Tag Archives: STEM

Notes from @STEMteachersNYC’s “Design, Engineering, and Maker Cultures” workshop at @CUSEAS this week. #MakerEd #STEAM #STEMed

IMG_4934

I attended Design, Engineering and Maker Cultures this week which was hosted at Columbia University’s School of Engineering, organized by STEMteachersNYC, and led by Michael Katz and Frances Hidalgo (two volunteer teachers from the STEMteachersNYC community).

Here is the workshop’s description as per their registration page:

Interested in learning more about the engineering and design process, and how to incorporate it into your classroom? This workshop is designed to show how you can infuse engineering and design thinking into your curriculum. Drawing from the NGSS Engineering Design standards we’ll explore how students can use design and affordable makerspace technologies to ask questions and define problems; to formulate, refine, and evaluate testable questions; and design problems using models and simulations.

Throughout the workshop, participants will explore easy-to-deploy design experiences for a range of grade levels. Participants will have the chance to experience several hands-on projects like making paper circuits, while also troubleshooting strategies for setting up a Makerspace in your school and using this as a platform for curricular integration and development. Attendees will also spend time identifying areas within their curriculum that naturally lead to incorporating more creativity, innovation and collaboration. So whether you teach elementary or high school students, come learn and experience how fun and easy it can be to incorporate engineering and design in your classroom.

This was the first time this workshop has ever been offered, and I imagine the next manifestation might have less pre-activity lead-up discussions and more time for hands-on learning, group activities, and collaborative lesson brainstorming.  Here are some of my highlights from the three days:

    1. I loved meeting awesome educators from public and private schools who all have a shared interest in expanding their skillset, innovating, and sharing ideas.
    2. I worked with a group to build a prototype of a machine inspired by nature. Biomimicry is defined by the Biomimicry Institute as “an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating nature’s time-tested patterns and strategies.” My team considered how the blue whale’s baleen might inspire an amphibious coastal Roomba-like cleaning mechanism. Our design, Blue Whale Blue Crab (or Beach Clean Baleen) also included crab-influenced claws. Ideally, this amphibious machine will travel on land and sea, filtering inorganic material and sorting it into onboard containers. Metal could be further sorted by using a magnet on the claw and a more powerful magnet onboard near the sorting bins. I was really happy with our teamwork and proud of our protoype!
    3. Gail Sestito (aka @TheRobotFairy) totally blew my mind when she shared how a student of hers demonstrated how to merge two words into a fascinating mathematical parametric 3D shape using Onshape. She then took this idea and collaborated with an English teacher for a project that physically illustrates the concept of Doublespeak from George Orwell’s 1984. For example, they made word sculptures where one view of the piece reads Truth and one view reads Lies. Or War/Peace. Or Love/Turture. Such a great project!

      Here is Gail’s awesome merging of her name and my name!

    4. Bill Miller is the Makerspace manager, and he showed us two fascinating innovation centers. First we went on a tour of the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s extensive fabrication spaces. After, Bill showed us where the new community Makerspace will be — it is transitioning from a decent sized room on the 12th floor (which I visited many moons ago) to a huge facility on the 2nd floor. The budget to revamp and outfit this newer facility was $400,000!. 💰😳 Here are some photos:

After seeing their bank of Ultimaker 3D printers, I offered to connect Bill to @LizArum, Ultimaker’s Community Manager and an incredibly knowledgeable, generous, and brilliant friend. Yay for connecting people who may end up further collaborating in some capacity! Here are two upcoming and worthwhile events Liz is organizing:

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Gathering my tweets, photos, and notes from #Picademy in Jersey City. Thank you, @Raspberry_Pi for two days of inspiring, exciting, fun, and thought-provoking professional development! #STEMed #STEAM #MakerEd

I felt incredibly fortunate to be in a room of educators on June 21-22 for two days of Picademy hosted at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey! The workshops were led by Andrew Collins (Educator Training Manager at ) and Raspberry Certified Teachers from previous co-horts (Amanda HaughsChantell Mason, and ). There was a separate Picademy June 18-19 and other networking opportunities throughout the week facilitated by Dana Augustin (Educator Program Coordinator at ). Per Picademy’s website:

Picademy is the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s free face-to-face professional development programme that supports educators throughout their digital making and computing journey. This two-day training event is held at venues around the UK and North America. After completing the programme, educators join a community of passionate digital making practitioners.Interested in attending? Visit our event calendar to find a Picademy near you.

