Category Archives: Robotics

MakerSpace Proposal


Week 11 Reflection: Robotics

Week 11 Robotics Reflection

This week we blogged about “How Will You Continue to Learn 21st Century Skills and Allow Your Students this Experience in Your Classroom.” I am keeping up with the 21st century skills by taking technology classes. I will also continue to further my knowledge by taking other classes that will help me as a teacher and help my students. I will look at resources that the Internet provides and other resources such as books to help me keep up with 21st century pedagogy.

In responding to people’s blogs, Megan made a good point about PNL (Personal Network Learning). She said, “A PNL is a great resource to have to help you find good books, resources, and blogs.” This made me think that I need to develop my PNL. I have several good resources, communities, and blogs that I can follow. I just need to develop them so they are all in one place and I can find them. There are so many resources that I have, that I need to filter the ones that I can use and create a place for them where I can find them. Scott made a good point about following up on learning new technology. I find that many times when I go to in-service and learn something new, no one follows up to see if we are getting it or need help. I often will forget what I have learned if I don’t use it or try to learn on my own. Jessica had a great suggestion on hobbies day. This is a day where kids bring in their hobbies to school and share them. I thought it was good because you probably will have students who don’t have a hobby and they might get an interest in something that someone has brought. Cindy has made a point about so much technology out there. We as teachers need to not only find but figure out how to keep organized the resources that we can use to aid our students in the 21st century.

In our Arduino meeting tonight, I worked on lesson #11 Crystal Ball. I think this was by far the hardest one that I have tried yet, maybe because of all the wires. I got all of the wires on the Arduino board and uploaded the code but didn’t get the crystal ball to display. I tried to double check my wires and move some around but still got nothing. There are so many wires on this project that it is hard to keep track of which one goes where. I went through all my wires and made sure everything was pushed in all the way but still didn’t get anything by the end of class. I will have to try later on my own to see if I can get it to work.

I think this is our last Arduino class. I know I have learned a lot and would find this a interesting elective class to have for my students. The final week, we are just presenting keynotes on our proposals, and then we are finished. The summer term has gone by quickly. I will probably have about two weeks off before my next set of classes are to start. I am ready and excited to see what I will learn in my next set of classes. I know I have learned so much in these last few classes that I have taken. I just look forward to when I can take what I learn and bring it in the classroom for my students to use.

Week 11 Robotics


Week 11 Robotics: How have you and will you continue to “Learn the 21st Century” and allow your students this experience in your classroom?

I have been taking technology classes and am working on getting my Master’s in Educational Technology. I know how important it is for students to be prepared for the 21st century, and I need to be able to teach them those skills. I see technology changing every year, and I need to be able to change with it in order to be an effective educator.

Martinez & Stager (2013) write that “Failure to embrace the kids’competence, capacity, and creativity leads educators to deprive children of opportunities to achieve their potential.” As educators, we want the best for our students, and our possessing knowledge about emerging technologies will help their future (see Partnership for 21st Century Skills website at

This is only possible “when communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity take center stage in schools and transform learning opportunities for all kids” (The Partnership for 21st Century, 2015). I think these are important skills to have in a classroom.

As an educator, I will continue to take classes that will help me to become a better 21st century teacher. Once I am finished with my degree, I will still take classes that I know will help me and my students. Technology changes all of the time, so I know how important it is to keep up. I will also follow my Twitter and follow other sites to stay informed about new developments. There are many resources in the “Invent to Learn” book and on the Internet that will help me, as well. All I have to do is search for them. As a result of the courses I have been taking, I am better prepared than I would otherwise be to transfer technical knowledge to my students so they will be prepared for the 21st century’s demands.


Above & Beyond. (2015). JDL Horizons LLC., Retrieved July 25, 2015, from

25 Ways to Develop 21st Century Thinkers ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. (2015). Retrieved July 25, 2015, from

Martinez, S., & Stager, G. (2013). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Torrance, CA: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.

