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STEAM & Makerspaces

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Lebanon Democrat: Springdale students make ‘Art Acts of Kindness’ They painted messages on ceramic tiles, and their teacher, Lisa Redditt, places them around Wilson County and other places for people to find. Once tiles are found, they are instructed on the back of the tiles to take photos, post on the Panthers Rock TN Facebook page and write the student artists a message on the site. Then, if the new owner wants, they can place them somewhere different for someone else to find. It’s the brainchild of Redditt, who last year, instructed her students to paint rocks in the fashion of the mid-state craze #615rocks campaign that was popular in the area during the past two or three years. The rocks were also painted and placed in locations around Wilson County. “We just wanted to do an art project that inspired and touched the community,” Redditt said.

She said to do the project, “the students are doing something as simple as taking a Sharpie and a tile and doing something as simple as writing a quote and drawing on the tile. First Grade STEM Activities - The Stem Laboratory. If you’re looking for fun and engaging first grade STEM activities (science, technology, engineering, and math), you’ve come to the right spot! STEM is our “thing” and we’re excited to pass along our favorite activities so you can save time, build confidence and take your teaching to the next level. >> Pro Tip: Pin and bookmark this page so that you can quickly find it again when you need it! Just click on the skill you’d like to work on below to get started.

STEM Activities Get little Einstein’s excited about STEM with these engaging activities. Math Activities Prep your first graders for second grade by working on important math skills. Science Activities Take all the guesswork out of lesson planning with our treasure trove of first grade science activities. Technology Activities Familiarize kids with technology using these engaging apps and coding activities: Engineering Activities Help students build a solid foundation of engineering skills (literally!) Seasonal Activities. Launching a Makerspace: Lessons Learned From a Transformed School Library. Excitement about school makerspaces has been in the air, but many educators eager to create hands-on learning spaces in their schools still aren’t sure how to get started or why it’s worth the effort.

New Canaan High School librarian Michelle Luhtala recently jumped headfirst into creating a makerspace in her library and documented what she learned, how her space changed and how it affected students along the way. Her experience was very different from elementary school librarian Andy Plemmons, whose makerspace started with a 3-D printer obtained through a grant and blossomed into a core teaching resource at his school. Luhtala is blessed with a big library, but for most of her career it has been dominated by large bookshelves.

Over time, Luhtala has pared down her collection as she increased the digital reading material the library offers, but in order to make room for a makerspace she cleared out 7,000 books. A floor plan of shelving in Luhtala’s library in 2011. 5 STEM tools you can use for any subject. Forbes Welcome. A Race to Save the Orange by Altering Its DNA. Forbes Welcome. University of Florida News. After a decade of battling the highly destructive citrus greening bacterium, researchers with the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have developed genetically modified citrus trees that show enhanced resistance to greening, and have the potential to resist canker and black spot, as well.

However, the commercial availability of those trees is still several years away. Jude Grosser, a professor of plant cell genetics at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Citrus Research and Education Center, and Manjul Dutt, a research assistant scientist at the CREC, used a gene isolated from the Arabidopsis plant, a member of the mustard family, to create the new trees. Their experiment resulted in trees that exhibited enhanced resistance to greening, reduced disease severity and even several trees that remained disease-free after 36 months of planting in a field with a high number of diseased trees.

Citrus greening was first detected in Florida in 2005. Can Parasitic Wasps Help Save America's Citrus? In a lemon grove in Riverside, California, a half dozen beige mesh tents rise above the fruit trees. Within each tent a solitary lemon tree bustles with invaders from another continent: small insects called Asian citrus psyllids. They're potential carriers of a plague that could decimate California's citrus groves. But scientists here are deliberately breeding them—in order to breed an antidote. "Warning," read signs posted on the tents in English and Spanish. "Wasps inside. " Tamarixia radiata is a flea-size parasitic wasp from Pakistan that attacks Asian citrus psyllids. Hundreds of thousands of the tiny wasps have already been released in California. A lot is riding on the little bugs.

Citrus greening, as the citrus disease is called, has already destroyed 90,000 acres of trees in Florida groves. Alarming Progress Citrus greening, also known as huanglongbing or yellow dragon disease, is caused by a bacterial infection that progressively blocks a tree's ability to transport fluid. Is the Lime an Endangered Species? Photo LOS ANGELES — WE’RE used to the elusiveness of certain scarce and seasonal gastronomical treasures like black truffles that are priced and meted out accordingly.

