This is 'Iolani School

This is 'Iolani School

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

New Equipment

New to our lab is a SMART Board 800, with a NEC projector, all mounted on an iRover2 cart.  It's all hooked up (thanks to our physical plant guys and the guys from our tech department) and ready to go.

Designing Knee Braces-Step 1

Our 4th graders are learning about the human body in their Science class. To get a S.T.E.M. slant on things, we decided to use the Engineering is Elementary unit on designing knee braces with this group. First, we read the story and assigned homework of doing the vocabulary sheet and the Engineering Design Process sheet.

Next, we learned about how a healthy knee works and took measurements with a goniometer. Then, using model injured knees, we took the same measurements and compared them. This is all part of the "Ask" step in the engineering design process.

Continuing with the "Ask" step, we looked at a bunch of different materials that the students will use to make their knee braces. Working in groups, the students will record the properties of each material as well as answering two questions: "How could you change the shape of the material?", and "How could you use it in making a knee brace?"

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Some Kid Creations at Recess

Recess has been a popular time in the Lab.  Below are some pictures of what our kids have been making. We'll add more posts as time goes on.


Prototyping a "helicopter"

Waiting for the laser cutter to finish.

Cardboard Minecraft characters.

A sign for his room.

A cardboard helicopter.

 Makers making.

 Laser cutting personalized cards.

 123D Design on the iPad

Look what we made!

A laser cut Swiss Flag for a class report.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Not Just Kids Can Create In The Lab

I've never done anything with Arduino so I figured since we have 8 SparkFun RedBoard Starter Sets, I better start to figure out how it works. Now I have programmed before...anyone remember "Basic", "Pascal", "Cobol", or "Fortran"? I also play with "Scratch" but I wouldn't consider myself a "coder".

Anyway, as I am reading the manual I see that there is a board that holds the RedBoard and the Breadboard, keeping the two together. My mind gets sidetracked from "how to use this stuff" to "how can I make one" mode. I decided to follow my own advise and use the engineering design process to  create my own.

So during some free time in the Lab this past Saturday (our school was giving tours to prospective 6th graders & their parents, and I was manning the Lab) I made this board. I did some drawings and took some measurements, and then I went to technology.  Using Inkscape and our laser cutter I went through a couple of prototypes but finally came up with this:

Not bad for a teacher. Now I have to start playing around with Arduino and figure out how it works.

Monday, November 17, 2014

First Grade Optical Engineers-Part 3

After learning about light and how it reacts with different materials, the 1st graders followed the Engineering Design Process to develop a lighting system. The goal was to shine a flashlight in a hole in one side of a box and have light come out a hole at the opposite corner. So after "Asking" questions, "Imagining" possible solutions to the problem, "Planning" what they are going to do by drawing a diagram and listing materials, the students "Created" their lighting system. Below are pictures of some of our first graders first attempt at creating a lighting system.

Friday, November 14, 2014

First Grade Optical Engineers-Part 4

After building their lighting systems yesterday and realizing they didn't work, it was time to improve. We talked about their systems, what did happen, what didn't happen, & how they thought they could change it to make it work. Knowing what they know now, I challenged the students to start to design an improved lighting system. Below are some of the groups, working on creating their new system.

Monday, November 10, 2014

First Grade Optical Engineers-Part 2

Using Engineering is Elementary's unit called "Lighten Up: Designing Lighting Systems" has been fun for our 1st grade students. After hearing the story and experimenting with light & different materials, they were ready to get to the work. Using the engineering design process they started on the way to their goal of creating a lighting system. Their goal was to shine a flashlight in a hole at one end of a box and make light come out the other hole. Working as individuals and in small cooperative groups, they asked questions, imagined answers, and planned out one solution. The next step is for them to created & tested their plan, and figured out how to improve it.

Kindergarten Garten Stakes

In the past, our kindergarten made their garden stakes out of cardboard. They drew pictures and put them in the garden next to what they planted. But those stakes didn't last long when the got wet. This year, we did the same project but incorporated the Lab.

In their homeroom, groups of 2 students drew pictures of the garden and their stake. Next, they planned out what their stake design would look like. Finally, they took that stake design and drew it on a 3x5 card.

Then things went to the Lab. I scanned the cards as a jpeg file, cropped them to size and exported them as a pdf. I took the pdfs and placed them on a templates of the stake, which I made in Inkscape. After a couple of prototypes, I got the laser cut going and in no time the kindergarteners stakes were done.

We brought the kindergarteners into the lab to take them through the whole process, from drawing to wooden stake. Below are pictures of the process. Thanks to the K-Makai class and their wonderful teachers Lauree Sakaida and Kristi Kai.