Tech Ed 4 Kids Partners with Parents, Students, and Teachers to Measurably Propel Student Achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Coding for Kids – Hello Ruby Book (and Hidden Figures)

About the author: Linda Liukas, author of Hello Ruby, is a programmer, storyteller, and illustrator from Helsinki, Finland. She is a central figure in the world of programming who worked on edutech before it was even called that. Linda is the founder of Rails Girls, a...
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Make Your Own Globe

Supplies: *White Glue *Balloon (12"-or larger diameter when blown up) Strips of newspaper, packaging paper, or art paper cut into strips *Maps of the 7 continents *Markers or paint *String Procedure: 1. Blow up the balloon to desired diameter. Tie a string around the...
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Solar Panels – 4 Solar Experiments to Try

Solar panels are just one of the many types of renewable energy that are available now.  There are wind turbines, water mills, solar, and new technologies are being developed every year.  This picture is a solar panel near our house.  There are even new builders...
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Maps – Bringing Geography to Life!

We don't leave home often, but we have traveled a few places. I also really enjoy exploring my family history.  To tie everything to our life we decided to add maps to our house. Our Family In the World Now We have a world map made of corkboard that we have marked...
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The Domestic Musician

The Domestic Musician! Research has shown that music, art, and math are all linked skills. Jessica Peresta from The Domestic Musician believes that music is one of the fundamental classes for students.  She has a bachelor's degree in music education and a strong...
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Drive Through Safari – Rockhome Gardens

While visiting home we decided to check out the drive through safari. I've done one with my middle son before, and we have driven through a park with Buffalo by Murray here in Kentucky also - but this one has taken over a park our family visited many times years ago....
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Facebook Cloning… Is that friend request really You????

Facebook cloning involves someone making a copy of your facebook account and then sending friend requests to your friends. For someone with a devious purpose in mind - whether it's to bully your children, or spam your friends, it's a really quick and easy way for...
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Rainbows – The science

Make our own Rainbow: Place a mirror in a glass or water at an angle. Turn off the lights (pitch dark) Shine a flashlight toward the mirror Adjust to make a rainbow appear!  (You may need to adjust the angle of the mirror)   The Science Behind:  A rainbow is an...
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Chronos Bomb Game

For the holidays my little one wanted a game advertised on TV, Chronos Bomb. I haven't seen it advertised since, but the commercial made it look like fun.  The game includes a timer built in, with gyros....  The gyro is attached to wires on clamped that are attached...
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Bullying and Coding

I have all boys who do like computer programming.  My oldest is now a computer programmer and going back to school soon for a PhD in Computer Science and my middle son thought majoring in Physics is writing computer games all the time. While in grade school the kids...
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Facebook

Facebook is really becoming a site for adults as much or more so than kids.  It serves as a place to post what is going on with your day, interact with friends, get advice from your friends and family, share what's up with your day and interact.  You have a main news...
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Smart Tvs

We have a smart tv in our living room... actually we have a Kindle Fire, a Roku, an Apple TV, and a few other things.  The smart tv though is one of my favorites.  It is all built into the tv, meaning one remote.  Around our house remotes are lost easily and then we...
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10 Facebook Groups for Science

Tech Ed has a Facebook Page, where we can share information with everyone, but many organizations also have facebook groups to interact. Groups allow people to ask questions, get answers, search, and interact. In groups you can meet people that are having similar...
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Minecraft EDU

Kids love Minecraft!  My kids love Minecraft! Microsoft has now come up with an educational version of Minecraft just for schools to link learning to the game kids love. Minecraft: Education Edition is available for purchase by schools, libraries, museums, and...
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Eclipse Coming Up

August 21st there will be an eclipse!  This one is pretty rare.  The moon will pass between the Earth and the Sun.  (The sun is a lot larger than the moon, but the moon is a lot closer).  The eclipse is only visible from a certain path and in the US that happens to...
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Alexa in our House?

Personally I love Alexa - I ask her what the forecast is, what temperature it is, to set the temperature in rooms, and to turn off and on lights! It works great for lights that are in the corners of the room behind the chairs and impossible to reach.  The Alexa has a...
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Lumi Drone

One of the items we decided our youngest would love to try was the Lumi drone!  It's by Wowee, a great kid friendly, easy to use company. We gave it a try and right after charging it was simple to fly.  We actually have only flown it in the house even.  The only thing...
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Cozmo the robot!

The robot Cozmo showed up for Christmas at our house!  Cozmo is set up to learn as you play with him.  I did find that I have to hook my phone to the Cozmo wireless network each time we want to play with Cozmo - which is not the easiest and not really something my...
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Robots for Christmas

There are a million types of robots available for the holidays!  My son has decided robots are fun!   Last year we got the Meccanoid robot.  It took us two days to put it together.  - Ours is the one that is the same size as my eight year old.  Now there are a lot of...
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Lowe’s Build and Grow

There are tons of great activities you can find and sign up for online.  One that is free is Lowe's Build and Grow!  It's usually held the first Saturday of each month and is free! We decided to give it a try this month and got to make Christmas Ornaments.  My little...
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Facebook Cloning… Is that friend request really You????

