This is 'Iolani School

This is 'Iolani School

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Open Lab at Recess - Day #2

Today was 3rd through 6th grade girls day in the Lab at recess time. I had 16 young creators come in. Like the boys, the girls had a small group that was working on the mini helicopters for their 5th grade play. Different from the boys, were 9 girls that had individual projects that they wanted to create. One wanted to make a box for her bother, a few others had started playing with 123D Design on their iPads and wanted to 3D print something. The remainder wanted to make small presents for a friend.

I explained to them that this was not just a time to find something on Thingiverse and make it. This was a time for them to imagine, plan, and create. It didn't have to be "school" related, it just has to be planned out.

With the good turnout and interest we had, next week I am opening at recess Tuesday-Friday. The grade levels will be the same...3rd-6th. The first 2 days will be for the boys and the end of the week will go to the girls.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Open Lab at Recess-Day #1

This week, we are beginning to open the Lab at recess on two days. It's only 20 minutes but we want to see what the interest might be. I sent an email out to all 3rd-6th grade teachers letting them know that Tuesday would be for boys and Thursday would be for girls. Yes, we are open right now by gender as we want to see if that affects those who want to use the space.

Today we had 13 fourth & fifth grader boys come in. They had 2 projects they wanted to create: one is a rubber band powered helicopter and the other is a rubber band powered propeller driven car. They started with basic written plans. The groups then split up...some moved to the cardboard to create the prototypes, while the others went to the computer to search Thingiverse for a 3D propellor they could use.

The time moved quickly so we put the work they did today into boxes, stored the boxes under our tables, cleaned up and moved back to class. They will return next week to continue. It will be interesting to see how the turn out is on Thursday with the ladies.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Online Interview...EdTech Mixed Plate

This past Sunday night, I was invited to be the guest on EdTech Mixed Plate ( which is co-hosted by Michael Fricano II, one of 'Iolani's Educational Technology Integration Specialists from our Education Innovation Lab. This month is "Connected Educators Month" and my topic was FabLabs and the Maker Movement in schools. Below is the link to the YouTube video of the show.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Visiting the FabLab

This week, we opened the doors of the FabLab to all grade level classes in the Lower School. We wanted to give each child a view into the Lab and see some of the things they will have access to. Teachers signed up for 15 minute periods and after a brief introduction, the kids were sent to look at the 3D printers and the Laser Cutter (and things that were made by these machines). The students were also given the opportunity to explore Scratch programs using MaKeyMaKeys as interfaces. We also had some basic LittleBits modules out for students to build electric circuits. The hardest thing was getting the kids to leave when their time was up.

Beginning in a few weeks, the Lab will be open during recess for the students come in and explore. Depending on the interest, we may do a grade level a day or possibly a class a day. Based on the excitement on the faces of the kids this week...we're gonna be busy.

We want them to use the Lab to create and explore, tinker and build. If they have an idea for a project then we'll figure out how to make it. Following the "Engineering Design Process", they will come up with a goal they want to reach. Then, they ask questions, imagine possible answers, pick an answer & plan it, create it & test, and then improve it by starting the process over again.

One teacher told me that after leaving the lab, one of her students said that coming to the Lab made him want to build something. S.T.E.M. education at it's best.

Below are pictures of some of our students when they visited the Lab.

Controlling a Scratch game with clips

Playing a piano with sweet potato leaves

Wet paper towels make interesting arrow keys 

Cool 3D scanner

LittleBits are fun to play with