Past Cohort Activities - Spring 2018

UTeach Maker Cohort Activities - Spring 2018

05/01/2018 - Maker Showcases

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On Tuesday May 1st, UTeach Maker hosted out monthly cohort meeting featuring the Maker Showcases of our Spring 2018 UTeach Maker Fellows. The evening started off with an opportunity to our UTeach Makers and Mentors to share projects that have been working on in a Maker Playground. Lauren Siegel of MathHappens shared some of her laser-cut manipulative for teaching about mathematics, Alex Morrison invited people to participate in sewable project that she will be hosting at the 2018 Austin Maker Faire, Jason Harron shared 3D laser-cut art based on Voronoi diagrams, Mao Leonard demonstrated projects she has created in Scratch, Halle Herzog dazzled with her brightly colored threaded flowers, and Arami Rosales defied gravity with her magnetic levitated vehicle track.

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Of course, the highlight of the evening was our four UTeach Makers sharing their Maker Showcases with the cohort. Payton Crawley demonstrated how making and mathematics go hand-in-hand with her Pythagorean Proof Quilt. Her use of geometry also extended to her classroom where students created their own objects to explore the relationships between geometric shapes. Kira Lowery has her students engage in meaningful making as they created their own models of cells using putty, slime, and Makey Makeys. Taking her own making skills to the next level, Kira create an illuminated staff for a cosplay of Lux from League of Legends.

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Krystal Evans used the visual arts to inspire her students with a focus on growth mindset. She allowed students to research art that inspired them and discover the connections to the geometry that could be found through origami. In addition, she learned how to make her own rubber stamps that she could use in her classroom. Ayesha Qadri shared what she has learned about making as being part of MathHappens. Her maker project truly shined, as she learned how to facet a piece of quartz to create a gemstone. In addition, she shared a soap making lesson that she taught to a high school chemistry class, where students learned about the properties of bases while also creating their own soap and designing soap dishes.

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To top off the evening, each Maker Mentor team present our new UTeach Maker Fellows with a personalize gift. Lauren's teams create light-up desk nametags for Ayesha and Payton. Patrick Benfield's teams created lanyards with embedded Micro:Bits to wear in the classroom, as well as 3D-printed UTeach Maker stamps. Congratulations to our newest UTeach Maker Fellows! We hope to see all of you this weekend, May 5th, at the Austin Maker Faire Regional MakerEd Summit!

04/08/2018 - Maker Showcase Workshop

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Shelly and Jason hosted a UTeach Maker Showcase workshop on Sunday April 8th to help prepare our upcoming graduates from the program for their portfolio review. About half of the current cohort were there to discuss what they wanted to include in their maker philosophy, to try-out ideas for their maker-centered lessons, and to work on designing their maker projects.

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Inspired by a scrolling LED nametag they saw at the meet-up, Halle and Mao wanted to design their own LED nametag holders. Using Inkscape, birch plywood and acrylic, they rapidly prototyped their own nametag holders to wear when they are peer mentoring in the UTeach Workroom, or representing UTeach Maker at events. In addition, they plan on sharing the plans on Instructables to help give back to the online maker community.

04/03/2018 - Micro:Bit Design Challenge

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On Tuesday April 3rd, UTeach Maker welcomed everybody back to Painter Hall for our monthly cohort meeting. It was great to see everybody and hear about the progress that you have made on your maker projects and showcase. Maker Mentor, Patrick Benfield, shared with the cohort about a MakerEd Regional Summit that will be taking place May 5th at Maker Faire Austin.

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This month's theme was a Micro:Bit design challenge. Activities began with Jason Harron leading an activity to write a program that could turn the Micro:Bit into a conductivity tester. UTeach Maker, Garrett Mott, then took over to practice an insulators and conductors lesson that he will be leading for an upcoming HEB teacher scholarship competition. Good luck Garrett! Following the lesson, groups were given alligator clips and a servo motor to learn how to control external components with the Micro:Bit.

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Once everybody could control their servo it was time to begin the Inchworm Design Challenge. Using the Micro:Bit, a servo, alligator clips, cardboard, tape, and other found materials, the UTeach Makers were given the challenge to construct a robotic inchworm. Through trial-and-error, teams design their own robots with the goal of traveling the greatest distance in the shortest amount of time. Some unique designs included using latex balloons to get more traction and a water bottle inchworm that used a swinging arm to propel it forward.

Be sure to join Shelly and Jason this Sunday April 8th from 2:00-5:00p in PAI 4.18 for our spring Maker Showcase workshop. We'll see everybody on May 1st from 6:30-8:30p for the Spring 2018 Showcase Roundtables!

03/06/2018 - SXSW MakerEd.Org Meet-Up

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On Tuesday, March 6th, 2018 Austin was a buzz with the national maker community, as held their annual meet-up for SXSWEdu. The event was organized by Stephanie Chang from, who also serves as a portfolio reviewer for UTeach Maker, and hosted at Magellan International School by UTeach Maker Mentor Patrick Benfield. With over 100 local and national maker educators in attendance, the presence of UTeach Maker could easily be spotted as our cohort proudly wore their burnt orange shirts.

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Members of the UTeach Maker cohort has a change to chat with passional maker educators from around the United States. The event provided an opportunity for our students to learn more about making takes place both inside and outside of the Austin community. Each member of the cohort was asked to speak with at least two people they did not know and write a reflection about how those people are connected to maker education.

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In addition, members of the UTeach Maker cohort had the opportunity to engage with maker activities, such as building circuits, experimenting with motors, and experiencing virtual reality. This meet-up also provided an opportunity to see how a makerspace has been implemented at an elementary school and to see actual student projects.

We look forward to seeing everybody again on Tuesday April 3rd, when we'll be engaging in a Circuit Playground design challenge!

02/25/2018 - Laser-Cutter Workshop

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On Sunday February 25th, UTeach Maker held a Design. Make. Take. workshop for participants to learn how to custom design their own projects on the laser-cutter. It was great to see 12 of our UTeach Makers in attendance. Jason Harron lead the workshop, where he taught participants how to create a custom vector drawing in Inkscape and cut or engrave it into a piece of birch playwood.

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Creation included signs for hanging on the wall, custom bookmarks as gifts for friends, a puzzle-cube with chemistry symbols on the sides, and custom business card holders. At the end of the five-hour workshop everybody had their own creation that they were able to take home. It was great to see everybody and we look forward to seeing you at Magellan International School for the SXSWedu MakerEd meet-up!

02/13/2018 - Tour of The Foundry

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Welcome back UTeach Makers! On Tuesday February 13th, seven new UTeach Makers joined our first cohort meeting of the Spring 2018 semester. We started out the evening by having our UTeach Maker Mentors travel from group-to-group so everybody could learn more about their interests and skills. UTeach Maker Fellows Aminadab Morales and Abdulkarim Bora were in attendance to give advice about completing the Maker Showcase before we all walked to the Fine Arts Library to visit The Foundry.

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Jason Harron led a tour of The Foundry, a makerspace that is open to all students enrolled at UT-Austin. During the tour UTeach Makers learned about access they have to 3-D printers, a laser-cutter, CNC machines, sewing equipment, 3-D modeling/game design workstations, virtual reality headsets, and a recording studio.

Spring 2018 Cohort

We ended the meeting by giving everybody a chance to work one-on-one with their mentor to explore past Maker Showcases and set goals for the semester.

Be sure to RSVP for our "Design. Make. Take." laser-cutting workshop on February 25th from 12:00-5:00pm. During this workshop you will learn how to design items to be cut on the UTeach laser-cutter, make that item, and get to take it home with you. See you there!