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Maneki Neko prototypes at #DesignDoDiscover @Chadwick_Int! #d3CI #cihosts #MakerEd #elemaker #STEAM

I’m having an awesome time collaborating with teachers here at Design Do Discover’s Songdo edition at Chadwick International School. The FABulous team of coaches includes: Jaymes Dec (FabLab Coordinator at The Marymount School), Sarah Barnum (Science Teacher/Bourn Fellow at The Castilleja School), Gary Donahue (Department Chair of Technology, Making, and Design at Chadwick International School), and Andrew Carle (Village School Maker and Atelierista at Chadwick International School).
Here are some links about the program:
Design Do Discover Chadwick School: https://sites.google.com/view/ddd-ci
Design Do Discover year-round: https://making.marymountnyc.org/page/events/design-do-discover
GoogleGroup of FabLab and Maker educators: http://bit.ly/fabmakegroup

My partners today were Alice Cha of Seoul International School and Landy Hwang & Ivy Choi of Yew Chung International School in Beijing, China. We decided to create interactive Maneki Neko sculptures — these could be powered using different platforms depending on what hardware or software you have at your disposal:

  • Hummingbird programmed in Scratch
  • Arduino programmed in Ardublocks or Snap for Arduino or mBlock
  • LEGO WeDo programmed in Scratch or Mindstorms
  • EV3 programmed in Scratch or Mindstorms
  • MakeBlock programmed in Scratch or mBlock
  • littleBits

Here are some photos of the process:​

Here are our notes about the project:

Here are photos from the intro session with the whole group (pay attention to my new favorite caffeinated peppermint gum):

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Fun with sewable circuits, Class 5, and @PietroEnnis at @BrearleyNYC #STEAM #MakerEd #elemaker


@PietroEnnis and I are wrapping up a Class 5 project on sewable circuits. These Brearley girls are so fun to work with! They are creative, funny, inquisitive, and passionate about whatever they set their mind to. For this project (which correlated with a study of electricity in Science class), students were tasked with creating a circuit using conductive thread, as many as 5 LEDs, a coin cell battery, and some sort of means of powering their circuit (a battery pocket or a LilyPad battery holder with switch). Projects included dog collars, wrist cuffs, neck ties, donuts, animals, ice cream cones, and a skateboarding taco.

Before anyone began threading needles or cutting felt, everyone was asked to draw a template of their project (to scale) on paper. This sketch included the location of the battery pack, location of any lights, and distinct paths for the conductive thread in order to connect the negative “legs” of the lights and the positive “legs” of the lights.

While I’ve used YouTube videos and various resources in the past to help students review how to sew a parallel circuit, this time I brought Jaymes Dec and Ji Sun Lee’s book to class. Make: Tech DIY has great project ideas, lovely photos, and clear instructions. I love supporting my friends!

Make: Tech DIY

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Pics from @BrynMawrSchool’s innovation lab. Thanks for the tour, @KennedyKristen! #edcampIS #MakerEd

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A highlight of today’s @edcampIS at @BrynMawrSchool today was my awesome tour of the Innovation Lab from their Director of Innovation, Kristen Kennedy. Like many maker-educators I meet, Kristen taught herself most of what she knows, and she continues to learn constantly. The Upper School lab spaces were previously occupied by other departments (Art, languages, technology), and were revamped two years ago to be agile, flexible, and collaborative learning spaces for fabricating, making, and tinkering. Architects designed the spaces and Kristen’s colleagues (including Director of Technology, Justin Curtis) made choices for location, mobility, permanence, storage, and use of equipment.

Writeable surfaces abound:

Long flat storage areas and counters for work space (with tools mounted on the walls above) were important features to consider:

There is a HUGE Shopbot (under a fascinating ventilation system) and lots of other fun machines including a vacuum sealer, drill press, lathe, table saw, multiple 3D printers, laser printer, etching machine, and more. Larger items are often on wheels to make them mobile and allow for them to be easily moved out of the way and under counters when not in use:

The space also allows for many areas to showcase past and current projects:

As for classroom learning strategies, I learned a few from Kristen including why there was a container of mini ducks. I sometimes encourage students to “ask three then me” in order to get them to ask each other before continually seeking answers from just me. The duck takes it a step further; rather than ask the teacher or a classmate a question, they are encouraged to “ask the duck” — this made me laugh out loud.

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I also learned that Kristen is a fan of Rocketbook Wave and the Rocketbook app. I’d only ever seen the Kickstarter campaign for the notebook that can be reused by heating it up in a microwave, whereupon the ink disappears and the papers are again free to be written upon. Kristen makes photocopies of Rocketbook pages, hands them out to students to write on, and then uses the free Rocketbook app to snap a pic of each page. Thus, she gathers and organizes PDFs of student notes into their class’s section (using the symbols at the bottom of the page and the QR code). From the Roketbook app’s download page:

The Rocketbook app works in conjunction with the Rocketbook Notebook. Rocketbook allows people to enjoy the pleasure of writing in a traditional paper and pen notebook, while digitizing all notes and sending them to the cloud, using your smartphone.

Kristen told me she’ll be offering a PD workshop for teachers this summer. Stay tuned!

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