4/30/2019. Today in iNEST 14 club members worked on LittleBits projects, drawing from lessons posted on this club web site under "projects." The number of girls in attendance this week was low because many were pulled out to work on end-of-grade (EOG) test prep for exams that start next week. The club will not meet next week during exams, but will return May 14 for a celebratory pizza party. May 14 will be the final club meeting of the year.
4/23/2019. This week in the iNEST maker club we had low attendance as many students extended their Easter Monday holiday with extra days off, and other students were pulled out to start test prep for those much anticipated end-of-grade (EOG) tests. Remaining students worked on end-of-year surveys about their club experiences and continued with varied 3D printing, Sphero, and SnapCircuit projects. The club will hold its final project week next week April 30, and then take one week off for EOGs May 7, before returning for an end-of-year celebration and pizza party May 14.
4/16/2019. After this week, the iNEST maker club only has two more weeks for project work with a final celebratory meeting in early May. This week girls continued working on 3D printing primarily with a few groups finishing up their Hummingbird robots. Dr. Oliver brought over a new "driving mat" and some plastic critters for girls to work on new Sphero robot challenges. The driving mat requires girls to write a program to navigate their Sphero around the plotted town, and for the other challenge, girls were tasked with designing a sticky plow or grabber attached to a plastic cup that fits over the top of a Sphero ball, and then they compete to see whose design can grab/capture the most critters in a designated period of time (see videos below). We will continue working in these project areas for the two final weeks of the club year.
4/9/2019. This week in the iNEST maker club, three groups worked to finish their Hummingbird projects (ice cream dispenser, light-up whale, and animated owl), most students moved from Hummingbird to 3D printing design (a back log on the two printers is creating some wait times), and high school students began experimenting with the new green screen equipment. See the video below showing the Hummingbird ice cream dispenser design which generated a lot of thinking about how to program alternating degrees of rotation in Scratch. The club is down to four more weeks before the end of the term, and for those students who are finished with H'Bird and 3D printing, we will have the Spheros available next week along with some programming challenges.
4/2/2019. This week in the iNEST maker club, the middle school girls were asked to wrap up their Hummingbird projects to leave time before the end of the semester to transition into 3D printing. The high school girls who have been doing 3D printing started constructing the club's new green screen equipment today to start working on green screen projects in the coming weeks with two new iPads and apps purchased for that work. Pictures from the club this week and a video of a Hummingbird project are included below.
3-28-2019. On Thursday this week 32 members of the iNEST maker club traveled by charter coach to Charlotte to visit the Discovery Place museum. Spencer Williams planned an educational visit that included time in the museum's makerspace, a private robotics lab with LEGO EV3 devices and coding in the museum's thinkerspace, time to explore hands-on exhibits on the 1st/2nd floors of the museum, and lunch with other school groups visiting the museum on Thursday. The slide show below provides a glimpse of the learning and fun had by all.
3-26-2019. This week in the iNEST maker club the girls continued their work with Hummingbird robotics with several group projects showing some motion with motors and servos. In the next few weeks we should be able to transition the students who have been working with Hummingbird into the library to work with Cigdem on 3D printing activities. The girls who were working on 3D printing this week were tasked with designing an overhead house/floor plan in Tinkercad for their ideal home and printing out these home designs. The club will be taking its spring field trip this Thursday to Discovery Place in Charlotte, participating in some maker challenges in the museum's Thinkerspace. More comments and pictures to follow.
3/12/2019. The iNEST maker club continued with Hummingbird projects this week and 3d printing activities. Most of the girls were able to get some motion on their Hummingbird projects this week with servos and motors responding to sensors that detected light, sound, or distance. We continue to face some difficulties with the Hummingbird platform dropping its USB connection to the BirdBrain Robot Server software on the laptops whenever the circuit board is wired into electricity. The electrical plus USB connections in tandem appear to cause some conflict that causes the connection to drop, and this has led to some frustration as the girls must debug whether a lack of motion results from an error in their Scratch program or from a hardware malfunction with constant checking of the connection. We will contact Hummingbird to inquire, but suspect this is a hardware issue with a relatively new product that was not adequately tested before being sold to the public. Cigdem worked with some of the girls in the library this week on 3d printing activities, challenging them to sketch then design in 3d software Tinkercad the different steps of mitosis. The 3d printers are also causing the group some challenges the past few weeks with prints getting half-way done and then pulling off the print bed. Jennifer has tested placing some glue stick on the best before printing which works some of the time, but the beds may need replacing for a permanent fix. The realities of makerspace. Wake County is on spring break next week, so our next club update will come in two weeks on March 26th.
3/7/2019. The big day finally arrived! Spencer and Laura chaperoned a contingent of five iNEST club members to the NC-TIES state technology conference in Raleigh today where they shared their growing expertise of coding with the MicroBit platform. The girls shared three MicroBit projects at the conference: telegraph, rock-paper-scissors, and banana keyboard. Thanks to Jennifer for arranging the girls' code in the cloud for easy access over wireless at the conference, and congratulations to the girls who did a great job sharing their work and helping to inform state educators about this programming platform!
3/5/2019. This week in iNEST the girls continued working on their Hummingbird projects. We are starting to see some progress with the coding with most groups having some code that interfaces with the circuit board to activate sensors which triggers different effectors (servos, motors, vibration motors). Some sensors (sound) are proving more difficult than others (distance), so some groups are shifting plans with regard to sensors used. Thursday this week a contingent of students from the club will be attending the NC-TIES state technology conference to show off their MicroBit projects in a student showcase presentation accepted by the conference. Good luck with the presentation!
Dr. Oliver's weekly update of activities in the iNEST Maker Club.