Posted in 21st Century Learning, Food for Thought, Makerspace, Projects

The Art of Tinkering

I’ve spent Winter Break devouring the book, The Art of Tinkering.  It was created by Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium in San Francisco.  The book description is this:

The Art of Tinkering is a celebration of a whole new way to learn by thinking with your hands, working with readily available materials, getting your hands dirty, and, yes, sometimes failing and bouncing back from getting stuck. The Art of Tinkering offers a fascinating portrait of today’s maker scene, as well as beginner activities for you to try on your own. Make circuits out of playdough, film a time-lapse movie, fuse plastics into beautiful fabric, and much, much more.

Even the book itself can be hacked!

I can’t wait to incorporate some of these activities into our Makerspace programs.  If you are interesting in the Making/Tinkering movement, check it out!

Posted in Makerspace, Math, Projects, Roanoke County Schools, SPED

Spheros

The Oak Grove faculty was introduced to the school’s Makerspace at the faculty meeting last week. The project is still in the setup and learning phase, especially with the large influx of materials coming in. Part of my role in the project is to learn to use the new equipment and to explore uses for it that align with curriculum and STEM principles. The first piece of equipment that I’d like to introduce is our set of 5 Spheros. These are robotic balls that can be controlled and programed with iPad apps. They are great for real-life application of math skills, especially problem solving. One app, Drive N’ Draw, is a very simple app that can be used by younger students (even K and 1) with ease. Another app, Macrolab, allows older students to write simple programs that make the balls move in different directions, at different speeds, and with different colors. Changing speeds and colors requires division and percentages, and creating shapes allows students to practice lines and angles and other geometric principles. There’s a lot of math involved, and is appropriate for 4th and 5th graders. You can learn more here: http://www.gosphero.com/education/ 

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