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.



AC230 Maker Faire!

Maker Faire Bay Area 2008

For our final class, we are going to have an opportunity to present and play with the tools and projects we’ve all been working on for the past three weeks. Each of you will be able to demonstrate and get others to use your tools in a ten-minute informal presentation. We’ll run three at a time so people can bounce between the various projects. I’m planning on broadcasting the event on a live webstream, so hopefully we’ll get some online participants watching and giving us feedback too.

Also I’m going to set-up some stations for ‘making’ the day of the fair. You’re welcome to set-up a station as well for others. It’s all in the maker spirit and for fun.

Stations I’ll setup are as follows:

  • colored eggs with messages about creating.
    October 2010 - 16
  • make a human animated GIFs gallery
  • sci-fi a toy (with silver paint) – get ambitious and you can make an R2-D2 bike helmet.

Leave you’re ideas in the comments and bring anything you’d like!

essay title

my maker plan

after a week of thinking what i can build or modify and ultimately use in a classroom setting, i have come up with nothing! I always find these types of assignments difficult. one DIY project that has caught my attention was a do it yourself video on making an air conditioner! i love the idea and that it’s simple to build. though it might not have a purpose for teaching a subject or topic, it can be useful for those nasty hot days your teaching in a class that has no A/C and no air coming in through the windows! i remember when i was in junior high and high school having to learn in a classroom that was unbearably hot because their was never in A/C or fan in the room. I could not learn anything, all i did was look at the clock and hoped for time to fly by. my thing is you can carry it and leave it in the classroom and hook it up whenever your students complain about the heat, just set it up in the back of the classroom. It will make your day more pleasant and your students will give you thier undivided attention, hopefully! I will post up my video figuring it out soon!



#TeamMakers – Decisions, Decisions …. Rocket vs. Heater

For the Makers project me and Rey teamed up and went through many different ideas as to what we can make that also be an assignment we can teach to our future students. We didn’t to just build anything we wanted our “Maker” or “Tool” to serve a purpose.  The first idea we came up with was to make “High-Pressure Foam Rockets” as were seen on the Make Project website, we felt that it was fun, creative and fundamental for our future classrooms but it wasn’t challenging enough. So we stumbled across the “Altoids -Tin Heater”, and we thought it was perfect, challenging, creative. The project even though it seems rather easy it was a bit of a challenge especially when it came to cutting and punching holes through the sheet metal.

The objective of this tool is to teach our future students how to build a portable heater for survival kit purposes possibly to use when camping and needing to roast marshmallows or to simply boil water as suggested on the web-page. Stay tuned for our final finished product!

This is the link to Reyawesome’s post of our 2nd attempt of building our Heater.

Bumper my Course

This class/course is far from tradition and it makes it feel like a breath of fresh air. I know that I will be able to take so much away from this course after its over because it gave me a new found love for blogging. Also as a future educator I know that I can take the things I’ve learned and incorporate it into my own classroom. I like to learn and to be able to teach with little limitations as possible. I come to realize that every student will learn and grasp things different when it comes to learning.


This course has given me the freedom to express myself and to tap into my creative side. I know once I’ve put my mind to it I can put together great ideas and future assignments. I’ve also learned from my classmates through their post. The bumper stickers I chose to tag to the “Honk If You’re a Maker”  so far (will post more) was the “Creative Eye” which I felt was necessary throughout the course. The other bumper sticker was the “Creative Genius” picture. I felt both describe the course perfectly.


Slap Your Thoughts on This Course

Bumper Stickers

Over the next three days I want you to contribute your thoughts and reflections about this course so far in the shared space I’ve created in a Google Drawing.

In that linked document you can write, draw, paste images, whatever you’d like. Also you can move and edit what is already there. Don’t worry about changing other student’s work as the drawing will allow us to record the transformation.

It’s a three day sprint which will allow you to slap as many bumper sticker ideas about the class so far. Have fun!

Afterwards describe what changes you made in a new post and why. Download and embed a jpg of the state of the drawing after you’ve made your contributions.

Update: Here is a video showing the drawing progress over the three days.

Cellphone Microscopes, Please Break and Rebuild

Through a tweet I was pointed to this post about a middle school California standardized test which had a reading comprehension question on the proper use of a microscope.

The question that followed was this:

The microscope lens should initially be placed close to the glass slide:

A. Because focus is achieved by moving closer to the specimen.
B. Because the specimen on the slide will be in perfect focus.
C. To avoid breaking the glass slide when adjusting the focus.
D. To maintain distance from the microscopic stage.

The writer pointed out the insanity of students proving their knowledge of a microscope through their ability to follow a diagram’s instructions, which I completely agreed with and was equally disappointed by.

Have you ever looked through a microscope? Created a wet mount slide of pond water (I did in sixth grade) and utterly marveled at the world that exists inside that tiny space?

Inspired by the article, I started to search for what I new likely existed – hacks to build your own microscope with a mobile phone. I found this $5 one which is a 35x microscope that a maker attached to his iPhone case, creating a snap-on, snap-off microscope for his iPhone’s camera.

I ordered this little part from Amazon, but it’s not going to come in time for the class, so I’m going to make something a little harder, a 350x microscope attachment for the mobile phone. I looks to be a bit harder to make (and more expensive) but I’m hoping to use it for making not just 350x pictures, but videos as well. There’s another group making a similar scope that uses wet mount slides. The video will be really fun I hoping to make more animated GIFs, one of my ongoing passions.

Be a Maker!!!!

One thing that is surely to happen in your experience as a K-12 teacher in New York City is you will find resources (especially technology) limited. You can and should be frustrated by this situation, but also you can look to maker culture as a beacon of hope if you’re willing to pull things apart and build. They are willing to get their hands dirty, pulling apart iPhones, hacking code, and even simply getting on the hammer, screw gun and doing-it-themselves.

I’d like you to watch this talk by Grant Potter at University of Mary Washington’s 2012 Faculty Academy. It’s great as he makes a lot of connections between maker values and education.

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This ideal is one that I’ve recently been thinking about for teachers through the likes of friends who’ve been experimenting with 3-D printers like the MakerBot, and through David Darts (maker of the pirate box), discovering Cory Doctorow’s short scifi story Printcrime. I’ve been used to scanning and printing on color lasers, injets, and offsetpress for some time, but now you can scan an object and print it. Relatively cheaply too. Just think, that dohicky thingy breaks on your kids nice plastic toy, and you could scan it and make a replacement part.

Now imagine what you could fix, build, create in a classroom with students if that were available? 3D printers like the makerbot are just becoming available due to a lower price point. Sadly York doesn’t have one (yet), so we’re going to work on another exercise to play with the maker ideal.

Over the next two weeks you are going to build a tool that you could use to support your teaching. The tool could be anything, a digital tool (code only and would possibly require programming), the mashing together of existing tools (I’m going to build an iPhone microscope), or even something you build with traditional tools – hammer, nails, wood, glue, popsicle sticks, exacto knives, paper mache, whatever.

Over the next two weeks you are going to do three blog posts about what you’re making:

1. For today you are going to propose something to make. I could be based on something someone else has built, and you’re just going to build it too. You also have to tell us how you and your students could use it in your future classroom. And even better, imagine how they could build their own version of the tool too. I want you also to reflect on Grant Potter’s talk and how it is feeding into your thoughts about what you plan to build.

2. Next Monday 6/18, you will blog with a video showing your process of building it. Here’s a good example for an iPhone microscope (video) and in photos of students building a camera obscura. Do you’re best to show steps.

3. And for the final maker post 6/25, you will demonstrate the tool’s use. You’ll need to make a video for this as well or we can use it with you in the final classroom.