Thursday, June 25, 2009
Katrina had so much fun in her first week at icamp that she came back for a second. Having already made a robot, this week she made a video game about building a robot and made her own character sprites for her game- including some icamp instructors!
Friday, June 19, 2009
We've got the latest in LEGO robotics with MINDSTORMS NXT and sweet new robots to build. And in addition to touch and light sensors, this summer we also have sound sensors and the NTX ultrasonic sensor.
Then there's the new Adventure Planet Protector and new tutorials for Fashion Designer, new music, a whole stock of new pictures and backgrounds that campers can use in the projects, new props for movies and so much more. We can't wait to see the creative ways icampers will use all this cool new stuff this summer!
Sessions are filling up fast!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
For his Mission to Mars adventure, icamper Andrew took on 2 different programming challenges. First he made a Mars themed video game, then he built and programmed a LEGO Mars rover designed with bumpers and sensors to explore the surface of the red planet.
School’s almost out and Summer 2009 icamp just around the corner, and as we at Children’s Technology Workshop gear up for summer we’ve been watching projects from past icamps. We have 11 different adventure themes for campers, and in the coming weeks I'll be showing projects from all of them.
For her Music Mogul project, Annalisa played and recorded Bach’s Minuet in G on the keyboard and then mixed the track using Mixcraft. Then she used ToonBoom, Express, and Paint to make a digital animation for her song. Check out her creation:
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Maybe you know him as the inventor of Segway, the 2 wheeled "human transporter" with gyroscopes and tilt sensors that moves when you simply lean forward. Or maybe you know him as founder of FIRST Robotics Competition (FIRST stands for For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), the robotics challenge and competition program designed to “inspire young people's interest and participation in science and technology”.
But did you know that in addition to inventing a new transportation system and making a remarkably successful program that gets kids excited about science, Dean Kamen has also developed a whole range of devices to advance medical technology? He invented the first portable infusion pump, a wheelchair capable of going up stairs and over street curbs, a home dialysis machine, and is currently working on an water-purification/generator system that can be used by people in poor or remote countries that don' have access to electricity, as well as a fully functional prosthetic arm (named the "Luke Arm" after Luke Skywalker in Star Wars).
Kamen will be a keynote speaker at the Creative Problem Solving Institute Conference happening in Boston next week (June 21st-24th) . For more information on the conference, visit www.cpsiconference.com.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I’ll admit it: I do not like math. Maybe I was scarred and discouraged in grade school from trying to memorize seemingly endless formulas and rules, but for whatever reason I am very intimidated by math, and I always think of myself as a “letters” person, not a “numbers” person.
Math lover Danica McKellar wants to change attitudes about math- specifically middle school girls’ attitudes about math. Best known for her role as Winnie Cooper on the TV show The Wonder Years, McKellar has written two books for middle school students, Math Doesn’t Suck and Kiss My Math, and is working on a third book to show girls that math can be trendy and natural, and they don’t need to be intimated by numbers.
In a recent interview on NPR's Science Friday, McKellar explains that making math fun and engaging is key to getting kids interested (and a caller to the show brought up FIRST LEGO Leagues as another way that math and science is made exciting!). I haven’t read McKellar’s books, but I am inspired by her mission.
I would love to hear some of your experiences with math. Have you or your child found useful math resources that help make homework manageable or that make math more fun? Are you a teacher with a great class activity that gets kids excited about fractions and figures? How do you remember experiencing math back in your grade-school days? How do you feel about it now? Share your stories!