Tag Archives: STEMed

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 from @BrynMawrSchool’s innovation lab. Thanks for the tour, @KennedyKristen! #edcampIS #MakerEd

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A highlight of today’s @edcampIS at @BrynMawrSchool today was my awesome tour of the Innovation Lab from their Director of Innovation, Kristen Kennedy. Like many maker-educators I meet, Kristen taught herself most of what she knows, and she continues to learn constantly. The Upper School lab spaces were previously occupied by other departments (Art, languages, technology), and were revamped two years ago to be agile, flexible, and collaborative learning spaces for fabricating, making, and tinkering. Architects designed the spaces and Kristen’s colleagues (including Director of Technology, Justin Curtis) made choices for location, mobility, permanence, storage, and use of equipment.

Writeable surfaces abound:

Long flat storage areas and counters for work space (with tools mounted on the walls above) were important features to consider:

There is a HUGE Shopbot (under a fascinating ventilation system) and lots of other fun machines including a vacuum sealer, drill press, lathe, table saw, multiple 3D printers, laser printer, etching machine, and more. Larger items are often on wheels to make them mobile and allow for them to be easily moved out of the way and under counters when not in use:

The space also allows for many areas to showcase past and current projects:

As for classroom learning strategies, I learned a few from Kristen including why there was a container of mini ducks. I sometimes encourage students to “ask three then me” in order to get them to ask each other before continually seeking answers from just me. The duck takes it a step further; rather than ask the teacher or a classmate a question, they are encouraged to “ask the duck” — this made me laugh out loud.

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I also learned that Kristen is a fan of Rocketbook Wave and the Rocketbook app. I’d only ever seen the Kickstarter campaign for the notebook that can be reused by heating it up in a microwave, whereupon the ink disappears and the papers are again free to be written upon. Kristen makes photocopies of Rocketbook pages, hands them out to students to write on, and then uses the free Rocketbook app to snap a pic of each page. Thus, she gathers and organizes PDFs of student notes into their class’s section (using the symbols at the bottom of the page and the QR code). From the Roketbook app’s download page:

The Rocketbook app works in conjunction with the Rocketbook Notebook. Rocketbook allows people to enjoy the pleasure of writing in a traditional paper and pen notebook, while digitizing all notes and sending them to the cloud, using your smartphone.

Kristen told me she’ll be offering a PD workshop for teachers this summer. Stay tuned!

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