We’re so ‘Googley’!

 In our classroom 20% time is a fraction of the week where you can tinker with your imagination to create something amazing! Actually, Google made up the term ‘20% time’, in their policy is they let their employees use a portion of the week to make something aside from their assigned projects that they think could benefit Google, or they can use their imagination to create something that they are passionate about, we thought this policy was really cool and thought we would use in our classroom environment.
    Recently in my 20% time I have been working on www.tinkercad.com which is a online 3D modeling tool where you can design anything you could ever think of and then download it for 3D printing. I created a water bottle that looks pretty simple but is actually very complex. The picture below isn’t very detailed but I think you get the point. On my workplane all of the separate pieces that will all end up going together are on the same workplane, but I have to print them in phases so the 3D printer doesn’t get too confused and mess up. For example, I already printed the body of the water bottle, but still have to print the cap and then the cap that goes into that. Overall, I used many cylinders, and thread generators (which is basically a screw, I used it on the top of the body and on both caps). It was not that simple, and I did have many bumps along the way. One struggle I faced was, finding the right measurements so it could fit onto the 3D printing and so all the pieces could fit together. Another one was finding the thread generator (It took so long). I am really excited to see how the final product will turn out!
    In one of my previous posts I explained about my class arcade that we do in our 20% time. And what is an arcade without tickets? So, the tickets to win prizes and to play games were already made, but we are making a claw machine (I don’t have any finished pictures of it) that will pick up a wad of tickets that either could have no value, little value, or ‘ YOU HIT THE JACKPOT’ kind of value. In this picture there are tickets that have tens on them, there are also tickets with 50 , 100, and 500 points! They are all color coded so it makes them easier to sort. Lee and Jared C. are the creators of this game, and I think they did an amazing job! I love to help out with this project by either making the prize to go in it, or helping paint. This is a really cool project!
    Skee Ball is an arcade classic, and of course we had to put it in our arcade… so we did! On the bottom left is a photograph (side view) of this game. In this picture you can see Matthew getting ready to play while Jared C. is setting it up. This game is like any other classic skee ball, you roll a ping pong ball up a ramp and try to get it into the holes that contain a certain amount of points. On the bottom left is a photograph of the Skee Ball sign and directions on the side of the game.This is probably one of my favorite games in the arcade so far!


I feel so lucky to be able to have this amazing privilege in our classroom! I hope we continue to be creative, and keep making fun and unique games. We are having so much fun stretching our imaginations and being little engineers. Google has really inspired us with their really cool ideas, and now that I’m getting all these awesome ideas I feel so ‘Googley’!

Million Dollar Genius

    Million Dollar Genius on the History Channel shows the stories of people who found a problem in their daily life and wanted to make something to help, including the Head Blade, Fox 40 pealess whistle, and the Java Jacket (coffee sleeve). One thing all of the inventors have in common is that they all weren’t inventors to start out, they found an issue, had a vision, and after lots of thinking made something incredible happen that changed many peoples daily lives for the better. They also almost lost all of their money doing this but stayed so very committed to their idea.

I think Million Dollar Genius is really inspiring because it gets me to think in ways I have never thought before, also it shows how committed people really are to what they think is a good idea, no matter how many times they fail they won’t give up. I learned that you should always stick to what you believe is a good idea because you could end up a millionaire. For example, Ron Foxcroft inventor of Fox 40 pealess whistle was a high school drop out, he was a referee for basketball, and didn’t like the standard pea whistle. After working for over 3 years on prototypes, he finally found something that worked. He almost went into bankruptcy, but stayed committed. The problem was, no one wanted to buy it. Then he had an idea which got him 20,000 orders. He was in business. Ron Foxcroft and many other million dollar geniuses taught me to always stick to what I THOUGHT, not what someone else THINKS, because you could up like one of them: A Million Dollar Genius.

Westward Expansion Infographics

In social studies we have been studying Westward Expansion. Our assignment was to make an infographic all about Westward Expansion (right), and another on an event within Westward Expansion, I chose Louisiana Purchase (left).

Louisiana Purchase -- infographic Westward Expansion

When we were first assigned this project I had no idea what an ‘infographic’ was. As we learned more about the assignment I learned that it is a image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data. I spent a lot of time working on how to make it look visually appealing, and tried to find pictures that represented the topic well.