 3D model. 123D Make creates 2D build plans with animated assembly instructions and quickly (and easily!) lets you choose a construction technique (stacked slices, interlocking slices, etc.) Here’s a tutorial via @Instructableshttp://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Slice-Up-a-T-Rex-in-123D-Make/?ALLSTEPS
  5. Nancy helped me with all the nutty settings required to laser cut .25″ cardboard on the Epilog Mini 24 Laser which has a large work area (24″ x 12″) that holds most standard engraving stock material.

After the class, I stopped by Brooklyn Famacy & Soda Fountain for a mint chocolate chip hot fudge sundae. I needed both hands free to gorge, so I had  to leave my laser-cut cardboard cat bust behind. True.

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Integrated activities for grades K-5 from my classes at @MarymountNYC’s #STEAM camp. #edtech #MakerEd

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 11.34.07 AMFrom June 22 – July 24, I led technology projects at Marymount’s Summer STEAM Camp in the awesome FabLab Makerspace at their 5th Avenue campus. It was quite an experience to gather, develop, and run projects for campers with varying skill sets in grades K-5 for five weeks. Also, each grade level had a different and unique theme almost every week, and I challenged myself to plan integrated projects that correlated with their themes.

Thankfully, I regularly attend lots of professional development events including meetings, workshops, and conferences. Plus, I have a pretty big network of people generously willing to share ideas, so the hardest part was to research different options for each week’s topic and narrow down the choices. Blessedly, Nancy Otero (@LeSheepo) was there for the final week of camp to help with crafting automata and laser cutting gears. She’s an amazingly gifted engineer and design thinker who also leads wonderful learning opportunities at The Beam Center (@beamcenterNYC) in Brooklyn and beyond.

I created a GoogleSite of resources and topics which I shared with teachers and parents for the summer. Below is a summary of topics covered, and here is a link to the full site: https://sites.google.com/site/mmtsteamcamp2015

** Inventors and Explorers 1 and Inventors and Explorers 2 **

IE1 and IE2 in grades K-1 were the youngest campers I worked with. They met the least frequently for one or two 45-minute sessions per week. I had a set of iPads available, so after some brief instructions and examples, kids worked independently or in pairs to explore a variety of coding, building, and learning apps including KodableHopscotchScratch Jr.BlokifyTinkerplay, and PrintShop.

** STEAM 1 and STEAM 2 **

STEAM1 campers were in grades 1-2, and STEAM2 campers were in grades 3-4. I saw them for a combined 6 or 7 hours or so during the week in 45-minute and 90-minute blocks to explore:
— Stop-motion videos with the Stop Motion Studio iPad app
— Paper circuits with great instructions from @Exploratorium
— The Toontastic iPad app
— 3D printing with the MakerBot PrintShop and Cubify iPad apps
— MakeyMakey pianos, LED light up plush toys with a sewn-in battery pocket
— Cardboard automata with laser-cut gears and 3-D printed bearings with another set of great instructions from the Exploratorium: http://www.exploratorium.edu/pie/downloads/Cardboard_Automata.pdf

** STEAM 3 **

STEAM3 campers were in grades 5 and met for about 5 hours a week in 45-minute and 90-minute blocks. Topics explored included:
— DNA with origami and by making LED cuff bracelets where kids’ initials correlated with the color schemes of amino acids
— MakeyMakey pianos and other instruments made with cardboard, conductive materials, and Scratch programming
— Rube Goldberg machines with materials found all over the lab (I showed them Audri’s viral enthusiastic video and OK Go’s This Too Shall Pass music video for inspiration — see below)
— 3D printing with the MakerBot PrintShopCubify123D Design, and Morphi iPad apps
— Making interactive endangered animal maze games using Scratch programming environment
Cardboard automata with laser-cut gears and 3-D printed bearings with great instructions from the Exploratorium

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Great #designthinking and @littleBits prototyping workshop led by @lesheepo at @beamcenternyc tonight! 

I had a great time participating in a 2.5 hour design thinking exercise that included a rapid prototyping experience with littleBits (@littleBits).  Special thanks to Nancy Otero (@LeSheepo) for leading the free event and inviting educators to attend. http://beamcenter.org/connectedteaching

The Beam Center in Red Hook, Brooklyn is a large Makerspace which boasts woodworking, laser cutting, tools, and experimenting facilities with space for classes and instruction.  Tonight’s plan was advertised as an introduction to the Stanford University/IDEO method of design thinking. Participants will engage in a project-challenge using the tools and attitude of d.thinking and build their prototype with littleBits.

The problem we tackled was to rethink the gift-giving experience. First we interviewed and re-interviewed each other using questions to gain empathy with our subject. We used a d.school worksheet, Interview for Empathy, to inspire our queries. The purpose is to understand “a person’s thoughts, emotions, and motivations, so that you can determine how to innovate for him or her. By understanding the choices that person makes and the behaviors that person engages in, you can identify their needs, and design to meet those needs.”

Next we brainstormed with our group an ideal user with a specific need based on our insight. This is the Point Of View Madlib that reframed the design challenge into an “actionable problem statement that will launch you into generative ideation.”

We crafted a user who is a “mild control freak who wants to give/offer gifts that she could enjoy with the recipient as a shared experience.” To that end, our prototype consisted of a machine I dubbed GIFTR which allowed both parties to decide if the experience would be mutually appreciated before moving forward (a little Tinder, a little Pinterest, a little Love Connection). We used a “double and” bit, two dimmers, a synth but, and a servo motor. Thus, both people could decide how much a particular activity appealed to them. Only when they were both at a 3 (on a scale of 1 to 5) did the synth bit light up and power the motor to clink together two bottles, as in the act of toasting or cheering each other.

Per the Beam Center’s website:

Beam Center is a Brooklyn-based community of learning where artists guide young creators aged 6 to 18. Our hands-on programs in technology, imagination and craft help young people build their character, courage to think for themselves, and capacity for collaboration and invention.

The Beam Center grew out of the Inventgenuity Festival, which we first held in 2010 at Brooklyn’s Invisible Dog Art Center to introduce families to Beam Camp. The popularity of that event led us to build a set of interconnected programs in New York that all share the basic philosophy of Beam, which celebrates the special alchemy between instructors who are passionate experts in their craft and young people who are given space and encouragement to invent and create.

Beam Center’s core programs are Inventgenuity Workshops, after-school programs for young people in grades 2-6; BeamWorks, in which teams of high school students collaborate with master practitioners of design, craft and engineering; and the WindowShop Residency, which offers artists both a high-visibility storefront space and an opportunity to share how they make things with the kids of the Beam Center community. We also host community events where kids and artists learn from each other.

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