Week 10 Robotics Reflection

Week 10 Reflection: Robotics

This week for our blog we talked about our school and why it needs a MakerSpace. I showed how it aligned with ASD goals and ASD Destination 2020 goals. I said that we want our students to be prepared for the 21st century and a MakerSpace will help with that and let students take ownership of their learning.

Goal #2 is for 90% of students to graduate from high school. I think this will help those students want to stay at school.

Goal #3 is that students will attend school 90% of the time. If they are engaged and excited about a MakerSpace, students will want to be at school. Being excited about school will also help with the next goal.

Goal #4 is that more parents will recommend their schools to others. If parents see that their student is excited about school and doesn’t want to miss it, then they will recommend their school to others.

A MakerSpace will help with these goals that our district is trying to reach.It will also encourage deeper thinking, curiosity, and collaboration. With a MakerSpace, students will be excited and motivated to learn. I look forward to the day we get one.

Responding to people’s blogs, everyone had pretty good reasons why their school should have a MakerSpace. Two that I read stood out. One was Scott’s, in which he said a Makerspace follows the principals of project-based learning, which leads to long-term retention of content and improves scores, problem solving skills, collaboration skills, and attitudes toward learning. I thought those were good points that he made. In the last two weeks at Megan’s school, they have an art camp.  I thought that was very interesting. She also pointed out that more hands-on learning needs to take place for the students, and I couldn’t agree more.

For my robotics class, I worked on project 10, the Zoetrope. I got all of my pieces on the board out in the code and then it gave me an error. I looked at my pieces on the Arduino board and redid it. I put the pieces back on and tried again and still got the same message. I then googled to see if I could find the answer, and found out it was not connecting right. So I looked at my cord and, sure enough, I didn’t have my connector plugged in all the way. As soon as I plugged that in, it started to work. I pushed the button and the zoetrope started to turn. It didn’t turn fast, but it was turning, so I was happy about that. I decided to call that a success and then called it a night, since it was the end of class.

Week 10 Robotics

Week 10 Robotics : Why Does Wendler Need A MakerSpace?

Wendler needs a MakerSpace because it will support ASD’s goals, especially school goal #2, which is to Engage and Empower students. We want the students to be prepared for the 21st century, and a MakerSpace will help with this. Students will have choices and take ownership of their learning. I also believe that a MakerSpace will help to advance some of our ASD Destination 2020 goals.

Goal #2 is for 90% of students to graduate from high school. I think this will help those students want to stay at school.

Goal #3 is that students will attend school 90% of the time. If they are engaged and excited about a MakerSpace, students will want to be at school. Being excited about school will also help with the next goal.

Goal #4 is that more parents will recommend their schools to others. If parents see that their student is excited about school and doesn’t want to miss it, then they will recommend their school to others.

Research shows that when students are engaged in meaningful learning they will be better prepared to succeed in whatever endeavor they choose after high school (Paris, 2015). Facts are that students who are excited about school will more likely do better than those who are not. The MakerSpace is the kind of learning activity that will prepare students for the future.

It will also appeal to a diverse group of students. I believe any student can participate in a MakerSpace. Any student who is curious and wants to design would love a MakerSpace. It is designed to meet the learning needs of a diverse group of students, effectively address academic and technical standards, and raise academic achievement (Ho, 2008).

“The Philosophy of Educational Makerspaces” states a Makerspace will:

  • Invite curiosity
  • Inspire wonder
  • Encourage playfulness
  • Celebrate unique solutions
  • Show it is ok to fail
  • Show breaking things is not a cardinal sin
  • Collaborate, Collaborate, Collaborate

If you are still not sure what a MakerSpace is, this video will explain more:

A MakerSpace will also help students with their future. Seely (2009) writes, “The business community tells us the ability and willingness to tackle a problem that is not easily solved is one of the most important traits in the twenty century.” I want my students to be ready for the business world when they graduate.

