The Beam Center is an awesome makerspace and learning center in Red Hook, Brooklyn. They have tons of equipment and tools and offer free and inexpensive programming for students, families, and educators. Last night I attended a free workshop led by the incredible Nancy Otero (@LeSheepo), Laser Cutter: 2D to 3D.
Nancy helped me with all the nutty settings required to laser cut .25″ cardboard on the Epilog Mini 24 Laser which has a large work area (24″ x 12″) that holds most standard engraving stock material.
After the class, I stopped by Brooklyn Famacy & Soda Fountain for a mint chocolate chip hot fudge sundae. I needed both hands free to gorge, so I had to leave my laser-cut cardboard cat bust behind. True.
From June 22 – July 24, I led technology projects at Marymount’s Summer STEAM Camp in the awesome FabLab Makerspace at their 5th Avenue campus. It was quite an experience to gather, develop, and run projects for campers with varying skill sets in grades K-5 for five weeks. Also, each grade level had a different and unique theme almost every week, and I challenged myself to plan integrated projects that correlated with their themes.
Thankfully, I regularly attend lots of professional development events including meetings, workshops, and conferences. Plus, I have a pretty big network of people generously willing to share ideas, so the hardest part was to research different options for each week’s topic and narrow down the choices. Blessedly, Nancy Otero (@LeSheepo) was there for the final week of camp to help with crafting automata and laser cutting gears. She’s an amazingly gifted engineer and design thinker who also leads wonderful learning opportunities at The Beam Center (@beamcenterNYC) in Brooklyn and beyond.
IE1 and IE2 in grades K-1 were the youngest campers I worked with. They met the least frequently for one or two 45-minute sessions per week. I had a set of iPads available, so after some brief instructions and examples, kids worked independently or in pairs to explore a variety of coding, building, and learning apps including Kodable, Hopscotch, Scratch Jr., Blokify, Tinkerplay, and PrintShop.