How to 3D Print a Bubble Wand in Tinkercad

I know this amazing educator who is working with educators doing amazing work. I have visited the school to learn how to do things better in our own school. Recently we were discussing ideas on 3D printing projects for elementary students who are just getting started with CAD and 3D Printing(how cool is this!).

What developed(she gets credit, not me) was the idea of making bubble wands for them to create and then use.

How awesome!

I worked to develop a very short tutorial on how to make a bubble wand in TinkerCad to teach myself and help others. Check it out below.

More importantly, I challenge you to design your own and share it with me. I would love to see what cool creations the world makes.

Submit your images and videos to this shared Google Photo Album

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Awesome Ava and Dorky Dad Episode 6: LED Binder Bling

In this episode Ava and I attempt to make a LED Binder Clip Bling. This a great way to spice up your fingers or your backpack.

 

 

 

Check out the video and below is a handout with instructions as well.

 

 

Parts

LED Lights

Foam Stickers

Binder Clips

Foam Sheets

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Rub Your Eyes, This is Real! FIRST World Championships

The sparkle in the eye.

 

The one that causes you to stop blinking or perhaps blink a bit faster than normal.

 

That moment when you or a kid or a pack of them are walking at that kid pace and strut doing their thing. You know what I am talking about. When they are mindless of everything around them until now.

When one stops. Points. Walks a bit slower to the destination.

 

And then they stop. Facial expressions freeze. Movement ceases. Talk is nil.

 

The ultimate mannequin challenge created by disbelief of what their eyes are perceiving. The fact registers that what they think is impossible is possible.

 

That moment when the light bulb not only turns on, but shatters. New barriers have been created and formed.

 

The smile forms and the questions start flooding the brain. Pictures and video are taken to capture and prove what they are witnessing.

 

This is what I have been fortunate enough to experience time and time again while being with LEGO Education during the FIRST World Championships in Houston, Texas. Hundreds of teams from all over the world are here to compete and do their best job with the robots and research they have been working on for months on end.

 

Their ideas are crazy and amazing. They are more than what we often give kids credit for in a regular day. These kids are driven with a passion for learning. I was reignited in my belief in the spirit of a child. A child that ranges all the way to the teenage years. These kids are driven. They want to learn. They want to prove the world wrong by showcasing how powerful they can be when they work together as a team to make a vision a reality.

 

It is easy to knock the systems of education. It is easy to bash education. It is simple to find test scores and point fingers. It is easy for educators to blame kids and say they don’t care.

 

These are negatives and stereotypes that don’t fit. I know this because I just hung out with 20,000 kids that are the complete opposite. FIRST World Championship is full of excitement for learning and engagement in STEM. It is the mecca for showcasing how amazing kids are when you provide them an opportunity to pursue something they love.

 

The same moment kids have when they see the work of Master Lee Magpili dragon and eagle is the same moment I am having when I see the robots and the work of the kids in their pits and in the arenas.

FIRST not only inspires youth, but has inspired me to see what is possible. The journey has only started. It is time to bend reality for the kids I work with on a daily basis and it is all because of this opportunity.

 

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Awesome Ava and Dorky Dad Episode 5: How to Make a Volcano

I realized I never shared episode 5 of Awesome Ava and Dorky Dad on the blog. What better way to start your week off than with the time tested, kid approved, and never ceases to fail experiment of fun……..Baking Soda Volcanoes!

In this episode Ava and I attempt to make a volcano. This actually turns out amazing and is a great one to make time and time again.

Please give the video a like and subscribe to the channel so you don’t miss future episodes.

This is the volcano kit we used 4M Volcano Making Kit by 4M but don’t be afraid to make your very own! 

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Two Ways To Beautify Your G Suite System

After binge listening to Google Teacher Tribe Podcast I thought it might be good for me to clean up all the tips and tutorials I have created to help teachers and students in the school I work at along with anyone who checks them out online.

I was pumped to see that I now have over 50+ tips and tried to organize them a bit better. It is not perfect, but something I working to make even nicer for the user(I need more time in my day!)

I thought I would share two tips I have to help beautify your Google Drive and Gmail. One is a new one and another is one I have shared before.

Enjoy!

If you have other tips and ideas please share so we can all learn together.

  1. Gmail Sender – this little tool adds icons to your email to help you visually find the emails you need faster!
  2. Add Emojis to Google Drive Folder – Want a better way to enhance the look of your Google Drive?Using http://www.copypastecharacter.com you can now copy an image and paste it into the name of a Google Folder to add emojis and symbols to your folder names. 
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042: Living on the Edge of Chaos – Goals, S-Town, Mindset, and Sun Dials

Check out the show and episodes on iTunes

Please remember to leave a rating and feedback. We would love it if you took 3 minutes to leave us a rating.

 

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There’s no such thing as meaningless work

We all work hard with best intentions of doing what is best. As parents we strive hard to be the best parents we can be with hopes of raising productive and positive children. As spouses we work hard to meet in the middle to keep the love strong and to support one another through trivial and major events in life. As teachers we do our best with what we have to educate the youth.

I don’t believe that people set out to do meaningless work.

Sometimes they just need help. Sometimes they need someone to let them know things can be better. Just because you have great intentions, an amazing idea, passion for a topic, or are driven by a mission does not mean that you will automatically have wise leadership or a group of people behind you who feel the same.

They are not one in the same. This is why I always state that there is a fundamental difference between managers and leaders. Managers are simply trying to keep the status quo. They might tell themselves and others that they are leaders, but it simply is not the case.