These are a few reasons why I think Wendler needs a MakerSpace. A Makerspace will inspire deeper thinking, curiosity, and collaboration. “The outcome of a Makerspace leads to determination, independent and creative problem solving, and an authentic preparation for the real world by simulating real world challenges” (Kurti, Kurti, & Fleming, 2014). If you still are not sure about it, just give it a chance and then ask the students about it after it gets started. If they are not excited, happy, and motivated, then you can cancel it. All I ask is for you to give it a try and see what happens in the imaginations of the students.


Kurti, R., Kurti, D., & Fleming, L. (2014). The Philosophy Of Educational Maker spaces. Retrieved July 20, 2015, from

Hackenmueller, J. & Petersen, S. (2014). Anchorage School District Educational Plan 2014-2017. Retrieved June 29, 2015, from

Ho, P. (2008). Integrated Curriculum: Making Connections Between Academic and Technical Instruction (multimedia presentation). Retrieved June 8, 2015.

Martinez, S., & Stager, G. (2013). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Torrance, CA: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.

Paris, K. (2015). Critical Issue: Developing an Applied and Integrated Curriculum. Retrieved June 6, 2015, from

Seeley, C. (2009). Constructive Struggling. Retrieved May 31, 2015, from

Week 9 Reflection Robotics

Week 9 Reflection: Robotics

This week in Robotics class we read and wrote about “What Do You Need to Coordinate a Maker Day for Your School?” Being that I am new to all of this, I went off of the Maker Tool Kit suggestions. It looks like it will be a lot of work, but I think, with the right people, this can happen. I would start early in the school year because I think that it would take a lot of planning to make sure that it runs smoothly and that we have the resources we need to make it happen.

Reading other people’s blogs, I learned from Jessica that President Obama hosted a Maker Faire. I also learned that these are popping up all over the world, from Nigeria and China to Egypt. I also learned the difference between a maker faire and a maker day. I thought Jessica had a good idea of letting the students do most of the work, like making flyers and posters, and being involved in the planning in general. I think this would make it more exciting for students as well. In Cherie’s post, she said she would start small, maybe with just her class. I like that idea. I think I would start small as well. Then I can see about expanding to a larger maker day at school. I really like how Ali wants to coordinate her maker day. She wants to do it in sections like a classroom or two for technology, one for free maker space where they can create what they want, and a few others on different things. I also like her idea of distributing educational brochures on the purpose of maker spaces so parents and other community members can learn more about them. Since getting people outside of school to contribute money and materials for maker events, a brochure could help to build bridges with not only parents and administrators, but potential supporters in the business community.

For our Arduino meeting, I was working on the Digital Hourglass. I tried to play around with it a few times but couldn’t get the lights to light up. It also takes 10 minutes to see if it is working. I finally moved on to Motorized Pinwheel. I was very surprised and happy that I got this to work on the first try. Usually, I have to play around with some of the pieces to get it to work. This time, I got a sense of what success feels like. Arduino has given me new empathy for students who struggle with technology assignments and the effect a breakthrough can have on a person. Having my project go so smoothly ended my week on a high note. Feeling pretty good about that!

Week 9 Robotics

Week 9 Robotics: What Do You Need to Coordinate a “Maker Day”

for Your School?

First, let me tell you what is a Maker Day. To me, this is a day where the students showcase what they have created. According to the Makertool kit article, it is a day of celebrating the best gifts of humanity: the ability to think wisely and creatively and to share.

The purpose of a Maker Day is to introduce participants to the Maker Movement, focusing on four distinct elements:

  • Design thinking
  • Design challenges or problem sketch
  • Collaborative prototyping of a design solution
  • Process to encourage group reflection. (Crichton & Carter, 2014).

According to the article “Makerday Toolkit,” a maker fair is not the same as a maker day. The goal of a maker day is to encourage participants to experience making and tinkering through design tinkering and hands-on activities (Crichton & Carter, 2014).

To get started with a maker day, you will need a check list. You want to make sure everything is in place and you have a variety of activities to show. Below are the steps from the tool kit:

  • Set your date and agenda for the day- start early
  • Secure your location; determine if any permits are needed or permission.
  • Develop a budget and manage spending
  • Determine whether funding or sponsors are needed for the event. If so start proposals as soon as possible.
  • Develop an agenda for the day from set up to clean up
  • Develop a list of volunteers, sponsors, guest speakers and anyone else who may be involved.
  • Develop a communication plan to the people involved for roles and responsibilities.
  • Determine key milestones and set times to review whether the plan is on track.