Facebook cloning involves someone making a copy of your facebook account and then sending friend requests to your friends. For someone with a Friend Requestdevious purpose in mind – whether it’s to bully your children, or spam your friends, it’s a really quick and easy way for identity theft to happen.

To help prevent cloning of your account, there are a few things you can do. By making your account more private it will be harder for others to make copies of your account and take your place in the world!

One important thing to remember (and remind your kids) is not to approve friend request of strangers. I set all my privacy that I don’t want to share with the world to friends only (you can never be sure who your friends share with, so friends of friends is a little too iffy).

Set PrivacySet your privacy using the symbol in the top right corner. – Using the privacy settings you can determine who can see what things in your account.   I also have my account set up so that I can be tagged and have anything appear on my timeline (and to my friends) until I approve it.Privacy

Privacy can also be set on your friend list to “Only Me” or ”

If you receive a friend request from a friend that you think you are already friends with, verify that it is your friend.  That can be the first sign that it’s a cloned account.  The account will look just like the real account making it difficult to find the fake account after you hfriendsave approved both accounts.

Facebook doesn’t currently have a lot of methods in place to deal with a cloned account.

Rainbows – The science

Make our own Rainbow:

  1. Place a mirror in a glass or water at an angle.
  2. Turn off the lights (pitch dark)
  3. Shine a flashlight toward the mirror
  4. Adjust to make a rainbow appear!  (You may need to adjust the angle of the mirror)

 

The Science Behind:

 A rainbow is an optical illusion that appears as a band of colors in an arc.  The cause is the refraction of the sun’s light rays by water in the atmosphere – rain.  When the sun shines on the droplets of water in the atmosphere, the colors within the white light are split out and a rainbow is formed.
The colors of the rainbow are ROY G BIV (that’s the way I remember it from school!)  Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Indigo, and Violet in that order.  When light hits the water in the air, the different colors of the light are split out… The same can be done with a prism to see the colors separate.  The light changes speed as it travels through the new medium and it then is caused to bend.  The light is refracted as it enters the water (or prism)  and then refracts again as it leaves again.  The light is reflected in varying angles creating a rainbow.
Different colors of light refract in different amounts – which is why we see different colors in a spectrum.
Prisms are available through Amazon or in Science Sets, but you can always create your own with a mirror, a glass or water and a flashlight!

 

Chronos Bomb Game

My Little One Playing Chronos Bomb

Setting Up Chronos Bomb

For the holidays my little one wanted a game advertised on TV, Chronos Bomb. I haven’t seen it advertised since, but the commercial made it look like fun.  The game includes a timer built in, with gyros….  The gyro is attached to wires on clamped that are attached to furniture or other ledges throughout the room. We also tried outside and put it on part of our swing set.

The game included several clamps, a roll that will wind the wire back and the timer that will go off if time runs out or a wire is touched.

Review

We found that the wires weren’t really that long.  It did get my youngest moving and active, but the cables weren’t long enough to have a large maze to play with.  My little one did enjoy playing with the game and we enjoyed setting it up.  We were able to set it up with a new configuration every time!  We have quit playing it recently though, but that tends to happen with lots of our games.  The wires are too short for the bigger boys to play with.  I can rate this fairly high for getting kids off the couch and giving us a few days of active play, but it didn’t hold my son’s attention.  We do still have it, and may pull it out again when the weather gets warm.  I would recommend it for families with several small children and a location with several ledges near each other that can be used to set up a maze.

Flashback Friday -Typewriter

Typewriters are making a comeback.  Last holiday season I noticed typewriters at Michaels for sale.  They are pretty pastel colors and can be gotten with fancy paper to go with.   They are currently about $200 for the new fancy typewriters.  I have one of the old ones, I’m not even sure I can get ribbon for mine now.  I learned typing in high school when electric typewriters were available.  The typewriter I have though is one that was passed down from my mother.  – My oldest son actually has one he found at Goodwill.  I’m not sure I’ll ever use my typewriter again, but it’s one of the things that comes with me despite being super heavy.

Some of the old typewriters had ribbons that allowed you to press a shift key that raised the ball (or the ribbon) to allow the typewriter to type on a red portion of the ribbon instead.  I’ve also seen some of the electric that had a back key and used the same sort of options to allow you to use a white out section of tape.

Why use a Typewriter now:

Typewriters allow forms to be filled in so much easier than using a computer allowed.  A paper form can be typed in.  Personally I have horrible handwriting so filling in a form with a typewriter allows for a much better, cleaner look.  I’d almost consider it so that I could fill in school forms and other papers making them readable!

