Thursday, February 7, 2019

Engineering Design Process with Merge Cube Object Viewer

Students in room 402 are buzzing with excitement as they present inventions for the Georiga Tech InVenture Competition.

Tasked with creating inventions that would help solve modern-day problems, Mrs. Hunt's students began to anticipate the possibilities of gadgets they could make. The Dog Chip, Grocery Backpack, Dog Washer and Eco Drone were just a few of the creative problem-solving inventions. Carrying groceries hands-free is made easy by the Grocery Backpack, which effortlessly carries dozens of bags on hooks and incorporates a tarp for rainy days. Eco-Drone, a drone programmed to pick up waste, promises a litter-free world. Count me in!

Preliminary models were instrumental in bringing these visions to life. Tinkercad fueled students' imagination as their ideas evolved into tangible models using Merge's Object Viewer App, which creates virtual holograms that students can hold in their hands. This allowed students to look at their designs and make changes before finalizing them.

"With Merge my invention jumped off the screen.  It brought realness to my project."  
 --Panter ES Venture Student
Merge's Object Viewer turns objects into 3D models without a 3D printer.  The future is bright for these Panter Elementary School students as they go to compete in Georiga Tech InVenture Competition.

Special thank you to:
Karyn Hunt, Panter ES Venture Teacher
Debbie Kelly, Paulding County School District, Gifted Coordinator
Tara Cole, Paulding County School District, Gifted Lead Teacher

Monday, January 21, 2019

Merge AR Bringing MakerSpace Creations to Life

Twas the week before Thanksgiving when all thro' the school, not a person was stirring, not even a child.  Ms. Gray's students were nestled all snug in their desks as visions of turkeys danced in their heads.  Not just ordinary turkeys, but ones that had life, thanks to Merge's AR and Tinkercad's variety of shapes.  In this video, as one can see, Tinkercad students build with glee.  As unique as the students themselves, the one-of-a-kind Tinkercad turkeys filled the design cloud.

Engineering Design process is pivotal in Ms. Gray's STEM class. Students build models of turkeys via Tinkercad.  Merge's AR Object Viewer app brought each prototype to life (see image below)  as turkeys were held, twisted, and turned students lent an examining eye.  Questions abound.  Do they attach to the base?  Is each turkey up to design specifications? Are they too big?  Time to go back and improve.  The beauty of Merge Cube's Object Viewer app?  It acts as a 3D printer print preview.  Who doesn't love a helpful print preview?  Another benefit of the app is its capability to act as an augmented reality project preview for schools that don't have access to 3D printers.

A special thank you to Ms. Alicia Gray, STEM Teacher, Paulding County School District for sharing her lesson. Follow Ms. Gray on Twitter and Instagram @stemdaywithgray

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

3Doodler Makes Reading Fun

      Hello everyone! I'm today's guest blogger- with a post you won't want to skip!

     Our topic is Maker Bookmarks, as you probably saw by the title. Making these handy place-savers is fun, easy, and highly customizable, so let's get to making!

     Here are the materials I used to create this project:

     You'll definitely want to invest in some 3-Doodler molds to get started. These are rubber, which is perfect for peeling off your design. I used the Shapes and Symbols molds, but other fun animals and shapes are available as well. Truly a simple process. Of course, you can always freehand the design if you would like, but the molds helped me because I'm not an artist by any means. These molds work by filling the shape using the 3-Doodler, waiting about 30 seconds for it to dry completely, then peeling it off. That simple!

     When I say these bookmarks are totally customizable, I mean it! You can make these as simple or complicated as you like, which makes this project a fun one for kids as well as adults. Once you have made a shape, feel free to get creative and combine multiple of your creations to make other designs. For example, I made a flower using a circle for the center, in which 8 ovals branched out to form multicolored petals, as shown below. To attach the shapes, use more 3-Doodler plastic on the back of the design.