Set up the venue, floor plan of where everyone is going to be, and number of volunteers needed.

  • Prepare greeting/registration and any marketing required, name tags, and when reminders will be sent.
  • Prepare to open the day with a ice breaker, e.g., snacks and coffee. Confirm and officially welcome the speakers.
  • Plan for coffee breaks and food; put someone in charge of ordering and tending to refreshments while the event is happening.
  • Capture the day with video and pictures.
  • Groups participants up to 4 or 6.
  • Design thinking process: who develops the problem stretch, when facilitators will be trained, who is responsible for markers, paper or pens and pencils, etc.
  • Prototype building: What will be in the design kits? Who will be responsible for building the design kits, pantry, or tool kits? Any special rules?
  • Reflecting on the day: How many three-fold poster presentation panels will be needed and what other materials? Who will organize gallery walk? How long will it take?
  • Clean up of venue: assign someone to be responsible for removal of presentations, food, design kits, pantry, and tool kits.
  • Debriefing/evaluating the day: What went well or what didn’t and what are participants saying? (Crichton, & Carter, 2014).

Being that I have never participated in a maker day, I think I would go with this checklist. I think it is well planned out. I suggest letting the students take the lead on deciding which projects should be made available for hands-on activities and which presentations should be included.

I would use Crichton & Carter’s (2014) timeline, but modify it to fit our events. The day would look something like the following:

8:30 Registration

9:00 Welcome by hosts

9:15 Speaker #1 (Intro to design concepts)

9:30 Speaker #2 (Role of design thinking; why robotics matter)

9:45 Formation of groups and coffee

10:00 Start of project work

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-3:00 Continuation of project work

3:00 Preparation of group presentations

3:30 Closing comments and gallery tour

3:45 Gallery tour and closing reception

6:00 Clean-up

I think this would be a good rough draft of the timeline for our maker day.

I know an event like this would take thorough planning, but it can work with a group of people if properly set up. I think if I used the above checklist and timeline, I could organize and event that would make for an enjoyable and educational experience.


Crichton, S. & Carter, D. (2014). It’s Your Ticket. MakerDay Tool Kit, 2014. Retrieved July 15, 2015, from files/docs/discover/Final MakerDayToolKit.pdf.

Week 8 Reflection: Robotics

Week 8 Reflection: Robotics

This week we read and blogged about “Can You Teach More Than You Know?” My answer was yes. I said I know that you can teach more than you know because, when I first started teaching, I sometimes didn’t know much about the subject I was teaching. I guided the students’ learning and helped them along. I don’t know if any teacher can know everything they are going to teach. I know with technology you can also teach more than you know. For example, I wanted to do a project with iMovie. I didn’t know much about it, but, when I asked the students about it, I found out that several students had done iMovie before. When we came to putting it together, the students that had worked with iMovie before became the teachers. I let them help the other students. I also learned a lot from these students.

I found that every class blog that I read felt the same as me, in that we can teach more than we know. We also felt that a classroom should support exchanges between teachers and students, and among students, in which all learn from each other. From Scott’s blog, I really liked the motto, “Three before Me.” The students have to ask three students the question before asking the teacher. I think that is what I will start doing. It is good that the students teach and help each other out. In Megan’s blog, I found that I felt the same way about technology as she does. Before, if I didn’t know everything about it, then I wouldn’t want to try it. I didn’t want to run into a student asking me a question and not have the answer. Now I am more willing to try new a new tool, even if I don’t know it all. I figure some of the students will know what we are doing and I can learn from them and they can teach others. Most of the time, that is the case; someone will know what to do if we run into a snag. If not, we try to figure it out together.