But no one could have predicted the strange twist that threatens to turn guacamole, Key lime pie and margaritas into rare delicacies. A sudden and unprecedented shortage of limes has sent nationwide wholesale prices soaring from around $25 for a 40-pound carton in early February to more than $100 today, panicking lovers of Mexican food and drinks — and the restaurant and bar owners who cater to them. The culprits are weather, disease and even Mexican criminals. “I cringe every time customers ask for limes,” said Armando De La Torre Jr., an owner of two Guisados restaurants in Los Angeles, adding that the price spike cost his family at least $2,000 in the past month alone.

“We really don’t have much choice except to pay up,” said Phil Ward, owner of Mayahuel, a Manhattan bar that specializes in tequila and mescal. Ozobot user portal. A Thematic Approach to Planning Your Maker Space. When schools talk about the Maker Movement and creating maker spaces, they often focus their initial thinking on purchasing the tools and materials.

This resource-driven approach can create a buzz in your school for some time; however, that excitement will inevitably fade. While resources are an important part of any maker space, taking a thematic planning approach is much more effective. No two maker spaces are alike or should be alike. Developing appropriate and relevant themes for your space will ensure that your maker space is unique to the needs, wants, and interests of your students, and unique to your school community as well. While maker spaces often have a STEM orientation, they most certainly do not have to be limited to just those disciplines. To select themes for your maker space, it is important first to understand your learners. The next thing you should do is take time to evaluate the programs, offerings, and curricula within your school. Novel Engineering project teaches kids about engineering by using fiction books. Photo by Chris Berdik One recent morning, at a public school in Malden, Massachusetts, north of Boston, teams of third graders rushed around programming sensors on computers, wiring them to motors, digging into bins of Legos and gears, and rummaging through boxes of paper towel rolls, egg cartons, and pipe cleaners.

Their mission was to protect a baby turtle from a dog—a beloved, mischievous black Lab named Tornado, the title character of a novel they had read for class. The fictional dog is named after a twister that flung him into the life of a young farm boy. During one of their adventures, the thirsty pup drinks from a pet turtle’s watery home and slurps up the creature in the process. Hence the turtle-rescue project for these third graders at the Linden STEAM Academy (STEM plus Art).

It’s part of an initiative called Novel Engineering led by researchers at nearby Tufts University, in which engineering challenges are plucked from the plots of assigned books. Your Kids Can Do It: Quick, Free, and Easy Stop-Motion Videos. Today is not only my last day of teaching, but also my last day posting on Top Teaching for this school year. For my last post, I would like to share a fun classroom activity.

As our year wrapped up, my students took some time to become more familiar with stop-motion animation. Using a free program, we were able to create stop-motion videos from start to finish in fewer than thirty minutes — and jazzed-up versions in less than an hour. With videos featuring Mother's Day messages, Harry Potter in LEGOs, and a demonstration of a llama's digestive system, this post will help wrap up the year in a fun and engaging manner. You CAN Make Stop-Motion Videos Within an Hour My teaching friend, Elizabeth Shepard, introduced me to FrameByFrame before teaching an enrichment cluster in our room.

Frame by Frame is so easy, I couldn't find a tutorial online. FrameByFrame lets you create stop-motion animation videos using any webcam/video camera connected to your Mac, including iSight. Klutz Animation. Easy Stop Motion Animation for Beginners. Stop Motion Ideas for Beginners. Middle School Maker Journey: Top 20 Technologies and Tools. "It's not about the tool," they say -- but sometimes it is. In our middle school makerspace, students have been using a variety of tools and technologies in a variety of projects and activities. And there are many more that we've yet to explore and experience. While our makerspace is still in its infancy, it feels like we've had the program forever.

As of this writing, a second group of students is in the midst of Design Experience One. We haven't had that much time to delve into projects in depth, but you can expect more from us later in the year. Before I go any further, let me say that we realize just how fortunate we are. The Lure of Bright, Shiny Objects Makerspaces are too often defined by things -- hardware, software, other technologies -- which can engender a shopping-list mentality among people interested in creating such a learning environment. 1.

