I feel so lucky and blessed to have joined the community of teachers and learners at The Brearley School this year. It is a K-12 girls school established in 1884 (a year before my beloved Bryn Mawr College), and as per their mission statement, Brearley “challenges girls of adventurous intellect and diverse backgrounds to think critically and creatively.” They embrace #SplendidNerdiness, and everyone is kind and brilliant. I’m surrounded by Doctors, as many of my colleagues hold doctorates in their fields, and I joke it’s like working in a hospital!
My colleague, Pietro Ennis, and I both teach Class V (aka, Grade 5). We have been brainstorming ways to infuse the curriculum with more STEAM, hands-on, and MakerEd opportunities. Our first project of the year is a variation of something I launched previously with Emily Sticco and her 8th graders at The School at Columbia University. Students craft original creations in cardboard, design circuits, add conductive elements, program music in Scratch, and connect their cardboard “instrument” to their Scratch project with a FunKeyFunKey board.
(I’m running a similar project at the next Scratch Day on December 10th which will be hosted at The Computer School. It’s a great, free, family-friendly event for any ability level from beginner to advanced.)
My friend, Steven Lewis (@inventionlab), created the FunkeyFunkey as part of his Make!Sense line of reasonably-priced and accessible micro-controllers and sensors. It’s a pleasure to be able to purchase great tools from Stephen, as he also provides assistance, resources, information, and local delivery! The FunkeyFunkey Simple is only $9.95 and the FunkeyFunkey Sensor starts at $29.95 plus whichever sensors you purchase. We invested in class sets of FunkeyFunkey Sensor boards, Infrared (IR) breakbeams, hearbeat sensors,tilt sensors, three different kinds of touch sensors, and a bunch of his well-designed alligator clips.