I am still a little apprehensive about my club draft. I did the best I could on the rough draft and looked at the teacher’s suggestions. I will have to work on this much more. This is meant to be a proposal and, being that I have never prepared this kind of proposal, I am unsure how to write it up. I wish that I had an example to look at just to see the layout of the paper. I am not sure how to create a web page. I also have to look into the funding sources and see if my school can match the criteria. My professor thought the idea of younger students coming to work with older students was a good idea, so I will have to work more on the vision of what I would like this to look like.

I haven’t worked on my Arduino this week because I didn’t want to bring it with me when I traveled. I was scared that I might lose some of the pieces, so I will work on that when I get back home. I was working on the one where you have to wait ten minutes before a light turned on. I worked on it for about two hours to try to get it to work and I couldn’t get a light to turn on. I might try again when I go back to see if it will work, and, if not, find a video I can look at to see where I am going wrong. If I still can’t get it, then I will just move on. So I am feeling pretty good overall but just a bit edgy about my proposal and getting some of my projects done with the Arduino. All I can do is keep trying and do my best!

Week 8 Robotics

Week 8 Robotics: Can you Teach More Than You Know?

I believe that you can teach more than you know. Just think back when you were a first year teacher. Did you know everything that you had to teach? Well I know I didn’t. I got a mentor to help with lesson plans, and talked to other teachers. Even then, I didn’t know everything. I had to do a lot of searching, reading, and looking up things I didn’t know. So I know you can teach more than you know. With technology you can also teach more than you know. Trierweiler, (2015) said, “First, survey your students about what, if any, technology they use at home then have an open class discussion about technology with your students. Talk to your students and families and you’ll see which apps and favorite sites your students use.” You will find that students will be excited to share and teach others something they know.

Even with all of this technology in our hands, many teachers are not using it correctly. Seventy-five percent of teachers say they regularly use technology in their classrooms. However, only 40 percent of students report that technology is used in their classrooms (Trierweiler, 2015). Today’s students are so tech savvy, they can sense those missed opportunities. Only four out of ten students surveyed by CDW-G felt their schools were meeting their needs (Trierweiler, 2015). Yet the CDW-G survey found that just 30 percent of students say their schools ask for their input on technology. Worse, while 75 percent of teachers feel they understand how students want to use technology as a learning tool, only 49 percent of their students agree. She suggests setting up school-wide panels where students can offer their input on the curriculum and how technology can fit into it (Trierweiler, 2015).

In today’s dynamic classrooms, the teaching and learning process is becoming “more nuanced, more seamless,” and it flows back and forth from students to teachers (Barseghian, 2011.) This is how the classroom should flow. Just because you are the teacher doesn’t mean that you have to be the expert on everything. In today’s world, teachers and students are learning from each other in all sorts of ways. Sharing information and connecting with others has proven to be a powerful tool in education. Students are collaborating with each other through Skpe, blogs, and other tools. Teachers are also connecting with other teachers. They can share ideas and lesson plans and get advice on some things they are not sure of. The idea is simple: by working together, students figure out how to find common ground, balance each others’skills, communicate clearly, and be accountable to the team for their part of the project–just as they will someday in the work place (Barseghian, 2011).

“Given the growing momentum of these trends, what does it mean for students, teachers, schools, and the education community at large? Teachers’and students’relationships are changing, as they learn from each other. Teachers roles are shifting from owners of information to facilitators and guides to learning” (Barseghian, 2011). I find that when I don’t know something, I will ask the students and sometimes they will have the answer. This also shows that it is ok to ask for help and not to know everything. They can see that sometimes even their teachers need help.

In the article “Why You Should Teach What You Know, Even If You Aren’t an Expert?”Cooper writes, “The more you teach, the more people will see you as an expert. And the more people see you as an expert, the more opportunities you’ll get to teach. It’s okay to not have all the answers, and it’s okay to be wrong.” Research also shows that when we explain something to others we come to understand it better ourselves. This is why it is important for you to have your students teach each other. If I am helping a student and another student needs help, I would ask another student to help them. Not only does the student feel good because I asked them to help another student but it also gives me time to work with other students. In a classroom full of 30-35 students, I am not going to be able to help them all. If I know of some students who know what we are doing, I would ask them to help others who need help. Students love to be the teacher and help others.

