Tag Archives: queens

Pics from @MakerFaire #NYC 2015. #MakerEd #STEM #STEAM #nyedchat

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Volunteer efforts at @The_School in the aftermath of #Sandy:

Unlike most other schools in the city, The School at Columbia University opened its doors on Thursday and Friday. A great majority of our community made it in for both days; I heard stories of people carpooling over 2.5 hours to get to school on time. Others biked in and needed to wait until the sun was up as many streets still had non-functioning traffic lights. There were teachers and students among us who were evacuated: some still are not in their own homes almost a week later, some are “camping” without electricity or hot water, and some are facing irreparable loss and heartbreaking/expensive repairs.

However, it is amazing how communities rally. Teachers invited colleagues to sleep over, commute together, clean up parks, and gather supplies to be donated. Lisbeth Uribe, science teacher extraordinaire, organized a relief effort over email yesterday. This morning, she and her son filled her car to the brim with items gathered from us: blankets, coats, boots, clothing, bedding, toiletries, toys, diapers, household utensils, bottled water and beverages, dry and canned food, and brownies. They drove to Rockaway, Queens where the items were sorted and dispatched to shelters. Here is a snippet of Lisbeth’s email to the community after returning from the trip:

The volunteers at the distribution center in Rockaway were so grateful and asked that if we make a return trip to please bring more water and cold medicine. The car ride to Rockaway was quick and easy.  We passed many incredibly long lines of cars waiting for gas.  I still have 3/4 of a tank of gas and would be happy to make another trip if we gather more donation items. They can also use volunteers to help with unloading cars, sorting items and then reloading the items onto Red Cross vehicles that take things to the shelters.
For more information about how we can help victims of the Hurricane, please go to the following links:
Support one of the initiatives the University is launching. The Office of Communications has provided this list of programs at http://news.columbia.edu/home/2946.
You can sign up to volunteer through Bill de Blasio’s Public Advocate office.

Eve Becker (8th Grade English) called to invite me to Rockaway with her on Sunday (tomorrow), and we’ll be delivering, sorting, and dispersing mountains of supplies. Joining us will be Belinda Nicholson, Middle Division Head.

*** My photos from the trip are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/specialkrb/sets/72157631935174207/

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Scenes from Sunday’s @MakerFaire:

wings and wheels

I loved going to the Maker Faire last year, and this year I organized a group of teachers to attend on Sunday, September 30th. As per their website, the Maker Faire is “a two-day, family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement.” There are two big ones in the US (San Mateo and New York), and many mini Maker Faires taking place all over the world.

My niece and nephew and I were intrigued by the following sights:

1. Little Bits (@littleBits) are “a set of simple, interchangeable blocks that make programming as simple and important a part of creativity as snapping blocks together.” The founder, Ayah Bdeir, is a TED Fellow! (Her video on TED.com is here: http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang/en//id/1404)
Little Bits

2. EepyBird.com‘s drenching display of what happens when Mentos and Coke Zero collide:

3. GUS 14, the basketball-playing robot, created by GUS Robotics Team 228:
basketball bot

4. The simplicity of this giant Scrabble game made from repurposed CD jewel cases:
CD case scrabble

4. The giant mechanical Thumby Wars was created by a team of identical twins, Mike and Pat Murray, from Scottsdale, Arizona:
thumb war

5. Lots of 3D printers including the the Afinia H-Series 3D Printer for $1499 which comes ready-built out of the box and has a a moving tray and a moving extruder and the Rostock Max Delta 3D Printer Kit for $849 at SeeMeCNC.com:
Rostock Max

6. Hoodies with hand-warming mittens by Toasty Time:
mitten pockets

7. The En-V electric car from General Motors:

8. The Lifesize Mouse trap created by Mark Perez:
mouse trap

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#EdCampNYC wrap-up and next steps…


Back in January, Andrew Stillman (@astillman) and Ali Shama (@alishama) approached me about having an EdCampNYC at Francis Lewis High School, where Ali is principal. While having EdCampNYC at The School at Columbia University is incredibly convenient for me, having it in Queens enabled Ali’s faculty, a variety of DOE teachers, and many people new to edcamps to participate. There were about 110 people gathered today for three sessions and an amazing BBQ lunch served up by Ali, his administrative team, and student volunteers.

The unconference schedule (created this morning by attendees of today’s edcampnyc) included sessions about mobile computing, being a connected educator, Google Apps scripting, iPads in the classroom, digital citizenship, podcasting, engineering projects, QR codes, standards based grading, prototyping digital learning, public speaking for educators, ELL needs, Skype in the classroom, SMARTboard troubleshooting, Mathematical art, and more.

Important links:
– Follow the @edcampnyc account and the #edcampnyc hashtag on Twitter
– The online session board is at http://tinyurl.com/edcampnyc
– Like EdCampNYC on Facebook at http://facebook.com/edcampnyc
– Add your photos to the edcampnyc Flickr group at http://flickr.com/groups/edcampnyc and tag your photos with edcamp and edcampnyc
– Post any notes or reflections from the day to our digital archive at http://edcampnyc.posterous.com by sending an email to edcampnyc@posterous.com (with a title for your post in the subject line of the email and your notes in the body of the email)

Consider hosting your own EdCamp or adopting the UNconference model for a faculty meeting or Professional Development day at your school or campus! More info at:

Thank you to Francis Lewis High School for hosting and the BBQ lunch, Teq for sponsoring breakfast, Edutopia for the tote bags, and Inspiration for donating a few premium licenses.

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