Designing a Future-Proofed Makerspace – Intro

Part 1 – Designing a Future-Proofed Makerspace – Intro

img_0825From tinkering labs to fabrication studios, “Makerspaces” are popping up at schools across the country. While these spaces, often filled with tools like 3-D printers and laser cutters, are replacing tech labs at many schools, some educators question if these new classrooms are just a passing fad or if they truly represent the future of hands-on learning.

I explored this topic with the Burke’s Makery Team as part of a panel session at the International Society of Technology Educators (ISTE) annual conference in Denver, CO. This series of ten posts will explore key ideas that will help schools and educators design makerspaces that will not only be relevant today but will also stand the test of time.
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09 2016

MAKE Learning Fun Workshop – NSTA 2015 in Chicago

MAKE Learning Fun

Today, my colleague Marilyn and I presented a workshop on the Burke’s Makery, sharing ideas on how to engage students through maker education. We had over 175 guests at today’s session and loved the insightful questions we received and the wonderful conversations that we were able to have with folks after our presentation.

Visit our ever-evolving Pinterest page filled with Makery tools and ideas by visiting and clicking on the Nifty Makery Ideas board.

For information on our model for 21st century learning, visit our microsite here.

You can check out our presentation materials by clicking on the image above. The presentation is filled with images from our work so please give it a second to load.


03 2015

Greetings from the Boston NSTA Conference!

It was so wonderful meeting with many inspiring science educators from the world at this week’s National Science Teachers Convention in Boston, MA!


In addition to attending workshops and scouring the expo floor for ideas and resources, I presented two workshops, one on National Board Certification and another entitled “Full STEAM Ahead” on integrating art into STEM education. Click on the “NSTA WORKSHOPS” header at the top of the page to access the presentations and resource pages from my workshops.


04 2014

Google Glass in Science Class

Trying on Google GlassToday I had the incredible opportunity to go pick up my school’s new pair of Google Glass. As part of the Glass Explorer Program, we’ll have an early edition of the glasses to try out before the glasses go on sale to the public later this year. Being in the Bay Area, my colleague Jenny and I took advantage of the option to trek down to Google’s San Francisco offices where we were able to pick up the glasses with a one-on-one tutorial and set-up session with a Glass expert.

Google Glass Patent DrawingFor those of you who aren’t familiar with the technology, the glasses (officially called “Google Glass”)  consist of a small screen and camera that are contained within a pair of lens-free glass frames. The screen sits about one inch away from your eye, just above your line of sight. Thanks to the screen, a set of sensors, a camera, GPS sensor, and a data connection, Google Glass is able to take pictures and video, respond to user voice commands, and display information related to the user’s location. For a basic example, to take a picture, simply look up to trigger the glasses then say “Ok glass, take a picture.” The device captures the user’s field of view in a picture which is then uploaded to the cloud. Things get more interesting when using glass apps – imagine sitting in a cafe in Paris, looking at a cafe menu while wearing Google Glass. Without hesitation, the menu item you’re looking at appears translated into English on the screen of the glasses.
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01 2014

Inside The New Exploratorium – Opening Tomorrow!

The Exploratorium at Pier 15

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to go on a preview visit to the new Exploratorium here in San Francisco. The museum is relocating from its long-time home at the Palace of Fine Arts to a state of the art building on Pier 15 in San Francisco. While the museum will be keeping long-time favorites, it will also include many new interactive exhibits and activities. One of the things I’m most excited about is the Exploratorium’s Tinkering Studio. From creating marble roller coasters to dissecting toys to designing air powered vehicles, the tinkering studio is dedicated to helping visitors explore and inquire through projects and activities that integrate science, technology, engineering, math, and art!

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04 2013