The Finale!


So we did it!! We created our “Portable Heater” once again and we went through the steps from beginning to end in the video posted above.

Materials Used

  • Altoids Container
  • Sheet metal
  • Durable Hole Puncher
  • Tea Lights
  • Box/Book Matches
  • Heavy Duty Scissors
  • Marshmellows (To test out finished product)
  • Tiny Glass of water (To test out finished product)

This project started off with a few rough patches but we have prevailed and have actually created this actually maker 3-4 times each time going through the trail and error to see what worked best and what didn’t. We mastered the assignment and it works very well.

This heater can be used to roast Marshmellows, to warm up food, and small sums of water. We tried it with all of the above and it worked. It gets really HOT!! I hope you enjoyed our video and look forward to you trying it at the Makers Faire.



Experiments with the heater wonder

Created another portable heater but also imporved a lot of it. These are just small experiments before the final cut with EIrby that will be posted tonight!

The process in making this is now becoming a load simpler because we are mastering it slowly. We readjusted more things, bought a better hole puncher, thought to make the heating space larger and went green for cut numero dos.

The video will show you how we experimented with our new and improved portable heater: Made by EIrby & ReyAwesome


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Be a Maker – Final Draft

At the beginning of this project (Maker Plan) I must say I was a bit lost and doubtful on whether or not I should stick to the target practice board I had in mind. But as I continued to follow through with it, I realized and remembered that there are so many schools that do not have the budget to purchase the new technological games/equipment that are now being incorporated into the world of physical education.

The budgets in the New York City school system are handled differently than the neighboring suburban school districts in Long Island, Westchester etc. There are other priorities in the NYC Department of Education which administrators feel are far more important than equipment for their physical education classes. This is why I was convinced that what I was working on for my project would be something that not only would benefit the students but the schools budget as well.

About a year ago as I went to observe a gym class in a school in queens. The teacher pulled me aside and showed me the equipment room. The room was full of sports balls, volleyball nets, cones and other miscellaneous items that had been purchased over 25 years ago. The teacher went on to tell me that many times she’s had to purchase some (not all) equipment to replace some of the aging equipment that was no longer useable out of her own pocket to benefit the kids.


The total amount spent on my project was close to $10 dollars, which were really spent to buy the proper sports balls. The items used/purchased are as followed:


–       A piece of drywall (sheetrock) which was laying around my garage: $0

–       White paint (extra paint laying around from previous home projects): $0

–       Printed images from Google images and glued them onto the board: $0

–       Sharpie marker: $0

–       Drywall cutter: $0

–       Nerf football: $5

–       Nerf Baseball: $3

–       Poster boards used for foot placement: $2

–       The feeling of accomplishment: $PRICELESS$


It was so inexpensive to put this project together that could/will benefit many kids. As it may seem like a simple target practice, students would have to use their hand and eye coordination, their foot placement/positioning as well as hand placement for the various sports balls used.

On the video I not only show how I made the piece, but I also included a mini-demonstration on how it can be used as a physical education setting. If you have 3 of these boards set up you can simply teach a class and have the students engaged by giving them a reward for getting the ball through the targeted area or you can also give students an “E” effort. Rewards can range from simple items such as the instructor on a future class to a healthy snack.

Keeping students engaged and sticking to the fundamentals, as well as getting creative with limited resources  the key ingredient to benefiting the students as well as the schools and their budget and  getting the job done.

Lastly, I must say that I was quite excited that i compiled three separate videos and was able to work on some minor video editing as well as some other features.


Cheers to a great class!

Giant Ants at Work – More Mobile Microscope

This time I didn’t do any damage to the mobile phone microscope as I did for the animated burning candle. I shot these on my walk from the car to campus, which I did basically with my head down looking for ants. So of course you start to notice things you don’t normally including these really beautiful yellow wild flowers.

I finally found my ants on campus near the steps to the entrance of the main building. They were working on their hill placing one grain of sand at a time, which in this GIF makes it look like they’re moving boulders.

Here’s the video as well with an extended look at the ant construction, but look for the critter on the white flower. I didn’t even notice it while shooting (it was bright and a hot 95° in Queens), the things you can discover with a portable microscope.

Things we would miss out on if individuals didn’t create and invent wonderful tools.

I was inspired by Prof. Smith to share a few cell samples from a previous biology course I took, hope you enjoy. I think they are real pieces of art work.

Mammal Adipose Tissue [400x]

Cell containing lipids (fat cells) in this figure have been stained with Sudan III dye. As we can observe adipose tissues indicate how lipids accumulate in cells.  In red is droplet containing lipid.


Potato Tuber Starch Grains [1000x oil ]

Plant tissue stores starch (polysaccharides) within the cytoplasm in the forms of granules. These cells have been stained with Periodic acid-Schiff stain this results in pink/purple stained starch. We observed some cells contain more than a few granules. Cell membrane is stained green.


Mammal colon goblet cells, mucous sec mc & h [100x]

The lining cells of the nose and other mucus secreting locations have compounds called mucopolysaccharide, which are glycoproteins. Mucopolysacharides in this figure are observed by the color red because it has been stained with Periodic acid-Schiff.

My maker plan revised: The shoebox of union and education

I have given some thought to my original maker plan and decided that it didn’t suit my real interests and probably those of my future students; so I came up with something much better and I think this is it! To begin with, I’m a bilingual childhood education major (Spanish). So, I’ve been to many classrooms where sometimes kids can be a little mean to each other when another child/student doesn’t know English well or even vice versa.  So in order to try and have the children appreciate other languages other than their native one and to also have a little fun learning and practicing while they are doing it, I (my husband helped me so I will credit him too) came up with the shoebox and story booklet project/ activity.  I will create a nice colorful shoebox which will be filled with little papers.  These little papers will have a phrase or word written on it. Each paper will have it written in both languages (Spanish and English), so that the native English speaker will learn Spanish, and the Native Spanish speaker will be learning and practicing English. :). I will go around with the box, they will pick a paper and read it out loud. They will be provided with little hand made booklets or they can make it themselves, so after they pick the word and read it thea can write it in both languages in their little booklets.  This will be a weekly activity, if not every other day, so they can fill up their little booklets and at the end of the year they can make a story book with all the words that they have in their booklet.  :). One more thing, I do realize that as a public school teacher the classroom is very diverse at times, so if there are students that speak a language other than English or Spanish, I will ask for them to contribute a word from their language:)

This activity will hopefully help each student interact, learn and appreciate other languages in order to lessen the barriers that are sometimes encountered in bilingual classrooms.  I will post a video later on today:)