We want students to collaborate effortlessly, express themselves freely, and do so in ways not possible in other classrooms. 2. 3. New Minecraft tutorial teaches kids coding. Minecraft meets Hour of Code in free browser-based tutorial A free Minecraft coding tutorial from Microsoft, created for the upcoming and third annual Hour of Code, introduces players ages 6 and older to basic coding contained within the popular “sandbox” game, so named because players have freedom to build and do anything they wish inside the world they create. The tutorial was unveiled on Nov. 16 by Microsoft, Mojang AB, and and was created especially for students and educators.‘s Hour of Code is a campaign intended to expand global participation in computer science activities. It is held during Computer Science Education Week, which this year runs from Dec. 7-13. The tutorial, now available for free online, doesn’t require you to have the game installed. Using a browser, it introduces players to basic coding within the Minecraft environment. Elementary Library Makerspace Resources | Create, Collaborate, Innovate. Collaborative Resources created with Mrs.

J in the Library Elementary Librarians to Follow STEM Facilitators in Elementary Amazing Professors Teaching Teachers/Librarians Best Resources for Elementary School Makerspaces Instagram Follow a ton of libraries on Instagram, and also mom STEM bloggers from whom you can find lots of ideas to do with your elementary students. Great Pinterest Boards Homeschool Resources Great Articles (will add more later) Free Resources Like this: Like Loading... How a Moveable Space Can Ignite Creativity in the Classroom.

Andrew Goodin | Grand Center Arts Academy. GCAA is excited to welcome new faculty member Andrew Goodin, who will direct the Makerspace lab. Mr. Goodin is an award-winning science teacher, entrepreneur and innovative educator. He is on the leading edge of integrating Makerspace labs into traditional school models, with a special interest in bringing these groundbreaking ideas to urban schools.

According to Mr. Goodin, the Maker movement has a tremendous amount of momentum and the new space at GCAA will be truly unique as a prototype for extending this program to more schools. In case you are wondering what this is all about, here is a good overall definition of Makerspace. Mr. “Gregory and I were 2008 TFA (Teach For America) corps members,” said Goodin.

“We would get together to talk about ideas. “Grand Center Arts Academy is an incredibly unique school. Dan Rubright, in a recent interview, asked Mr. A.G.: “I think there are a lot of arts in science, engineering, math, technology (STEM) already. EDU-STEAMGuide-V1-5. Video: Schools, Libraries Uniquely Positioned to Direct Maker Movement, Says Congressman. October 11, 2015 School Library Journal The world's largest reviewer of books, multimedia, and technology for children and teens You are here: Home / Technology / Video: Schools, Libraries Uniquely Positioned to Direct Maker Movement, Says Congressman Video: Schools, Libraries Uniquely Positioned to Direct Maker Movement, Says Congressman By SLJ on September 18, 2015 Leave a Comment Kicking off the Library Journal/School Library Journal Maker Workshop, U.S. Filed Under: Industry News, Technology Tagged With: (FPO), maker, maker movement, Maker spaces, Maker Workshop, Mark Takano, TDS Discussion: Leave a Comment Join us on October 14th for The Digital Shift: Libraries Connecting Communities, focusing on the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital transition’s impact on libraries, their communities, and partners.

Comment Policy: Be respectful, and do not attack the author or other commenters. Speak Your Mind Recent Posts Lead Developer / Requisition # 1500793 Princeton University. Creating a School Library Makerspace: The Beginning of a Journey | Tech Tidbits. Our library at Silver Creek High School in Longmont, CO is an active hub for extracurricular activities. We host an Anime Club, monthly Poetry Slams, and Book Buddies, but I felt like we could do more. I wanted something that I could tie to student learning which would promote inquiry, giving students opportunities to solve problems and find answers to questions. My assistant and I began looking at innovative library programs and community partnerships. Many of the teacher librarians in my professional network have been expanding their libraries by adding makerspace opportunities, classroom collaboration, and even 3-D printers. I used these folks as inspiration. Libraries across the country are doing what libraries do best: continuing to explore and reinvent the purpose of the library and what they offer to their patrons.

Makerspaces are a natural evolution for libraries. No need to reinvent the wheel Where to get the money? Next steps This week we will receive our first purchases. Make: DIY Projects, How-Tos, Electronics, Crafts and Ideas for Makers. STEM Education Coalition | Tinkercad | Create 3D digital designs with online CAD. Library Maker Spaces on Pinterest | Free Library, Public Libraries and Librarians. Designing a School Makerspace. LittleBits 101 - Classroom Set Edition with Task Cards: a littleBits Project by Mrs. J in the Library.

Creating a School Library Makerspace: The Beginning of a Journey | Tech Tidbits. Why America’s obsession with STEM education is dangerous. Robotics enters K-12 classrooms.