Robots, $28Million and AR to the Moon

Technology can take us tons of cool places, and this week it’s letting kids visit an airplane, get involved in a professional restaurant kitchen and even tour the moon! Here’s the most exciting stuff that’s happened in the Maker Movement over the last few weeks.

Building Robots at the Library With L.A. Makerspace

Public libraries aren’t just for reading these days — especially in Los Angeles. Since 2012, more than 4,000 children have gathered at more than 134 libraries to participate in maker workshops, which focus on STEAM initiatives. L.A. library staff are trained in tech fields like coding, robotics and more, and they’re able to teach attendees some of what they know. Recently, library staff ran a workshop where kids could build “Shy Bots,” which are robots that are sensitive to light and “run away” when they are exposed to it. Maker workshops in Los Angeles are free to attend and are two hours long.

There is an organization called 100Kin10 that is focused on tackling the problems facing STEM education. The company has mapped out over 100 “grand challenges” facing STEM education, and they are hoping to “recruit, prepare and support” 100,000 STEM teachers by the year 2021. Some of the issues they’re hoping to tackle include Elementary STEM education, lack of instructional materials, professional growth initiatives and more. As of today, funders like Google, Chevron and more have committed more than $28 million to help them with their initiative.
It’s fun learning about STEM subjects in the classroom — but how about on an airplane? A jumbo jet recently landed at Kansas City International Airport that will be converted into a mobile classroom where students can learn. The jet was brought by TriStar Experience, a local non-profit. They aim to make the plane, which is an L-1011 jet, into a place where kids can learn about science, technology, engineering and more.

We Took an AR Trip to the Moon

Teaching students about space can be fun because it’s exciting, mysterious and the stuff of science fiction movies. Space education just got better thanks to a company called AstroReality, which has created an extremely detailed augmented reality (AR) version of the moon called AstroReality Lunar. The company has mapped out their model of the moon using 3D printing tech. Now, people can use an app to zoom in and see the most famous sites and craters on the moon — up close and personal. Your students may not be astronauts yet, but with this app, they’ll feel well on the way to other galaxies.
3D printing just got delicious thanks to Randi Zuckerberg (sister of Mark Zuckerberg). She came up with a character called Sue, who is about to star in a children’s book Zuckerberg is releasing. Sue is also the namesake of a restaurant Zuckerberg is opening in Chattanooga, TN, called Sue’s Tech Kitchen. At Sue’s Tech Kitchen, families can go eat while also playing around with creative technology tools, which allow people to compose music, 3D print desserts, code using pieces of candy, create ice cream from liquid nitrogen, and more. Eating at the restaurant is free, but reservations cost $5 per person.
If you want the students in your classroom to start getting involved in the Maker Movement, check out Tinkercad. Our simple, user-friendly 3D design and printing software will have kids (and teachers) exciting about technology and creativity.

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