Showing posts with label makerspaces. Show all posts
Showing posts with label makerspaces. Show all posts

Friday, September 3, 2021

Three Good Places to Find Ideas for Makerspaces

Makerspaces can be a great place for students to tinker and experiment with desgins for all kinds of things from 3D printed objects to wind-powered model cars to cardboard robots. The possibilities seem limited only by the budget and materials you have available. However, while some students are naturally inclined to come up with all kinds of ideas for makerspace projects, other students need some inspiration. Here are three good places to find ideas for makerspace projects. 

Hacking STEM is a Microsoft website that offers about two dozen hands-on science and engineering lessons. The activities are a mix of things that students can probably do on their own and some that probably can't be done without the supervision of a teacher or parent with working knowledge of the concept(s) being taught. For example, the mini solar house project that I'm having my ninth grade students do can be done safely without my direct supervision (I'm removing the glue gun component and having them use tape). But the "party lights" activity on the same page is not something they'll be able to do on their own. 

Exploratorium's Science Snacks website has dozens and dozens of hands-on science and engineering projects for students of all ages. There is a subsection of the site called Family-Friendly Snacks that offers activities specifically designed for parents to do at home with their kids. The vast majority of the projects can be done with common household items. And in response to the COVID-19 outbreak Exploratorium has a selection of activities and videos about viruses.

Tinkercad is an online program that students can use to create designs for 3D printable objects. It can also be used to design simple circuits and Arduino projects. Students can safely design and test circuits and Arduino projects completely online through the use of Tinkercad’s online simulator. Tinkercad includes a large gallery of project ideas that students can mix and remix in their online accounts. As a teacher you can create a free classroom account in which you can see your students’ work.

This blog post was excerpted from my 2021-22 version of The Practical Ed Tech Handbook. A copy will be emailed to you when register for my Practical Ed Tech Newsletter.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Intro to Simple Electronics in Makerspaces

Yesterday morning I gave a short virtual presentation for the New Jersey TeachMeet. The topic of my presentation was an introduction to using simple electronics in makerspaces. The presentation focused on three main resources. Those resources are Microsoft's Hacking STEM, Exploratorium's Science Snacks, and TinkerCad. The slides from my presentation are embedded below and can also be seen here.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

The Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp

Every summer teachers from all over the world join me here in Vacationland for the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp. This year I've had to suspend the in-person workshops in favor of a virtual format. The good news is that this year I'll be able to accommodate more people than ever before.

What is it?
The Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp is all about helping you gain knowledge and develop new tech skills. You'll develop these skills through ten interactive webinars, a discussion forum, and a virtual social hour.

Some of the topics that we'll cover include developing video and podcasting projects, making simple apps, teaching search strategies, and tying everything together with digital portfolios. The complete list of topics is available here. I'll show you how all of these topics and tools fit into a simple framework that you can use whenever you're developing new lessons.

When is it?
The Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp will be held three times this summer. The first session is June 15th-19th. The second session is July 6th-10th. And the third session is July 20th-24th.

Every session includes ten live webinars, a discussion forum, and a virtual social hour. Don't worry if you can't make it to every live webinar because they will be recorded for you to watch when it is convenient for you.

You can register right here for the session of your choice. Register in May and you'll save $50. Discounts are available for groups of five or more registering from the same school district.