Maker Spotlight: Edison Middle School
The Makerspace at Edison Middle School is truly a testament to how technology has developed over the past 10 years. It started as an industrial arts workshop that has been upgraded and adapted to meet the standards of today's technology. The administration and faculty have worked hard to make new technology available to the students and will continue to upgrade in the future. This Makerspace has everything from simple woodworking tools to complex computer programs and 3D printers. The main goal of the space is to allow students to utilize their creativity and bring their ideas to life.
Recently students had two major projects that allowed them to take ownership of their creativity and make it a reality. The one project was creating new corn hole boards for the school's physical education program. The other project was building garden beds for the Edison Community garden. Both of these projects showed how students can take on leadership roles and become engaged in different learning experiences. Both projects required students to develop a plan, take accurate measurements, understand the types of materials they are working with, think outside of the box; and practice safety precautions required of working in a Makerspace.
At Edison Middle School we understand that our Makerspace not only provides the students different types of learning opportunities, it also provides the opportunity to develop everyday life skills such as leadership, teamwork, planning, time management, goal setting, etc. This environment is not tailored to one type of student either. It allows students from all different walks of life to create. This space allows all students to realize their true potential and allow them opportunity to do more in the future.
Tool Review: 3D Printing Pens: Scribbler V3
Submitted by: Nahdi Bropleh, AmeriCorps VISTA
3D printing pens are becoming increasingly popular for use in creating 3-dimensional figures. A 3D pen is similar to a pencil or pen however, it utilizes plastic rather than ink or lead. The Scribbler 3D Pen V3 is a top selling 3D pen that has been on the market for some time and is as an updated version of the Scribbler V2.
This pen is very affordable compared to other 3D pens and can also be found on Amazon at a lower cost than the manufacturer. It is available in a variety of different colors and includes the pen itself, power cord, three loops of filament, and instructions great for novice learners. This pen is also very lightweight, at just 2.6 oz. As for filaments, the Scribbler 3D Pen V3 can use regular filaments of different colors and can easily be changed when desired.
To function, the Scribbler V3 uses plastic at high temperatures to draw an object. Once created, the melted plastic cools rather quickly making this process safe for children. While the V3 can come across bulky and uneasy to use the minimal learning curve does compensate for that. It is also very responsive, convenient and can be used on almost all surface types. When operating the Scribbler V3, users have control of extrusion speed and temperature. For those who are avid traditional drawers this pen may seem a bit bulky and will require patience but it's price and ability are well worth it. If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact Nahdi Bropleh at Nahdi@educationalliance.org.
- Create a micro ecosystem, in a jar, to demonstrate the ecological cycles that keep us alive. This easy, fun project requires a majority of materials found outdoors, making it extremely cost effective. Click here to learn more!
- Today, there are many techniques in which one may make an image three-dimensional. Holograms are one of the ways this may be achieved. Use your smartphone to create precise three-dimensional images that reflect lifelike holograms. Click here to learn more about holograms and other innovations through making!
- Stay cool this summer with an inexpensive DIY battery powered air conditioner based on Willis Carrier's 1902 model. Learn about vapor compression vs. water evaporation while completing this moderately difficult project. Click here for more information on how to create your own air conditioning system.
- EcoTech Grants - The Captain Planet Foundation is offering two grant opportunities for students to engage in inquiry-based projects, in STEM fields, that use innovation to address environmental issues in their communities. Be sure to apply by the May 30th deadline.
- STEM Classroom Grant - First Energy is offering STEM education grants of up to $1,000 for educators of schools and youth groups in communities served by any of their electric operating companies. This grant will support creative classroom projects within STEM fields that will take place during the 2017-2018 school year. Be sure to apply by the September 22nd deadline.
Student Opportunities & Competitions:
WV Clay Center Spring Break Camp - Inventor's Lab - Inspired by Makerspaces, this camp presents daily challenges in engineering and design. Give your students the opportunity to explore invention and innovation by building 3D sculptures, discovering the principals of of electrical engineering, sound design, visual programming and more! This camp will take place form April 10th - 14th. Register here; $150 family plus and premium members; $175 non-members.
WV STEM Challenge - The Education Alliance is pleased to announce the 3rd annual STEM Challenge: Map WV. Students will use an online map-making software to design interactive maps of West Virginia. The top ten maps will win $100! The contest is open through May 1. Register by April 21.
Summer Science Adventure Camps - Beginning on June 5th, Marshall University College of Science will host their third Summer Science Adventure camps featuring hands-on and activity based learning covering many fields within STEM. There are different camps available for grades K-4, 5-9, and 9-12. Scholarships are available to cover camp costs. Register by May 15th.
WVU Tech Forensic Investigation Summer Camp - An academic camp for middle and high school students designed to provide a firsthand look into a professional forensics career through hands-on exercises and concept-based instruction. Registration due by May 28th.
Cacapon Institute Stream Scholars Summer Camp 2017 - Explore rivers and watersheds while learning about science in a week of adventure. SSCC 2017 will take place from July 17th - 21st. Registration due by July 1st.
Educator & Professional Opportunities:
STEM Speaker Series: Robot Futures - On April 13th, robotics professor and director of Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment at Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Illah Nourbakhsh, will be providing a free presentation on how robotics evolution could change society. Click here to register.
Marshall University GLOBE Workshop - On June 6th, Marshall University will hold a workshop geared towards middle and high school educators on innovative investigations about water. Educators attending will receive classroom materials to aid in water investigation implementation, as well as a $150 stipend. Teachers are encouraged to apply with other teachers from their schools. Register by April 15th.
UTeach Computer Science Training - WVU Center for Excellence in STEM Education is offering a free 5 day professional development opportunity (July 17-21) featuring a classroom-ready Computer Science curriculum taught by national experts. This training is available to West Virginia high school teachers and no prior computer science background or experience required. Educators attending will receive a $600 stipend, along with lodging, lunch and curriculum materials. Register by April 19th.
Infusing Technology Academy - Charleston - From June 26th - 28th, The WV Center for Professional Development is offering an opportunity for educators to learn effective classroom instruction using technology. The core concepts will be based on technology integration, student centered learning, collaboration, instructional strategies, and project-based learning. Registration and registration fee ($100) due by June 12th.
Infusing Technology Academy - Fairmont - From July 25th - 27th, The WV Center for Professional Development is offering an opportunity for educators to learn effective classroom instruction using technology. The core concepts will be based on technology integration, student centered learning, collaboration, instructional strategies, and project-based learning. Registration and registration fee ($100) due by July 10th.