Thursday, May 04, 2017

Make Yourself into a Mini Figure

Check out this character generator from Lego. It's the SigFig Creator from the Lego Movie. I am not sure how long it will remain online so start creating and downloading now!


Friday, February 24, 2017

Student Friendly Research Links

Here is a list of links that are kid-friendly and great for beginning research.

Remember kids, these are pages that NEED TO BE READ. Don't just go to a web page expecting to be entertained or have the knowledge just jump into your head. Read. Understand. Tell someone else or write down what you know now that you didn't know before opening the page.

Great Websites for Kids - American Library Association
General Search Sites

Other Sites



Thursday, December 22, 2016

Embrace The Learning Curve This Christmas Morning



The more I talk to kids about what they are dreaming about showing up under the Christmas tree, the more I hear about really cool, high tech gadgets like virtual reality headsets, 3D printers, robots like Spheros or Ozobots, and drones.

Here is a newsflash. All of those items are amazing and all of those items can be really hard to use at the start. I am not trying to play The Grinch here; I am telling you now so you can be ready for the learning curve.

When kids dream of drones, they don't dream of a parent muttering words that could get them on the naughty list while trying to assemble it. They don't dream of an endless series of 3 second flights either. They dream of that thing lifting off in the living room and capturing with its camera the majesty of a Christmas morning. Reality is that these toys can make many dreams come true but it will take time. Here are some tips.

1. Prepare yourself. Whether you receive the gift or give the gift, understand that the cool stuff you saw happening in the YouTube promotional video probably was highly edited and performed by the inventors of the device. Make that kind of high level use your goal....someday, not right out of the box.

2. Seek out help. Speaking of YouTube, most companies now post many product support videos online. When I bought my XYZ Mini Maker 3D printer I found their online support videos to be far more detailed and helpful than the printed instructions. You can also often find videos created by other users of the product that share their own tweaks and helpful hints. Use all of the knowledge that exists and that people are willing to share. It can make a big difference.

3. Make it about the journey. Instead of pouting that your first 3D printed phone case turned out more like something stuck to the pan at the bottom of great grandma's egg casserole, have a laugh and know your skills will greatly improve. Try and figure out what went wrong so you can improve upon future designs. Keep that lumpy pile of goo so that when you are cranking out really cool stuff you can look back and see how far you have come. It has taken me months to produce anything really useful with my printer.

4. Remember 1 thing. Everything is awesome! We are so lucky to be living in the day and age we do....especially over the holidays. If you need a reminder, just listen to the old Christmas carol "Up on the Housetop." Here is what those kids got from Dear Old Saint Nick:

"Next comes the stocking of little Will
Oh, just see what a glorious fill
Here is a hammer and lots of tacks
Also a ball and a whip that cracks"


No VR headset for little Will? Bummer. Poor Will probably had to go fix the roof and then drive the oxen to town that day once all of the wrapping paper was cleaned up. The point is.....if you get something amazing, be grateful, and when (not if) it doesn't work perfectly right at the start, be happy about that. Don't get mad. Getter better at it.




Monday, December 12, 2016

Take Mr. Tebo's Snow Day Challenge.

I am glad you ventured over here to enjoy some fun learning games during our snow day. After you've made a few flakes, done some Nitro Typing, and made a zany Zimmer Twins creation, watch the video below from Hamilton superintendent Mr. Tebo.

Watch: Mr. Tebo's Snow Day Challenge


Sunday, December 11, 2016

And the Learning Continues



Well, I thought this site would just fade off into the distance since we no longer teach Infotech and now teach STEM.

Well, we are still getting 8500 visits a month from people (mainly kids) looking for fun learning activities. Therefore I have decided to keep posting updates to keep the learning going once the school day ends.

Here are some great places to go as we head into the Christmas season.

Santa's Christmas Village is back from Google.com. Count down the days until the old guy visits.

Make-A-Flake - Whether you have snow or not where you live, make unlimited snowflakes of your own.

Code.org - Enjoy one of the Hour of Code activities like the new one for Disney's Moana or ake one of the online coding courses and build your problem solving skills.

Let's keep the learning going and happy holidays.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Visit the new Hamilton STEM Page

After 16 years, Infotech has evolved in Hamilton to become the new STEM program. I will no longer be updating this page, but lots of cool stuff is already happening on the new site as Mrs. Sikma and I kick off the new program.

Visit and then bookmark the new STEM Page: sites.google.com/hamiltonschools.us/stem .