Cooper also said, “Successful people start before they feel ready. Teaching is no exception. Don’t worry about whether you’ve hit “expert” status yet, or how big (or small) your audience is. Focus on what you’ve learned, or what you’re learning right now, and how you can share those lessons in a way that will help others. And don’t forget, there’s always someone who knows less than you. Go help them.”I know that I feel like this at times. I feel like if I don’t know a subject completely then I don’t want to teach it. What I’ve found is it is ok to teach something you don’t know. A few years ago, I was having the kids do a project with iMovie. This was the first time I played around with iMovie. I talked to the librarian and she knew a little about iMovie. I talked to the kids and a few of them had done iMovie. So I took the plunge, even though I didn’t feel like I could help the students. What I found was the students who did iMovie ended up becoming the experts and teaching others who needed help. Not only did the kids feel great about teaching others, but we all learned from each other.

We need to teach more than we know because, if we don’t, we might never reach some subjects. If I waited until I was completely comfortable teaching iMovie I might have not taught it. Sometimes you have to take a risk and work at it on the way. It is ok not to know everything because if you work together as a team you will find that you can accomplish just about anything.


Barseghian, T. (2011). Three Trends That Define the Future of Teaching and Learning. Retrieved June 27, 2015, from

Cooper, B. (2014). Why You Should Teach What You Know, Even If You Aren’t an Expert. Retrieved June 27, 2015, from

Daggett, D. (2010). Preparing Students For Their Technological Future. Retrieved June 27, 2015, from Students for Tech Future white paper.pdf

Martinez, S., & Stager, G. (2013). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Torrance, Calif.: Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.

Trierweiler, Hudson, H. (2015). Do Your Students Know More About Technology Than You Do? | Retrieved June 27, 2015, from

week 7 reflection: Robotics

Week 7 Reflection: Robotics

This week in robotics we have been reading about rules for MakerSpaces and then we had to write what our rules would be. Being new to MakerSpaces, I chose to use the rules from the MakerSpace playbook. I thought it was a good set of rules and if I need to I can always add more or take away some rules if they are needed or not.

Reading other people’s blogs I see that most of us had the same rules. A few had modified their rules because they have younger students. One thing is we want students to be safe and to have fun and be creative. Many of us are in agreement to start small and then expand. Our primary concern is the safety of the students. I really like how Ali thought about a KWL assignment and asking the kids what they know about a MakerSpace. I told her that I would have to take that idea because it is such a good one and I am curious now. Another good idea she suggested was to ask students to contribute to the rules so they have ownership as well. Cheri made a good point that rules don’t make children safe; behaviors do. I thought everyone had great ideas for rules to get started.

For my Arduino, I was working on project 7, The Keyboard. I got all my pieces in the breadboard and put my code in. At first, I only got one key to play. I played around some more then got two and three. I could not get the 4th key to play. I gave it a rest and tried it again the next day. I looked it up on YouTube, but that wasn’t much help because the examples seemed to have different color resistors that the ones I do. I tried again and took out each piece to make sure each was stuck in all the way. Still no results so I finally just moved on. I am happy that I got three keys to work.

I am working on the next project—the Digital Hour class and have a few hours into it now. After you put in the code you have to wait 10 minutes before the light turns on and you can see if it works. Scott told me to move the switch around, as he had had problems, too. I moved it to one side and waited ten minutes and moved it to the other side and waited ten minutes. Still no results. This project is frustrating because you have to wait so long to know if it works. I have put it away for now and will come back to it later to try to get it to work or maybe try another project. It is frustrating when it doesn’t work the first time, but all I can do is keep trying and, hopefully, I will get it soon. I am pretty happy with how things are going with my projects. Sure, I don’t get it the first time or may not have gotten all the parts to work, but I got some to work and I am happy about that. I am doing something that I thought I would never do and succeeding for the most part, so I am good with that.