   The final step is to attach your design to a paperclip. I prefer the jumbo-size so that the paperclip is not entirely taken up by the design, therefore still able to clip onto paper. Attach the clip and your design by using 3-Doodler plastic, then hold the two together until dry. Ta-da! Your unique DIY bookmark is ready to be used- so get to reading! These would also make adorable gifts for teacher appreciation or your bookworm friend.

     Here are a few bookmarks that I have made:

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Buzzz...BristleBots in Motion

Have you heard of Bristlebots?  They are made up of toothbrush heads, a battery and page motor. And the best part, they are super easy for students to assemble. Not only do these tiny microrobots fit with math and science standards, but the soft skills such as perseverance, problem solving, collaboration, communication, team building abound. #growthmindset

As I have just began exploring the resources and curricular connections these buzzing bots bring to education, there are a ton of them. Here are just a few thoughts and ideas.  Feel free to share ways you plan to use them with your students.

Curricular Connections:
  • Science Connection:  How does a circuit work?  By designing the bristlebot students discover the secret to circuitry to make it go.  How can I design the bot to go faster? Slower? Design race challenges.
  • PBL Connection - Robotic Mop - My colleague, Kristin Siembieda, suggested painting to find volume and area.  A great hook, roll out the bulletin board paper and let students experiment before designing a prototype.  To bring in authentic learning and the PBL components, she suggests to local elementary teachers, students design an robotic mop.  Using graph paper, place their buzzing bot to the test to see how much area it could cover in so many minutes.  What changes could be made to the bot to cover more surface area?  Longer brush end?  Smaller brush end? Less decoration?
  • ELA STEAM Connection - 

This image from LearnOBots has lots of creative character. Students could design book characters.  The bot could run across an ELA story map

  • Math and Measurement: Measuring how far the bot travels.

  • Extensions:  Take your bot home and see what your students create?  Post pics and share with the class.

How you will use these STEAM gadgets, mighty microrobotics or mighty vibrobotics?  You decide.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Why I Love Working at KSU iTeach

I really enjoy quotes.  Some push me.  Others make me smile.  While some downright make me laugh.  Like this meme.   Can I get an Amen?

However, one quote in particular, defines me.  The quote below is my MO.  My purpose, my passion, my drive.  But most of all, my heart, next to my family, is my desire to share my love for technology integration.   

@DaveGuerin visually illustrates what every profession should hold for its employee.  Wouldn't this be great to share with students looking toward their futures?

KSU iTeach provides opportunities to transform learning EVERYDAY.   With @stephsteph83 at the helm, helping teachers personalize learning with data driven instruction coupled with targeted instruction, student ownership, reflection, and digital integrated content which ultimately impacts student achievement becomes a reality. A mouthful, right?  Translated, working with teachers to seamlessly integrate blended learning into the curriculum in a way that meets the needs of every student.

The most rewarding piece?  When a student makes a connection, takes ownership and soars.  Perfect example, our first Maker Camp launched this summer.  A past blog post on our Maker Camp.  Our station theme was coding.  At the Ozobot rotation, day one, campers learned coding basics, ran a few practice mazes.  Campers were semi-interested.  Every day we added new challenges.  On the third day, the challenge consisted of making DIY skins for their Ozobots. Picture hot glue guns, buttons, fabric, pipe cleaners, and any other embellishment you can imagine.   Campers decorated their skins anyway their imagination lead.  Some made mice, others made cats, others rockstars, the sky was the limit.  Can you say STE(A)M?  Adding the "art" and "personalized" piece, this station came alive for these campers.  Campers were designing everything from coded concert halls to vacation spots.  The ozobot became "real-world", authentic, they got it.  The proverbial light went off.  That day will go down in the history books for me.  A day full of reward.  Coding was embraced.  They were playing, while learning and didn't even realize it.  Just one of the many reasons I love my job.

