Roboticize Your World: Educational Kit Can Turn Artwork and Crafts Into Robots

Byron Spice of Carnegie Mellon University issues a press release about a new educational robotic kit that allows students to experiment without previous experience of programming required. It has already been used in several creative ways

Terry Richards, who teaches high school human anatomy and physiology at The Ellis School in Pittsburgh, had her students use the kit to build models of the human arm and its musculature. “A lot of the girls said it helped them see where muscles attached,” Richards said. “They really had to think about where the muscles could attach on their models.” In the process, they learned how to install servos to move the elbow and wrist, wire them to the Hummingbird control board and write programs to control the movement. “Even in high school, students aren’t usually introduced to this technology unless they are on the robotics team,” she added.

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Blue (School) Skies Ahead

Sam Chaltain reports on an interesting new school that grew out of the Blue Man group that toured the world with their fascinating performances. The school has spaces which are decorated by the children including tree sculptures and a disco floor. The school also has a fascinating exploratory framework based on the personality of the Blue Man

we imagined him doing so via six different lenses:

  1. The Group Member – the lens of collaboration, connection, and global citizenship
  2. The Scientist – the lens of curiosity, critical thinking, experimentation and analysis
  3. The Hero – the lens of perseverance, commitment and leadership
  4. The Trickster – the lens of provocation, innovation, and play
  5. The Artist – the lens of imagination, instinct and creative expression
  6. The Innocent – the lens of emotional awareness and mindfulness

“These six lenses are mindsets or approaches children, teachers, and others in our community can assume to explore work, academic areas, an environment, and materials,” Matt shared while we watched a cluster of four-year-olds make mud in their airy, light-filled classroom. “We want to teach our kids how to surf in all of those different energies. And we want to help them develop critical life skills and practices along the way.”

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Questions of creativity

David White reviews the Berkman Center ‘Youth and Digital Media: From Credibility to Information Quality’ report looking at interaction, information and context. He situates it within the Digital Visitors and Residents JISC project, noting that higher education should be analysing reports of engagement and learning behaviours amongst learners from schools and whether learning practices are changing as they enter university

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