Thursday, March 31, 2016

An Arcade that Changed the World

Today we introduced Dembach's Arcade.  Eighth graders will build a cardboard arcade game and take it to an elementary school to play their games.  In our arcade students also wire the games to complete a circuit when students win or lose.  This is a project that originated from a web video that came out around five years ago.   It's the story of Caine's Arcade.  A young boy who spends the summer creating arcade games in his dad's auto parts store.  Such a fabulous story.  We are now in the fourth year of Dembach's arcade and have reached the point where students who played 8th graders games will now build their own to share.

Let them Play

Playing with Sound

Today we had a bunch of demos and questions about sound.

Parents might hate this one but it's fun.
Phet Demo
A sound tube
What sound do different sized flasks make?

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Design for an Audience

My youngest daughter's preschool class has created a store and a doctors office for kids to play.  Her teachers posted on thier blog that they were creating suckers for treats after a check up.  I chatted with her teachers this morning and put a couple of students on a design 5th hour.   We sent the file over today.
Beginning the design.
Taking some measurements
The Final Design
The finished product.  The preschoolers really wanted a swirl.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Business Meeting

Today we had our first meeting with students about our T-shirt business.  There were three main topics of discussion.

1. Business Name
2. Departments 
3. Causes that we are interested in supporting

A Google Doc was started and we began to brainstorm.

Thinking and Checking
Screen shot of Names
So it Begins

Monday, March 28, 2016

Making Waves

Today we started some wave stations.  Dempsey and I set up eight different simulations and activities dealing with the characteristics of waves.

At one of the stations students hit a tuning fork and place it in water.  SlowMo is awesome.  You can see the sound waves.
A leaf on a wave
Comparing amplitude
Labeling waves
I demoed and explained the difference between longitudinal and transverse waves in the hall.

Prototype after Prototype after Prototype

Mr. Hayes is having his students design and build wind turbines.  One student decide to 3-D print the blades.  He and I worked for awhile on the center piece.
Version 1.0
This one fit like a glove.
The final blade.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Becoming a Witness

Today we went to the Saint Louis Holocaust Museum.  Our Dossier Gary first gave us a quick history of World War 1.  We then walked through the museum which showed via pictures and artifacts the history.  Then we heard from a survivor of the Holocaust.
Pictures from St. Louis survivors.

Yellow badge
Not for Jews
Labor and Concentration Camps
ID Necklace, food cup, and uniform.

Siegfried escaped Germany when he was 6.
They owned a car but were told if they left Germany they would have to leave behind all of your possessions.  So they walked to Italy where they took a boat to New York.  Through Ellis Island and then to St. Louis.  

What if science grew food for FACS?

So this is Dempsey's baby but I had to share.  So Dempsey wrote a grant for a Tower Garden last year.  Since then we have it up and running and have grown lettuce (see earlier blog). Patrick then went and asked Mrs. Burton and Mrs. Hertlein what kind of greens that they could use during the cooking unit.  Spinach was the food choice.  Today Dempsey rolled the Tower Garden down to the FACS room.

What happens when kids know where thier food comes from?
Cleaned and spun ready to cook.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Talking Design

Yesterday after school we Had a Google Hangout with Rebecca Hare.  Rebecca is a Designer turned Art Teacher.  She has an amazing lens and perspective.  It was awesome.  Follow her on Twitter @RLH_DesignED.  We were also joined by another friend, JaNekka from Avery.  Follow her on Twitter @AveryHoneyBees  She. Is. Fabulous.
Computer Wiz Rocking

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

We Are Back and Printing

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from some students doing a project at our 6th grade center.  They were making models of the earth and wanted to know if I would print their model.  There was also a student doing a book project on Anne Frank.  He designed the floor plan of The attic.
The whole world.

The design
A birds eye view.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Allen Distinguished Educators

I am still in shock and awe that all of this happened.  I am humbled to call these amazing teachers my colleagues.  Here is my view from the evening.
Two gussied up fellas.
Dale Dougherty dropping some knowledge.
Allen Distinguished Educators Class of 2016 and 2014.
Such an amazing award.
Me and Dale.  He is one of the reasons that Dempsey and I started down the maker path.  I have watched and shown kids We Are Makers dozens of times.  It was such an amazing opportunity to meet him.
Here is a picture of my wife and I with the award.  She couldn't be there the night of the ceremony but we did get to celebrate in Austin.  I don't know where I would be without her support and encouragement.

Thursday, March 17, 2016


The wife and I flew into Austin for SXSWedu.  We were there because I was receiving with Dempsey an award from the Paul Allen Foundation more on that in a separate post.  It was a great couple days of learning.
Here was our welcome into Austin.
We got a 5 mile run along Lady Bird Lake our first day.
Plenty of water sports.
Also BBQ
This was a session on 360 cameras.
You know my love of Play.
Wisconsin teacher and student discussing thier work with Aquaponics.
Me and Dan Rather hanging out.
I missed the session with SamLabs but they stuck around to give me a personal demo.  Fabulous guys, fabulous product.
There was also a trip to Dandy's a gentlemens store.  So awesome!
BBQ in the airport to say good bye to Austin.