Tinkering at CASTEAM17

Last week we joined friends from Sonoma County Office of Education, Birdbrain Tech, Tinkering Labs, Maker Ed, Raspberry Pi, Autodesk, Community Science Workshop and more for a pop-up makerspace at the California STEAM Symposium. The conference focused on educators interested in learning more about how to integrate science, tech, engineering, arts and math into their classroom. 

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Two New Stop Motion Animation Stations

Stop motion is a great tinkering activity where learners can imagine scenes, iterate on animation techniques and create amazing movies with simple materials. We're working to create an affordable, portable and sturdy stop-motion animation micro-exhibit. 

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Computational Tinkering Three Ways

There are lots of options for programming arduino with graphical block based code. After the experience of trying three different versions I think there are pros and cons for each editor. Scratchx is the best for tinkering with programming and has lots of creative extensions but it's quite difficult to set up the drivers and plugins to run on different machines. Tinkercad circuits has lots of potential to combine programming, electronics and robotics but in it's current version has some clunky elements. Mblocks feels like good solution at this point that balances friendliness with ease of use although the fact that it's not browser based could be an issue for some workshops. 

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ASTC Entreprenurial Extensions Recap

Last weekend at the ASTC conference in San Jose, I helped to organize a panel discussion on entrepreneurial extensions to museum experiences. It was an interesting and provocative conversation that will hopefully inspire more experiments with pop-up spaces, tinkering trucks, vending machines and kits in science centers and museums

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