Make a Mint Box Miniature!

In almost all of my work with students, I search for "low-floor and high-ceiling" tools, meaning they are easy to use from the start yet have tremendous potential for growth in the learning process. However, I often take on new tools that have a steeper learning curve in my own learning, hoping to utilize my... Continue Reading →

The New Tinkercad Shapes Panel

This month, Tinkercad released a¬†new Shapes Panel¬†organized by categories and subcategories of shapes. This new look replaces and enhances the previous version and will soon include models submitted by Tinkercad users. Here are the current categories: You can preview each category in full or isolated into subcategories. For example, here is the Vehicles & Machines... Continue Reading →

Neopixel LEDs and the micro:bit

For the past few weeks, I have been working with the 6th grade on micro:bit in preparation for their Legends of the Trash Creatures project. This year, given our health protocols related to COVID, students are not doing group work, which is traditionally an essential part of our LTC project. In years past, part of... Continue Reading →

Little Free Library

During one of our board meetings at LumenSparQ, a board member introduced us to the concept of a tiny home-built lending library where people in the community can borrow, take, and also share back books. Intrigued by this idea, I did a quick google search which turned up a fantastic nonprofit organization called Little Free... Continue Reading →

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 →

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