Tag Archives: Makerspace

Designing and lasercutting Chanukah menorahs with the MS Jewish Affinity Group at @BrearleyNYC! #STEAM #MakerEd

I am the Faculty Advisor to the Middle School’s Jewish Affinity Group at my school. The group is called Bonim Kitanim. Bonim is Hebrew for “builders” and Bonim is also the name of the upper school Jewish Affinity group. (Our school mascot is a beaver — a builder — so Bonim is such a great name!) Kitanim means “little” so the middle school group’s name means “little builders”. 😻

Bonim Kitanim gathers about once a week for lunch and to chat about family traditions, holidays, or other topics decided upon by the Class VIII co-heads. At a recent session, we talked about the upcoming holiday of Chanukah, and I mentioned we could design our own Chanukah menorahs — also called a hanukkiah — that could pack flat and wouldn’t require actual fire (so they’d be great for traveling or for keeping in their room safely.

Students made sketches with a marker on white paper, and I used the Trace feature on the Glowforge lasercutter to scan and cut their drawings. I also mocked up a stand (see prototypes in the last photo of the Gallery above) to hold their hanukkiahs upright. We used hot glue to affix velcro onto their candles and their hanukkiahs. Maybe next year, we could use magnets… I love the variety of their designs and how they decorated them!

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Notes from the Class XI Mandarin shadow puppet project at @BrearleyNYC. #STEAM #MakerEd

Yue Tang is one of my amazing colleagues at The Brearley School. After we installed a Glowforge lasercutter in the CoLaboratory, I approached her about doing a shadow puppet project with her Mandarin class. I’d watched puppet performances during some of my travels, and it seemed like it would be such a fun and creative project to put on a show at school. This year, we collaborated on shadow puppet shows in two different grade levels, Class VIII and Class IX!

Before embarking on the project, I showed Yue’s students examples of shadow play using the following two links:

  1. Wikipedia Shadow play  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_play
  2. Three little pigs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCmFWJjc4RA

Separately, I had seen an ad to attend a Crankie Theater show in Coney Island. I wasn’t able to make the show, but I followed links to learn more about crankie theaters and located building plans to construct my own crankie theater. I loosely followed the plans shared on this site: http://www.thecrankiefactory.com/348971243. I also gleaned information from this blog post: http://williamtherebel.blogspot.com/2015/01/thoughts-on-making-crankie-box.html (Note the image in the gallery above showing a quick semicircular 3D piece that I designed and printed on one of our Ultimaker printers to hold the two main dowels upright in the puppet frame.)

Here is a snippet of the Class IX play: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fVEMs-ZR4UQwzQ2xwRcw0srMk6W80dUW/view?usp=share_link

Here is a snipped from the Class VIII project: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jGsC9-tolFgJgyko23VlKmaBZRz4uj02/view?usp=sharing

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I couldn’t find a satisfactory wall mount for a mini glue gun, so I made one with @Tinkercad and an @Ultimaker. You can find it on the @thingiverse… @BrearleyNYC #MakerEd #STEAM

Problem Finding begat Problem Solving!

It troubled me that students would plop the glue gun on the counter top in between squirts, leaking glue and causing a burn/fire hazard. After searching for a wall-mounted solution, I ended up making my own design in @Tinkercad and printing on one of our @Ultimaker printers.

After several incarnations (and a small pile of plastic), I settled on a relatively simple model that will hold a mini glue gun against the wall during use or while cooling. I posted my design to @Thingiverse here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5377878

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Pics from my visit to @DwightSchool’s #SparkLab designed by @lesa_wang! #makerspace #MakerEd #STEAM

Since 2012, Don Buckley has taught or co-taught Managing Educational Technology Resources at Teachers College Columbia University (Course number MSTU4029). For his first year teaching the course, I was a student in his class and helped him brainstorm possible topics and projects. I also came up with the useful-yet-unoriginal hashtag #MSTU4029 to gather tweets for class participants. For many of his class sessions, Don taps folks from his huge network of professionals, teachers, experts, and creatives to join as guest lecturers and offer real world examples his students, and he has been kind to include me almost every year as a panelist or presenter. Don also goes on site visits around the city rather than always having his class meet on Teachers College’s campus.

Since last night’s class took place in Dwight School’s Spark Lab on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Lesa Wang (who is Dwight’s Global Spark Programs Director and Head of Design — and designed the space!) and Matthew Moran (who teaches Computer Science in the Spark Lab) hosted and presented their work and sample projects. Don asked me to also share some of the projects and initiatives I launched at The Brearley School. I was equally delighted to accept his invitation and to see the Spark Lab — I love visiting schools and makerspaces! The Spark Lab is Lisa’s most recently designed makerspace, and (since she is an artist and innovator) the lofty areas are thoughtfully organized, outfitted, useful, purposeful, and colorful! See photos below…

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