Tag Archives: STEM

Making cardboard, #FunkeyFunkey, and @Scratch slot machines starring @brearleynyc’s class mascots for our upcoming Casino Night. #MakerEd #STEAM

Before Thursday’s Upper School performance of Guys and Dolls at The Brearley School, there will be a Supper Club Casino Night for the community with games led by faculty. I offered to help, though I was worried about being responsible for learning and facilitating Poker or Blackjack, so I offered to make some slot machines.

I figured there must be a bunch of programs shared by the awesome Scratch-user community, and they didn’t disappoint. I remixed this project generously offered by Jcg127: https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/23156262/#player

I removed the Yay! and Jackpot! procedures and swapped in nine new costumes representing Brearley’s class mascots (camel, penguin, tiger, owl, duck, buffalo, elephant, bear) and the official school mascot (beaver).  I then found some cardboard in the recycle bin and built some quick yet sturdy casings for three separate laptops.

I knew I’d use some of our FunkeyFunkey boards for the project and was originally considering a physical lever with a tilt sensor. I imagined having a hinge or printing 3D pieces (similar to Makedo parts) to hold a long cardboard tube in place (I have a stockpile of cardboard tubes from wrapping paper rolls). A rubber-band stretched somewhere would allow the lever to pull forward yet return upright for its home position, and the tilt sensor inside the tube would recognize when the arm was lowered and “spin” the rollers in my slot machine.

However, I had four hours today to generate the Scratch program and mock up the cardboard cases, so I used our FunkeyFunkey arcade buttons instead. They are build like a nut and bolt, and they sandwich cardboard beautifully. Easy peasy! Also, Stephen Lewis (creator of the FunkeyFunkey) designed his sensors (tilt, touch, button, infrared, etc.) to work even without being grounded, so they are so much easier to incorporate into projects.

If I had more time, I’d definitely make my slot machines more attractive. These definitely look homemade. 🙂 Here’s a tutorial for a DIY slot machine I belatedly found: http://www.instructables.com/id/HOW-TO-MAKE-SLOT-MACHINE-DIY/

 

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Pics from Day 1 of #Construct3D and @DukeU’s @InnovionCoLab Studio. #MakerEd #STEMed #STEAM

I’m at Duke University for the inaugural Construct3D conference sponsored by Duke, Ultimaker, Autodesk, and ShopBot! Many thanks to co-organizer, Liz Arum, for encouraging me to attend. Below is the description from their website:

Construct3D 2017 is a national conference on digital fabrication focused on “3D printing” for higher education,  K-12, and community education. Join us as we explore ways to foster student engagement, support research, and improve understanding using 21st century technology.

Construct3D 2017 aims to bring together educators from a broad range of educational contexts to exchange ideas and innovation — to accelerate adoption and exploration of 3D printingConstruct3D offers educational pioneers opportunities to shape the implementation of 3D printing in education in years to come.

After a walk and a biscuits and gravy lunch with Ian Klapper of City and Country School, we made our way to Duke’s Technology Engagement Center for workshops and a tour of the Innovation Co-Lab Studio by its director, Chip Bobbert. Photos of the Co-Lab‘s awesome space for digital fabrication are posted below. Check out the mesmerizing wall of Ultimaker printers as well as laser cutters, CNC mills, 3D jet printers, a vending machine of engineering tools, and other tools that make me happy including a vinyl cutter and sewing machine.

 

 

Pics from the opening reception with a keynote from Dale Dougherty of Make Magazine and early glimpses of the vendor tables are below:


Some videos from educator projects highlighted at Ultimaker’s table are below:​


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Pics from my lunch and walk with Ian are below:

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Pics & videos from the 13th annual @RoboExpoNYC! Thanks for hosting, @MarymountNY! #STEMed #STEAM

More info about the Robo Expo can be found on our website: http://robo-expo.org

Follow us on Twitter for updates about our next event: http://twitter.com/RoboExpoNYC

One of my favorite days of the year is the RoboExpo. It’s a sweet, kid-friendly, age-appropriate celebration of robotics, programming, and physical computing for students in the Metro NYC area. I’m proud to be a founder and annual organizer along with Michael Tempel of The Logo Foundation, Lan Heng of Ethical Culture Fieldston School, Tracy Rudzitis of The Computer School, Hope Chafiian of The Spence School, Erik Nauman of The Hewitt School, Erin Mumford of Friends Seminary, and Francesca Zammarano and Javier Alvez of The UNIS School. 

The line-up of challenges changes a bit from year to year, and this 2017 event included: Follow the line, Get out of the box, Stay on the table, and Collect/avoid the obstacles. This year we introduced a dance-a-long where children choreographed their robots to boogie to the tune of Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feelingit was equally hilarious and magical. One child wondered if there were a Sumo Bot ring like last year, and I offered, “Maybe next year?!”

Many thanks to The Marymount School for hosting our Robo Expo for a second year in a row! (We’ve been so lucky to have a network of schools graciously offer their spaces to us over the years.) Marymount held a mini maker fair in the morning (dubbed Marymount Maker Day), so it was especially awesome to be part of a full day of programming celebrating STEM and STEAM! To top it off, I wore my prized Girls Garage tshirt emblazoned with Fear Less. Build More. Thank you for the constant inspiration and glorious shirt, Emily Pilloton and Christina Jenkins!

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