CSFirst, New and Improved, But Still…

When Google's CSFirst curriculum initially debuted a few years back, it provided a simple launch pad and curriculum for classrooms to use and learn about Scratch programming. Basic lessons walked students through engaging videos on various coding topics as students practiced what they saw on video in their own Scratch project. The main frustration with using CSFirst... Continue Reading →

Hey SketchUp, It’s Been Awhile

When I first entered the world of 3D design over a decade ago, the one tool freely available at the time was SketchUp. With my love of architecture going back to my high school years, SketchUp felt very familiar and intuitive. Start with a floor plan and build up from there. Need an elevation plan?... Continue Reading →

Anatomy of a Project (Scratch)

In my work developing instructional videos on various technology-related tools, I often focus on short videos with discrete concepts so that students can access these topics as needed during their learning journey. "Need to know how to cut a hole out of a solid in Tinkercad? See this video. Want to learn about the best tool for... Continue Reading →

Robot Petting Zoo(m)

I have enjoyed the Robot Petting Zoo (RPZ) project over the years, while in an actual classroom and while students could work together in small groups to design these fantastic creations. Students design and build these unique creatures out of everyday materials (cardboard, foam packing, construction paper) and robotics equipment (microcontrollers, sensors, motors, LEDs.). The... Continue Reading →

Glowforge, Lessons Learned

BACKGROUND I've been using the Glowforge extensively since the day it arrived in the spring of 2018. For both student projects and personal projects, this laser cutter has produced incredible work. Before the Glowforge, I used a Full Spectrum Hobby Laser, similar in capacity and feature set, but a machine that required an external water... Continue Reading →

The Pocket Document Camera

This has been a whirlwind Labor Day weekend. Not just because I have been printing and resin casting nonstop to get the Pocket Document Camera ready for our students and teachers, but because the conversation regarding it just blew up on Twitter, in a great way. What an amazing, thoughtful, kind, and collaborative world we... Continue Reading →

Mint Box Project v2

I initially wrote about the mint box miniature landscapes project in February of 2019. In that post, I provided instructions on how to create your own project using an empty mint box, layers of laser cut designs, and a simple LED circuit. I shared a few examples of the project that had been created up... Continue Reading →

Pivoting on Passion Project

In prior posts, I have shared our experiences around the WNS Passion Project, the annual 8th-grade capstone that asks students to take on a project that addresses a local or community issue with a foundation in one of the 17 United Nations Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (See 1 , 2). The project is an opportunity... Continue Reading →

DIY Lantern with LED Flame Bulb

I've been fascinated by those flame simulating LED bulbs ever since they came to market. You know the ones. They look somewhat like an ordinary bulb when not plugged in, albeit a bit oblong and cylindrical, but a bulb nonetheless. When you plug them into a lamp, they glow and flicker like a flame, and... Continue Reading →

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