Posts

Google Drawings to Laser cutting

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 I created this tutorial for students at my middle school. Technology Education students right now are in person, but due to COVID restrictions, they aren’t able to use as many traditional tools.  I am helping my Tech Ed teacher, Mr Waldschmidt, to find options that students can program, create, and model using tools on Chromebooks. Here is the short version. Machines like Glowforge and Cricut use Scaleable Vector Graphics files (SVG) to program the machine to cut and scribe designs. Google Drawings is a application, part of the Google Suite, that allows you to create Vector drawings. This file can be downloaded and re-uploaded into applications for the Glowforge and Cricut. I like it when students try to think of problems that they can solve for themselves. Think of an authentic problem that they can solve. My example shows how to create a phone holder that I could laser cut from some plastic.  Here is the example I created in my presentation. Here is my long video, with bonus foota

Waupaca Tech Camp 2020

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 Hi all! One of the ideas I helped launch in Waupaca is the Waupaca Tech Camp. It is a time for teachers to give a little summer time for learning about technology supports for their classroom. Normally, it was a face to face occasion, and on my home turf at the Middle School. But this year... much different. This year we held it at Waupaca High School... which was different. Classrooms were spread around the building, instead of in one hallway. Acceptable changes. We also added in a Virtual option, where teachers could join in our lessons via Google Meet. Presenting information while masked up was different, and sometimes harder for the participant to hear... but livable. Here, I would like to post some of the sessions I presented this year. Asynchronous Learning   Above are the slides I presented... Synchronous Learning   Relay Classroom As changes came quick and fast this year, it is amazing that Tech Camp got off the ground this year. I hope I was able to meet some of the needs

Professional Development from MakeyMakey

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With the coronavirus, I wanted something I could learn about while having some fun and down time, without staring at my Netflix account too much. I recently found an opportunity to take an online PD from MakeyMakey, presented by Tom Heck . This course, called 'Beyond the Banana" explores electric circuitry that can be created and adapted to the MakeyMakey , a circut board that connects to a computer via USB. The MakeyMakey acts as a keyboard for the computer to add inputs from the real world. As the MakeyMakey works as a keyboard, you can program with websites like Scratch, Tynker, or just play a piano. I created an Indiana Jones drawing, that played the song as well. The Makey Makey was plugged into all of its' front ports, and a few letters via wire plugs on the back. It interacted with this website piano. My final project was to create a Instructable that goes through the design of an invention. My invention was more of an adaptation of an idea, to create a

Starting to work from home...

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So today I decided to start working from home during the #covid_19 emergency. I’m working on building professional development for teachers, responding to emails, and planning student tutorials. It’s new, but not scary. Looking forward to seeing how far my school grows with new skills!

DonkeyCar: Raspberry Pi Controlled Robot Car

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Last summer, I worked with students at Waupaca Middle School to create robotic cars. We started building from instructions from donkeycar.com , to build cars powered by Raspberry Pi computers. This process was technical, but my students did much of the heavy lifting. I created the disk images for the students, and my 3d printer was printing some of the largest parts ahead of time for our two week course. We were successful in creating drivable cars, within a week!  Here is a list of what the students did: Disassemble necessary parts of the car Assembly. Mounting battery. Finding the codes for calibrating the cars. 3d printing parts. programing in their codes,  launching the driving website. designing a road course for the cars. connecting a tablet to drive their car. driving the cars. and learning to fix the cars... when they didn't work so well. Here is the process that we followed. Want a copy? We have more work to do... but the platfo

Robotics Club

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Waupaca Middle School Robotics Club This year, my students have been asking me for an after school club. Students loved working with video cameras, and exploring the various robots I have in my classroom.  I partnered up with my Tech Ed Teacher,  Mr. Michael Waldschmidt, and we opened the labs for students to create. Our new after school club has been working to build STEM skills in our Middle School students. The first project was working to create a hydraulic arm, using syringes, and rubber tubing. The slides below are a bit of a log of what our students are up to, which run on digital signage outside of the lab. Currently, students are learning about coding, using Ozobots and Spheros. Students also are learning to manually fly light drones, such as the Parrot Mambo and the Tello Rize. Students are beginning to work through the Apple Swift Playgrounds app, to learn ways to code the drones and robots.

Chicken Feed

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Chicken feed! UPDate: We tried, but the eggs didn't hatch! Lesson: Failure is ok. The eggs were fertilized in winter, and I guess that this makes the eggs less likely to hatch. This was a first attempt, and I guess we didn't get spring chickens! But, we learned about live streaming, chickens, and some changes to try next time. Original Post: My students were interested in hatching chicken eggs. We talked through the problem, and decided to create a live stream, similar to the April the Giraffe baby watch. So, we are currently on Day 1 of our 21 day hatch. Incubator is set up, student jobs decided, and the live feed is up! Join in the chicken fun!