Monday, September 28, 2015


It was an exciting day in Design & Technology today!  the students started working in small groups to create games in Scratch and controllers with Makey Makeys.  Here are some of the things they created:
  • One 8th grade girl successfully made a mouse with playdough using the back of the Makey Makey board
  • one 7th grader made a "joystick" type controller out of has playdough underneath to sense direction.
  • One group is making a dance game to Watch Me (whip/ nae nae)

Friday, September 25, 2015

MaKey MaKey experiments

My middle school classes are having fun learning about MaKey MaKey this week.  Today they experimented with different objects to find out which ones were conductive.  Next week they will start building their game controllers using the MaKey MaKeys!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

While I was out... awesome sub, Stephanie Bliss, created hovercrafts with the students.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A motor, an LED, some batteries, and a few craft supplies...what can you make?

We took a break from our vinyl projects today for a quick design challenge.  It was fun to watch the middle school students work in small groups on their creations.  I was surprised by the varying levels of knowledge and comfort with the materials.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Getting Started with Vinyl

Last week I introduced the middle schoolers to vector graphics.  We talked a lot about the difference between vector and raster files and uses for each.  After I thought that they had a good understanding of why we use vector graphics for vinyl cutting, I invited them to design their first piece.  Students were paired up and asked to create a piece in Google Drawing that included both partners' names and an image.  They needed to save it as an .svg and then convert it to an .ai file to use in CutStudio (the program that came with the Roland vinyl cutter).
Working on a shared document worked well because they had individual ownership: their name, font choice, etc, but were able to work together and give each other feedback.
The biggest issues we had were:

  • converting files to .ai
  • saving to USB
  • formatting problems when opening files in CutStudio
  • weeding
In the end, all were able to complete the assignment in a few sessions.