Mint Box Miniature Landscapes

Introduction For the past couple of months I have worked on a project that has actually been years in the making, at least in my mind. Year after year, I saved up a number of old Altoids mint tins, knowing that I would start a project with them some day. I didn’t know precisely what... Continue Reading →

Time for Personal Projects

As the calendar year comes to an end, I write this one last post to share the importance of making and creativity for one's own personal growth and satisfaction. As maker educators, we spend a good deal of time working with students on their journeys into design, building, invention, and exploration. It is equally important,... Continue Reading →

Cardboard Construction for Kids!

As a previous blog post demonstrates, I am a huge fan of working with cardboard. It is a terrific medium for rapid prototypes and allows kids to experiment, test, make mistakes, and revise with little or no material cost. In that post I mentioned a number of tools and materials that can be used in conjunction... Continue Reading →

Halloween Haunt with Hummingbird Bit

Halloween is the perfect time to test out the new Hummingbird Bit from Birdbrain Tech. My plan is to create a remotely controlled ghastly ghost or scary skull, something that can be triggered at a little distance to light up and move. For $6, I picked up a hanging phantom from Target. It's not mechanical... Continue Reading →

Skills Badges in a Maker Space

For some years, I have wanted to implement a system for badging students as they learn new skills. I always loved stickers as a kid and, although I wasn't a boy scout, I remember classmates showing their badges and accomplishments at school, and thinking that was cool, but also something they took great pride in... Continue Reading →

Walk, Don’t Walk!

A few weeks back I received an old pedestrian sign, the kind that shows an image of a person walking in white LEDs or a large hand held up to indicate "Stop!" in red LEDs. My cousin had recently purchased a batch of these at an auction for dirt cheap and thought that I might... Continue Reading →

Tinkercad Codeblocks (BETA)

Tinkercad recently announced a new feature called Codeblocks. While still in beta, this feature allows 3D designers to use code blocks (powered by Scratch) to create models that they can share, export and even place into their Parts Collection. While coding in 3D design for the average user isn't new, see OpenSCAD and BeetleBlocks as examples, having access to the... Continue Reading →

Revisiting the Automata Lesson

A few years back, in my Creator's Studio course, I taught a unit on automata. defines an automaton as "a mechanical figure or contrivance constructed to act as if by its own motive power." I have always been intrigued by this concept, seeing example automata in museums and magic shops as a kid. The idea... Continue Reading →

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