Day 1 consisted of a crash course in setting up the Raspberry Pi (HDMI to a screen, USB to keyboard and mouse, power cord, SD card) and gaining insights into a variety of attachments and HATs (GPIO boards, Sense Hat, Explorer Hat Pro, Piano Hat, Mini Black Hat Hack3r, Camera Module V2, Traffic Light add on).

Day 2 was an opportunity to break into groups and have extended time to develop a project prototype. I partnered with Cathy Knives Chau and Lauren Berrios, and we created PiPix, a portable RaspberryPi powered Polaroid-inspired camera that can be picked up by students at any time to take pictures of class projects or on class trips. Different filters can be applied, and photos would be uploaded to a class Twitter stream. We successfully designed a countdown timer to display on the SenseHat, enabled the SenseHat’s joystick to take the picture, and had a random filter applied to the captured image. We needed more time to have the joystick be used to choose a filter and/or allow the user to choose to capture an image or an animated GIF. We were on the verge of integrating our program with Twitter’s API (Thanks to Cathy!), but didn’t manage this in time. Cathy, Lauren, and I are hoping to gather later in the summer to complete a successful PiPix prototype!

Here’s our code so far…

# PiPix
# Using SenseHat for Geo location, four buttons for filters, countdown
# Use imestamp and direc tion from joystick on SenseHat
from picamera import PiCamera
from gpiozero import Button
from sense_hat import SenseHat, ACTION_PRESSED, ACTION_HELD, ACTION_RELEASED
from time import sleep
from signal import pause
import random
import datetime
import time
#import tweepy
#import json
camera = PiCamera()
sense = SenseHat()
#with open(‘twitterauth.json’) as file:
#    secrets=json.load(file)
#auth = tweepy.OAuthHandler(secrets[‘consumer_key’], secrets[‘consumer_secret’])
#auth.set_access_token(secrets[‘access_token’], secrets[‘access_token_secret’])
#twitter = tweepy.API(auth)
randeffect = [‘colorswap’,’watercolor’,’cartoon’,’sketch’]
t = (7, 219, 252)
a = (252, 113, 7)
countdown1 = [
    t, t, t, t, a, t, t, t,
    t, t, t, a, a, t, t, t,
    t, t, t, t, a, t, t, t,
    t, t, t, t, a, t, t, t,
    t, t, t, t, a, t, t, t,
    t, t, t, t, a, t, t, t,
    t, t, t, t, a, t, t, t,
    t, t, t, a, a, a, t, t]
countdown2 = [
   t, t, t, a, a, a, t, t,
   t, t, a, t, t, t, a, t,
   t, t, t, t, t, t, a, t,
   t, t, t, t, t, a, t, t,
   t, t, t, t, a, t, t, t,
   t, t, t, a, t, t, t, t,
   t, t, a, t, t, t, t, t,
   t, t, a, a, a, a, a, t]
countdown3 = [
    t, t, a, a, a, a, t, t,
    t, t, t, t, t, t, a, t,
    t, t, t, t, t, t, a, t,
    t, t, t, a, a, a, t, t,
    t, t, t, t, t, t, a, t,
    t, t, t, t, t, t, a, t,
    t, t, t, t, t, t, a, t,
    t, t, a, a, a, a, t, t]
# Joystick
def capture(event):
    if event.action !=ACTION_RELEASED:
        camera.start_preview(alpha=192)
        sense.set_pixels(countdown3)
        sleep(.5)
        sense.set_pixels(countdown2)
        sleep(.5)
        sense.set_pixels(countdown1)
        sleep(.5)
        date = datetime.datetime.now().strftime(“%m_%d_%Y_%H_%M_%S”)
        camera.image_effect = random.choice (randeffect)
        camera.capture(“/home/pi/joy_image{0}.jpg”.format(date))
        camera.stop_preview()
sense.stick.direction_any = capture
#for i in range(4):
#        camera.image_effect = random.choice(randeffect)
#        camera.capture(“/home/pi/PiPix{0}.jpg”.format(i))

Chantell captured some video of our presentation and shared it via Twitter. Her tweet is pasted below:

Below, I’ve gathered my tweets from the two-day workshop:

And here are two tweets which include info about stuff I need to explore further…

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Collaborating with a #MakerCamp participant to design a fidget spinner in @BlocksCAD! @LuigiTeaching will be printing it on our @Ultimaker next! #MakerEd #STEAM #ArtEdTech @UMNA_education @BrearleyNYC

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized