Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Picademy USA Part 2 - Learning Into the Night

This is  Part 2   of a blog post series from the first #Picademy USA in MountainView this past weekend - including this Video Summary.

You can also check out Part 1 and Part 3 

I was not surprised to see the  learning and networking from Raspberry Pi Day 1 continue  into the night.    Following our first full day at Picademy, Sam Patternson (one of Bay Area educators attending Picademy)  invited us to his school’s makerspace. 

Sam’s makerspace was filled with many of the  materials, tools, and student projects in progress that one might find in a school makerspace or STEAM classroom, along with with one unique, powerful,  and most amazing resource that you won't find anywhere else  — Sam Patternson !  

It was obvious that Sam and his students OWNED this space!  It was filled with their passion in the form of projects in progress, failed attempts, and successfully completed artifacts.  It was easy to imagine what this space looked like during school hours filled with the buzz of  students creating and making. 
Mission Project in 3D

Lots of bins filled with projects in progress
Sphero gets a new look with 3D printed costume


In the true spirit of a maker-educator, Sam not only freely offered us a tour and enthusiastically answered lots of questions about his space AND his process with K-8 students,  but he also invited us to MAKE!   Before we knew it,  Polar 3D printers were buzzing away as educators watched and shared their own experiences with 3D printing.  Spheros and iPads were being paired as we exchanged tips for managing multiple Spheros in one classroom.   Colorful puppets invited us be playful and imaginative.  The whiteboards, the green screen, the magnets, the iPads,  the cardboard, the sewing machine, the 3D printers,  the puppets, the legos,  all sparked conversations and created a flood of sharing amongst educators.

Plenty of supplies -- Plenty of storage
The bank of Polar Printers got lots of attention

Sewing Machines, Spheros, and Robot Parts
A pull down green screen -- look no wrinkles! 

3 point lighting hung from the ceiling

No cords and wires = safer setup for movie making

Green Fleece - again no wrinkles! I'm trading in my green muslin

Did I spot a KANO -- perfect intro to Raspberry Pi for younger learners

It was obvious that everyone felt like they had found their tribe — who not only shared tips and best practices,  but who also shared some of the frustrations that many creatives face — “Why don’t the rest of our colleagues ‘get it’! Why isn’t the iPad cart being signed out EVERY DAY? How do we change the system to make school a more creative place for all children?” 

As much as we could have stayed for hours,  growling stomachs started to pull us away in search of food and beer.  We found  the perfect place for an informal gathering that grew and grew as the night progressed.  A variety of beers served in very large mugs,  yummy German munchies, and informal picnic style self-serve atmosphere.  Even our  Pi Academy ‘teachers” made it over for  more and even more conversations about —Raspberry Pi and learning!

I had planned to do some reading that might inform my project for the next day, but  I crashed as soon as  I made it  back to  my room just shy of midnight -- but not before bookmarking some resources about coding with younger learners by Dr. Sam Patterson!  Part 3 of this series will feature Day 2 of Picademy USA. 

Sam's Edutopia Blogpost 

Sam's Podcast

And for those aren't able to visit  physically, here a virtual  peek into Sam's space with a few additional pics.

Sam's tip for managing multiple robots in one space
Each iPad is paired with a specific Sphero

Magnets and whiteboards galore spark design thinking

Supplies,  Storage, and more Supplies and more Storage

BeeBots - great tool for teaching coding to pre-readers

And for those who do read! 

Print resources to promote creating and making are important

Plenty of supplies of all types

3D printed artifacts were abundant 

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