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Mindset of a Maker Educator - KSU iTeach and Horizon's Maker Camp

The Maker Movement is taking education by storm.  Why is this movement so important?  According to NewsWeek's article, "Creativity Crisis", student creativity test scores (Torrence's IQ Test) had been rising until 1990, since then a steady decline.  Most apparent in grades K-5.  Why?  In the 1990's we saw more technology growth than ever.  The decade of the '90's introduced the World Wide Web, the Pentium Processor, and electric cars to name of few.  Our students were consuming more than producing.  The remedy?  Get them creating again.  Let's bring back the American Ingenuity. America is known for it's great inventors, specialists in figuring out new ways of doing things. A problem solving nation.

Leave it to the KSU iTeach Center, to make a mark on developing future creative genius's. The next cancer curer, expert reverse brain engineer, skilled cybercrime/cyberterrorism programmer. Creativity is a major component in thinking like an engineer.  KSU iTeach Center, takes our job seriously transforming the lives of students through STEAM (science, technology, arts, engineering and math).

Horizon's Maker Camp was no exception.  Our staff, worked with rising 1st graders to integrate Maker Camp with an emphasis on Coding.  A special thanks to our team members, Kris McBride @bebemomLeigh Martin @leighmlibrarian  and Helen Maddox @ITTechCafe who helped to make these student's day.

What did our campers learn at Horizon's ?  Campers were introduced to what it looked like to be a Maker.  Station Rotation allowed campers to rotate between the Sphero, Osmos Coding, and Ozobots.  After round one of rotations campers read stories by the amazing Leigh Martin, on big ideas and makers.  The last round concluded with STEAM challenges at each stop, Sphero, Osmos Coding, and Ozobots.  Want to learn more?  Read our S'more flier.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

KSU iTeach Center Maker Camp

Makers Gonna Make, Make, Make

The first KSU iTeach Center Maker Camp was a huge success. Twenty campers grade K-5th marched through the doors of Kennesaw Hall ready to create.  What is a Maker?  A maker uses their imagination and materials (both techie and non-techie) around their environment to solve problems or invent something new.  Our unique camp provided campers with makerspace, a collaborative environment to design, prototype, and created manufactured works which would not be possible to individual working in spaces alone.

Camp kicked off in true camp fashion:  Tie Dye Shirts

Campers learned what it meant to be a maker.  Using books from our Maker Bookshelf, campers followed characters such as Rosie and her dream to be an engineer, Iggy and his passion for architecture, and a little girl and her canine assistant.  But most of all they learned a maker never gives up.  Making ideas out of your brain can be hard, says Kid President.  Get a dream, get a goal and go for it.  At the end of the week campers shared their thoughts on what a maker is...

Campers cracked the Osmos latest, Coding game.  Coding teaches logic and problem solving in a digital gaming environment.  

Personalized Learning with Ozobots

STEAM education becomes real and innovate with the Ozobot in hand.  The Ozobot is a tiny robot programmed to read lines.  The lines are hand coded by kids.  Codes can be created offline (using good 'ole fashioned paper), on the the app, or the Ozoblockly coding editor.  Take it a step further by personalizing the robots DIY skins.  Which is what inspired our campers.  Who wants to dance? Meet us at the disco party followed by a trip to the Bahamas.  Oh the places the Ozobot will go. Once they learned they could bring their Ozobot to life, they designed discos, cities, market places, vacation spots all with coded mazes for Ozobot to follow.

Spheros are a Hit!

Sphero is an app enabled robotic ball.  Combined with the Tickle App campers coded the Sphero to run obstacle courses.  Who's Sphero is faster?  Camper "J" explains how the Sphero works.

We loved the "giant sized" Jenga blocks.  Thanks to Hope King, from Ron Clark Academy for letting us borrow them.  You have inspired us to make a set! They made the obstacle super challenging.

Campers unleashed their creative juices while learning about parallel and serial circuits.  Who doesn't like to mold modeling clay and add a few lights, motors and sounds?  Check out Camper "C's" creation.

Lights! Camera! Action!  Campers wrote scripted and took their show on the road with Do Ink's chroma key feature.  Do you recognize these stars?

The week in review.  We still have spaces left in our July Maker Camp. Follow our camp fun on Twitter #MakerCamp2016