Typewriter

Bullying and Coding

I have all boys who do like computer programming.  My oldest is now a computer programmer and going back to school soon for a PhD in Computer Science and my middle son thought majoring in Physics is writing computer games all the time. While in grade school the kids were involved in programming robots and competing in robotics tournaments – FIRST LEGO League.

I started programming in high school when my aunt and grandmother got me a Commodore 64.  The school had a TRS 80 and my senior year I was able to take a class in basic to go with what I was doing at home.  The TRS 80 was a little different than my C64.  The TRS 80s were hooked together in a change with the operating system coming from one main computer in the middle. I still remember one day when the whole system locked up and the teacher wasn’t in the room.  I said, hey we can just pull out the disk and reboot not knowing that that every computer would need to be restarted – they were all hooked together!  I finally learned how a dumb terminal worked.

There was one computer that had modem. The internet wasn’t the way it is now and bulletin board systems were the way to connect. One computer would connect at a time through a dial up modem – the BBS was on an Apple IIe computer.  You could connect and leave message, kind of like a forum is now.  Then hang up and later you would connect again to see if you had any messages.  Our sign in was our phone number (it’s funny the things I remember)…. mine on my C64 operated at 800 bps.  You could read the screen as it scrolled in new information.  With the Apple IIe break keys you could even get out to the system.  There was a code to page the operator too.  The operator was a college student at the local community college and we would spend some time talking to the magical person once in a while also.

In class we would learn the BASIC language with the TRS80.  I remember writing a program to put up a picture of a house with snow falling on the screen.  Each pixel had to be turned off and on individually, so to set the screen up we used graph paper.  Anymore everything is WYSIWYG.  At the time though I loved that class. I went on to write a program in my first year of college for a small business to use as an inventory program on the C64.  My first paid job on the computer and it was C64 in BASIC (1986)!

I still remember in High School at my senior prom being embarrassed though by the insulting speech that made it sound like I was only doing programming because of a boy in the class and was following around after him.  At that time hardly anyone else had a computer…. I went on to be a computer programmer and he is now working at another job. It made that prom memorable for all the wrong reasons. Game consoles were the Atari 2600 and ET, space invaders, and Pacman were big games at the time…. Think monochrome screens.  Not every boy or girl needs to learn to program, but every boy and girl needs to be allowed the opportunity to learn if they are inclined.  They also deserve to not be discouraged.  

Think of how often you hear or have even seen on TV the idea that math is tough.   Math and Computer people are strange.  I noticed a shirt I’m a Nerd.  I thought the shirt was cool, but I remember nerds and geeks having a bad connotation.  Anyone remember Revenge of the Nerds?  How back thinking instead of Danica McKellar  –    from Wonder Years!  Danica McKellar not only is a really cool TV star, mom, but also a Math star!  She has a channel on Nerdist with “Math Bites”, her new book is “Goodnight Math”, and her previous book including things like “Kiss my Math”.  She’s a great roll model for young girls.  Encourage don’t Discourage!

 

Girls Who Write Code

Facebook

Facebook is really becoming a site for adults as much or more so than kids.  It serves as a place to post what is going on with your day, interact with friends, get advice from your friends and family, share what’s up with your day and interact.  You have a main news feed that lets you see what is going on with everyone, groups that let you interact, and pages that let you see what businesses and groups have posted.

Within your news feed you see things your friends have let you see.  You can set any post you would like to share to a privacy allowing them to be seen by yourself only, friends, friends except acquaintances, or a custom list.    Users can also set the privacy for their friends list and several other parts of their account.  My suggestion is to set your friends list to be viewed either by friends only or to private (only me).  Accounts are being cloned daily and the accounts then use public friends lists to get access to everyone you know.

Groups have three types: secret, closed, or open.

  • Open allow everyone to see everything posted.  Personally i stay away from open groups most of the time.
  • Closed allow people to see that the group exists, but not what’s posted unless they join.
  • Secret means a member has to be added by a current member.

Pages also have types, but are usually associated with a business or an organization.

I belong to several groups, groups for moms, groups for crafts, groups for buying at a discount, and more.  Some groups have rules that allow everyone to speak freely and others ask that people follow certain rules.  Some have the group posts set to be moderating – waiting to be approved until they are checked out by a moderator.

The group sanctimommies is completely based on the premise of moms posting information about their kids and life and other moms telling them what they are doing wrong.  Other groups are there to make other moms feel better!  I belong to a group that has a drawing every three months shuffling names and then each mom trades off gifts twice a month.  The swap is anonymous, with a big reveal at the end of each quarter.

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About Me

I am a SAHM/WAHM of three boys ranging in age from 8 to 23. We are working on saving enough for college at the same time as taking care of the kids at home. I author a few blogs, including http://teched4kids.com. I have in the past taught computer information technology classes for the local university and taught workshops for kid's in technology education besides being the Kentucky State FIRST LEGO League Championship Coordinator from 2005 to 2008. I now work as a computer consultant, run a handmade home business, and am available for workshops. Life here is always an adventure!
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