Leaders inspire. Leaders don’t make excuses. Leaders find a way to make things happen. Leaders connect with people. They understand people and help them to join the vision for success.

Leaders ask questions like “What do we all care about?” or “How can we find solutions that address those shared concerns?” Leaders do not yell or demoralize people. Leaders do not provide lip service to an idea and not have any follow through or accountability. More importantly, leaders do not share a vision and then provide zero support.

Leadership is not about a title or position. Leadership starts within you. I know that not everyone will view themselves as leaders, but you are. Until you start to process that mindset, then you will continue to wait for others to give you directions in which you probably won’t like and then complain. This is a vicious cycle in society.

We can all do better. We can all do more. This does not mean more time, but being smart in our use of time and in our understanding that we are leaders. We have all fallen into the trap of thinking we don’t have enough or we are not enough. You are more than that. You are stronger and your contributions to society by leading and sharing can change the world. The future rests on the individual and you are a great person to start to make positive change.

I as I read in ad in a magazine, “Move the Future Forward, Today!”

It begins with you.

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What Do You Remember From School?

I bet it was not standards. I bet it was not a homework assignment(unless it was one that scarred you for life).

I bet you remember favorite teachers. Teachers that made you feel important. Teachers that made your voice feel important.

Or maybe complete opposite where the teacher was beyond terrible.

Either way the memories are the memories that left an emotional impact in some capacity. It was not the day to day jargon of history or science or five paragraph essays.

Remember that when working with students. Are you creating those memories to provide students with learning experiences they will never forget? And more importantly, are they the memories students want to keep?

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To Earn Teacher Cred, You Gotta Be About It

When you stop and think about the words you speak consider the actions that follow. Do you actually do the things that you say you do or speak about? Now this requires some serious self reflection and honesty with yourself.

I have found that most of us are really good at lip service. We have provided these talks to ourselves and others so much that we believe that we are actually doing these things in school. We build these stories to our friends and colleagues in the hallways, teacher lounges, meetings, and conferences/PD so much that we are convinced that what we say is happening is the truth.

But is it?

I am working hard this year to really push my own self constraints and really take a bold step outside of my comfort zone. In doing so I have fell flat on my face so many times it is not even funny. I have made mistakes. I have had restless nights. I have worked at times too hard and long.

But I know that I live the messages that I share. I don’t want to be someone who talks a good game, but does not have anything to show for it.

Take for example the NCCE conference. I was blessed to be able to travel to Portland and present a session on Speedgeeking and a workshop on Makerspace. Both of these I have done numerous times, but I decided to up my game. I cleaned up both sessions. I developed new slides with the hopes that they were more polished. I changed the format and flow. I wove in new stories.

Most importantly I changed things up with new material and activities.

I don’t why I do this to myself, but I felt the need to challenge myself to be better. If I was going to talk about productivity I had to implement a challenge that would force me to use the techniques discussed. Could I use the tools shared to make a presentation? Could I really make a conscious effort to be productive to further connect the tools?

In the end I felt good about what I created despite the fact I worked too many hours on the format. I did not sleep at the conference and woke up every morning at 4 to practice both sessions a few times before starting my day.

In the end it worked. I have some new pieces that I think resonate with people. When I cleaned up the Speedgeeking session I implemented more interaction despite the fact that time is short and I cram a lot into the session. If you want proof, then watch the air guitar 360 video posted here on March 24th.

Or take for example the makerspace workshop. I completely flipped the deck with a Binder Bling activity when they walked in to get them moving and doing right away. If we are going to talk makerspace, then we are not going to just sit. We built LEGOS and made slime. I had a wave of panic ordering materials as glue was a hot commodity. I have never done slime in a workshop, let alone adults, mixed with a space I have never seen and people I have never meet.

It worked. It was great. Besides the fact I was super nervous it was going to fail and people would hate it.

It worked. We took a room not designed for making and made it happen! We were dependent on water showing up. We were depending on educators willing to get a little messy(they were all AWESOME!)

In the end I connected with educators from all over the world on this project as it developed. I connected with a student my wife teaches who makes slime for charity. I read emails, tweets, and more from people who were asking questions and providing feedback. The outpouring of amazing stories was insane all because of slime.

It is why we need to share more.

The slime was inspired by my daughters who have made more slime than I care to admit. It has lead to us making a YouTube show (Awesome Ava and Dorky Dad) sharing our awesome creations. I was inspired by them to share this passion to adults.

So what does this all mean?

I encourage you to check yourself.

via GIPHY

Do your actions align the words you speak? If not, then I encourage you to make it happen. Try something new. Make sure you can back up what you believe and say. It is hard. It is not easy. But I have learned one thing over my last few years: educators can sniff out a fake. As an instructional coach, teacher, and presenter at conferences you must have street cred by proving you know your stuff and can do your stuff or all is lost.

Same thing applies to students in the classroom. It applies to your own children. It applies to every single human interaction you have. People hate fakes.

We all know this to be true, so I challenge you to go out there and keep it real. Stay true to your word. Push your boundaries. Push your learning. Be a change agent. Be yourself. Be awesome!

I thank Microsoft and NCCE for providing me a space and opportunity to not only share and hopefully inspire teachers, but to force myself out of my comfort zone to make things happen.

 

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Google Drive: Insert Gradient Backgrounds

In this tip we will be focusing on colors for Google Drive. You are now able to add gradient backgrounds to your slides and docs along with shapes.

Super easy to do. Check out the video to learn how.

If you like this tip please give it a thumbs up in YouTube and subscribe to my channel.

 

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