Teaching Near and Far

A recap of our Let It Glow e-card crafting class and our trip to Maine teaching at Berwick Academy.

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On Wednesday, December 3rd we taught an electronic card crafting class at our headquarters in Boulder, Colorado. I want to share with your our photo montage of the evening. We had a sold out class, and everyone walked away with a functioning holiday card that lit up. For more information on this crafting activity you can go here!

Crafting holiday cards

Crafting holiday cards

Crafting holiday cards

Crafting holiday cards

Crafting holiday cards

Crafting holiday cards

We had a blast with this class getting to see the variety of holiday cards that our students designed themselves.

About a week after the class we piled together our crafting supplies and mounds of hardware packing for our trip across the country over to Maine. We were asked to teach a full day workshop at Berwick Academy, Maine’s oldest school established in 1791.

Berwick Aerial Photo. Courtesy of isanne.org.

Berwick Academy announced the addition of a brand new Makerspace housed within the Middle School, which opened at the start of the school year. Through the efforts and hard work of many of the Middle School faculty members who gave their time over the summer, a room that was formerly used as a faculty lounge was transformed into a colorful, dynamic, and inspirational space for “making". The Berwick Makerspace holds 3D printers, 3D scanners, sewing machines, kits related to circuitry, robotics, e-textiles, and programming, as well as materials and tools that will allow for various types of construction and fabrication.

Berwick Academy brought in SparkFun to help initiate some creativity within the school and spur up activity in the newly formed Makerspace. Our goal was to introduce electronics and related projects that can be used as a jumping off point into other innovative activities.

We kicked off the day crafting with Berwick’s 5th graders for two morning sessions teaching them the very basics of circuitry. We used the same concepts taught during the Let It Glow class at SparkFun and created holiday electronic cards.

Berwick Workshop

Berwick Workshop

Berwick Workshop

Berwick Workshop

Berwick Workshop

Berwick Workshop

Berwick Workshop

After lunch we spent the remainder of the afternoon with many of Berwick Academy’s tech teachers and a group of hand picked students to act as mentors for others interested in using the Makerspace. The four hour workshop consisted of teaching a variety of topics including Digital Sandbox, PTH soldering with the WeevilEye kit and our LilyTiny Board. They sewed together some awesome plush monsters!

An example of the LilyTiny plush monster

Berwick Workshop

Berwick Workshop

Berwick Workshop

Berwick Workshop

Our hope is that this workshop encourages the educators and students who attended it to take the information they’ve learned and apply it in fun and interactive ways to the rest of the school. We were able to show the fundamentals of electronics in a hands on classroom setting allowing the group to engage and experiment trying out different ways of making things. We encourage this for all schools. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and be experimental. It can make learning a lot more fun!



Comments 3 comments

  • I’m currently a level physics, and I have a very bad teacher and taught myself everything.

  • These look simply adorable! I’m sure any student would love to make a card like this. To be honest this is exactly why I love holidays, each and every student is eager to learn something new and you can come up with a variety of amazing games and tasks. Last year I’ve used http://mycustomwritingessay.com/ to make an even for my student. I’m a creative person but when it comes to planning it’s just not my thing. However it went great. Maybe next time we should make card too and send them to friends and relatives.

    • Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you make this happen. We have a Valentine card making class happening on February 5, 2015. We’ll have some updated templates and tutorials on the site that you can go off of soon. Thanks for the comment!

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