Unleash Your Creativity in the LRC Makerspace
Makerbot Replicator+ is a user-friendly 3D printer. Replicator+ works with Tinkercad and Thingiverse, allowing students to create and print their designs easily. After signing in to Makerbot Cloud, Printer, or the mobile app, users can access their saved files, import files, and print.
Users can explore other users’ designs in Thingiverse, Makerbot’s online design community for sharing 3d print design. Many users publish their design in the community and allow other users to edit them under the Creative Commons License. As a result, users do not need experience with CAD programs to begin 3D printing.
Users who are interested in designing 3D objects can use Tinkercad, which is an easy-to-use online CAD tool. Tinkercad has tutorials and lessons that teach users to use the program and a gallery where they can explore user-created designs.
Printers like Replicator+ been used in k-12 classrooms to generate interest in STEAM, to encourage spatial thinking and problem-solving. Students use the design thinking cycle and learn important job skills. Makerbot, Thingiverse, and Tinkercad have educator resources, including lesson plans, available on their websites.
Design, create and build — houses, cars, trees, planes.
Google Cardboard is a virtual reality headset that works with student’s smartphones. Google Cardboard allows students to experience museums, art, famous landmarks, and more in 3D.
With Google Cardboard, users can experience virtual reality on their smartphones. The smartphone fits inside the pocket behind the lens and is secured using Velcro; the thin metal button on the top allows users to interact with the virtual environment.
With Google Cardboard, teachers can create more immersive lessons for students. With Google Cardboard apps, students can take virtual field trips to historically or geologically significant places or take part in a narrative.
Makey Makey Classic (Age: 8+)
The Makey Makey invention kit that allows students to turn everyday objects into control pads using alligator clips and wires.
Makey Makey works by creating closed electrical circuits. When connected to the computer through USB, a small amount of energy flows to the Makey Makey and from the Makey Makey to the object; to close, it flows back to the Makey Makey via the body. The object(s) function as keys on the keyboard. A banana, for instance, may serve as the space bar.
Users can find how-to instructions and apps for turning objects into musical instruments or games on the Makey Makey website. In addition to the resources on Makey Makey website, additional teacher-created resources can be found on Makey Makey on Instructables.
- Makey Makey How-To
- Makey Makey Blog
- Makey Makey on Instructables
- Makey Makey Apps
- Makey Makey Educators Guide
- Makey Makey Sample Lesson Plans
- Makey Makey Sample Lesson Plans for Lego
Osmo is an education game system consisting of a base, red reflector, and game pieces that work with IOS applications to encourage learning through play. Students use the game pieces to interact with the application. The reflector bounces an image of the game pieces into the device’s camera. Then, the app translates this image as an answer to a puzzle or as an image in the app. Game pieces include number, dot, letter, and coding tiles.
Osmo has multiple educational applications designed to teach mathematics, science, literacy. These apps also encourage creativity, spatial awareness, and problem-solving. Students can use the coding tiles with Coding Jam and Coding Awbie to learn logic and problem-solving skills. Games like Tangram and Tangram Education help students practice spatial and visual problem-solving skills. Words and Words Education encourage students to learn to spell and identify letters and sounds. Words Education also has multi-player modes. Using dot tiles and number tiles, students can practice skills including adding, counting, and multiplication in Numbers and Numbers Education. Drawing-based applications like Masterpiece and Monster encourage fine motor skill development and creativity.
Teachers with a My Osmo account can access the general and teacher forums, explore sample lesson plans, create student profiles, and see activity and reset progress on certain apps. My Osmo also allows users to create their own word sets, explore other users’ word sets, and retains a record of achievements in certain Osmo apps, including Words.
Program a route ahead of time or use the iPad or phone app to guide the robot through a maze or on a path or add accessories to play a Xylophone or launch a ball!
Dot and Dash (Ages: 6+)
Dot and Dash are robots that can sense, act and think. Dot is a small round stationary robot while Dash is a 3-wheel robot. Students can decorate the robots with cardboard and tape, build accessories with Legos, and create music or play a game with other accessories. The robots are designed to support STEAM education.
Dot and Dash connect to devices through Bluetooth, and both can be used with the apps Blockly (available in the Apple App Store, Google Play, Amazon Appstore, and for Chromebooks) and Go (available in the Apple App Store and Google Play). However, only Dash can be used with Path (available in the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Appstore), Xylo (available in the Apple App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Appstore), and Swift (available for Mac and IPad).
Teachers who sign-in to the Wonder Workshop portal have access to standard-based lessons as well as at-home learning resources. Additionally, Wonder Workshop offers free webinars about using Dot and Dash in the classroom.
Blue Bot (Ages: 3+)
Blue-bot is a bee-shaped Bluetooth robot that children can program using the directional buttons on its back or in the app on iOS or Android. Accessories include number, letter, word, community, and school mats.
The Blue-Bot app expands the functionality of the robot by adding features like 45-degree turns. The application allows users to import their mats via the camera feature and many Blue-Bot mats are already available in the app.
- Bee-Bot Online (terrapinlogo.com)
- Mat Downloads (from Terrapin)
- The TTS Group YouTube
- Support and Resources for Blue-Bot
Ozobot (Age: 5+)
An Ozobot is a small robot that students can program using block coding in OzoBlockly or using Color Code markers on paper. Through coding, students control many of Ozobot’s behaviors, including its speed, sound, lights, and logic.
When a computer or a tablet is unavailable, using markers allows students to program Ozobot offline. A color code is a combination of black, red, green, and red segments that Ozobot reads with the sensors on the bottom to determine what action to person. While black lines tell Ozobot what path to follow, color codes created with red, green, and blue tell Ozobot to perform such actions as go fast, reverse, turn left or right, and flash its light.
Ozobot supports STEAM Education. Ozobot features free lessoning for storytelling, math, science, and history in Ozobot Classroom. In Ozobot Classroom, teachers can access tutorials and Ozoblockly.
- Ozobot Classroom
- Lessons from Ozobot
- Webinars from Ozobot
- Ozobot Blog
- Ozobot How-To Videos
- Ozobot Color Codes
- OzoBlockly Editor
Sphero BOLT (Ages: 8+)
Sphero BOLT is a spherical robot that connects to users’ devices via Bluetooth. Sphero BOLT features infrared communication, a waterproof shell, live sensors, inductive charging, and a magnetometer. Users control the robot in either Sphero Play or Sphero EDU, which are available for iOS, Android, and Kindle.
Sphero Play features 6 drive modes: joystick, soccer, blocks, tilt, slingshot, and scream drive. In addition, Sphero Play also has numerous games that use Sphero as a controller.
Sphero EDU has activities, 3 programming methods, and a joystick drive feature. Sphero EDU activities include standards-based lessons created by both Sphero and users who share their lessons with the Sphero community. Additionally, Sphero EDU programming and drive features collects data from Sphero’s sensor that can be used in support of STEAM education.