Past Cohort Activities - Fall 2017

UTeach Maker Cohort Activities - Fall 2017

12/05/2017 - Fall 2017 Maker Showcase

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It was standing room only on December 5th as we celebrated our Fall 2017 Maker Showcase. Our UTeach Makers, mentors, friends, and family were in attendance to listen to our seven new UTeach Maker Fellows share their growth as makers. Split into three rooms, our UTeach Makers presented how they developed their showcase website in terms of what they have learned about maker education, their philosophy behind making, how they have been involved in the maker community, and what they had created as a maker project.

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Kyle Albernaz explained how he he created a "Garduino" by using an Arduino and sensor to measure the moisture content of the soil of his plants, Abdulkarim Bora demonstrated the physics and electronic skills he learn while building a remote controlled quadcopter drone, Mirna Gonzalez build and programmed a 3x3x3 LED cube powered by an Arduino, Amy Gross kept us hydrated with her fruit infused water, John Langdon reached out to the world by constructing a HAM radio tower, Vanessa Manzano presented her laser cut periodic tables used to visualize ionization energy, and Aminadab Morales showed his UT pride by laser cutting his own custom light-up UT tower.

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Each UTeach Maker Fellow was presented with a gift that was created by their peers and mentor. Gifts included Amy's oversized 7-Eleven cupholder and LED light-up desk name tag, Kyle's laser cut balloon animal pins and journal, Aminadab and John's reflective UT tower name tags, Mirna and Abdul's 3D-printed LED desk lights, and Vanessa's periodic table clock and beaker-shaped door name tag.

Congratulations to everybody who presented their maker showcase! We look forward to seeing the amazing things you are going to do in your own classrooms, and welcome you as our latest additions to the UTeach Maker Fellows!

11/07/2017 - Helium Balloon Airship Design Challenge

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On Tuesday November 7th, UTeach Maker mentor Oren Connell and UTeach Maker Susan McClain hosted our monthly cohort meeting at the Ann Richards MS makerspace. Keeping with the tradition of design challenges, this year they challenged students to tinker and make an airship that they could control and fly between the workbenches in the space.

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Teams were provided with balloons, helium, string, tape, and remote controlled toys that they could "hack" to create their airships. Designs included removing motors from toys to propel an airship and using a quadcopter to create an airship that can be maneuvered. One design even included balloon animal passengers that served adjust the buoyancy of the airship.

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Between a few popped balloons and some helium fueled high-squeaky voices, the night was a great success. This design challenge provided a great opportunity for teams to work with their mentor and created a bonding experience for the group. This tinkering challenge served as a model for how learning can be both hands-on and playful.

We look forward to seeing everybody on Tuesday December 5th for our Showcase Roundtable!

10/03/2017 - Learning How to Laser-Cut

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Have you ever wanted to cut materials with light? On Tuesday October 3rd, UTeach Maker learned how to use UTeach's new laser-cutter. In small group, the UTeach Makers and their Mentors were introduced to the safety of using a laser-cutter and what materials are safe to cut with a laser, such as cardboard, plywood, and acrylic plastics.

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This training included locating the fire extinguisher, eye-protection, focusing the lens of the laser based on material height, uploading files to the software, modifying images to customize text, and the differences between raster engraving and vector etching/cutting. Some of the UTeach Makers walked away with their own customize name tages to help show their UTeach Maker affiliation.

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While groups were learning about the laser-cutter, the remaining groups worked one-on-one with their UTeach mentor to help develop their UTeach Maker Showcase, think about projects they would like to document, and continue to built their identity as a Maker educator. UTeach Makers who plan on presenting their showcases' in December set milestones and deadlines.

Join us on Sunday October 15th from 2:00-5:00pm for a BloxMob App Development Workshop. We look forward to seeing the UTeach Maker cohort at the Ann Richard's MS Makerspace on Tuesday November 7th from 6:30-8:30pm!

09/05/2017 - Lighting Up UTeach Maker

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Welcome back! UTeach Maker officially kicked-off with our Fall 2017 cohort on 09/05/2017 with our makers and mentors in attendance. We learned about all of the exciting creative activities everybody had done over the summer, such as Lauren's Human Sundial, and welcomed our newest Maker Mentor, Rich LeGrand.

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As our first activity of the 2017-18 academic year, Jason lead an activity to blend both low-tech and high-tech making to create a collaborative final product. Using laser-cut cardboard letters, hot glue guns, tape, printer paper, tin foil, a string of RGB LED lights, and a 48x36" trifold display board, the cohort was given the challenge to design and assemble a light-up sign for UTeach Maker.

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As a team, everybody had to agree on decisions such as the aesthetics of the sign, how the string of LED lights should be run through the cardboard, and how the letters should be laid-out and assembled. Each team was given two letters, and had about one hour to construct their final product.

Fall 2017 UTeach Maker Cohort

Just like in our maker's future classrooms, problems happen in projects. As we were stringing the lights through the sign, there was a weak point that snapped breaking our LEDs. After three or four attempts to soldier the string back together, Jerry (an electrical engineering major) stepped in and successfully repaired the string of LEDs.

We look forward growing alongside out latest cohort of UTeach Makers! Next cohort meeting will be Tuesday 10/03/2017.