Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hiller Campus Model Fly-over

The kids from "Tech Projects" each made a separate part of the our campus in Google SketchUp and exported their models to Google Earth. This is a screen capture of a "tour", flying over, around and thru the campus ...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Halloween Parade 2008

Video Class Final Projects ...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Flag Football Movie

Another series of student movies ...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Minute Documentaries

The first clean "directors' cuts" from my digital Video Production class. These are one-minute documentaries from the 8th period electives:

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

SketchUp Houses Fly-over

I have a new class this year which is a kind of buffet style course encompassing all my other courses: programming, robotics, and digital video. They just finished a three-day project building houses in Google SketchUp and then "visiting" each other in Google Earth.

I love the way these simple and intuitive tools allow kids to make immersive experiences really quickly. It's a real hook, and there's a lasting "pay-off" value when kids can build their own models and share them - kids come back and build stuff during open lab times just for fun.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Trip to the Redwoods

[ click to play QuickTime movie - music by R. E. M. ]

Took the eighth graders on a trip to Prairie Creek. My earlier, snarky post about the trip has been removed, with continued apologies to the innocent.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Maker Faire - Boy Meets Robot

click for slide show

Went to the Maker Faire in San Mateo this weekend with my brother and my nephew. The event was exactly as organized as you would expect from a bunch of beatniks and nerds - it was horrible. But now that I know the deal, I think I can prepare for next year and make a better run thru.

Bringing a 5-year old boy has its plusses and minuses. We waited nearly 40 minutes and held some primo seats to the RoboGames event. We saw one fantastic battle between a battle-bot with a big spinning device and a really fast flipper-bot (the flipper bot won after taking some serious punishment!). The boy, however, was scared to death and could not handle a second bout. Then, once we got home, he couldn't stop talking about the robot battle; everything became a robot battle (playing with matchbox cars, playing with stuffed animals, playing with food, etc). Oh well. Next year, we load him up on robot YouTube videos and get some foam ear plugs, and maybe he'll make it thru a few more matches. That was cool!

We tried to get on some of the funky rides, but by the time we got out "liability waiver bracelets", some strange stage show was underway, and all the rides appeared to be closed. What's that about?

Then we watched some model rocket launches. My nephew was interested enough that we tried to go make our own rocket so we could launch, but they had just run out of kits, and we could only watch. Note that we had gotten there about mid-day, and they had run out of kits already. Rats.

The event was really big, but still really crowded. The big hall was crammed full of smaller stalls, and that may have been the most fun, especially since my nephew seemed to find enough to do there. He liked the homemade robot displays, the musical devices were also really fun. There were a few commercial booths (like Radio Shack), but most of it seemed to be in that homebrew spirit that we had hoped to see. And, of course, we got to meet Russell the Giraffe.

Friday, March 28, 2008

A Robotics Course - Finally

Was finally able to get a robotics class going. Sorry - it's been too long since my last post, but its been so busy.

click here to play

My computer class has been having a blast (I think) building Google Sketchup models. Here's a little bit of that too - the Mac Lab on the HIller Campus:

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