Good SAT scores are the key to success, right? Not Really!

If you are concerned about how to prepare your teenager for the harsh realities of life after high school, you are not alone.  There’s test prep.  Keeping up the grades.  Extracurricular activities.  And somewhere, a social life.   Yet studies have shown that SAT scores aren’t a good predictor of future success.  Grades are also an iffy predictor for success, according to Google’s hiring team.  These assertions are disconcerting for parents like me who love to see those “A’s” on the report card.  How can Continue reading →

Think teens only know how to work an iPhone? Watch This!

These are candid videos of teens caught doing amazing things during Engineering Camp.  Listen to these students describing what they have been doing.  Lots of experimentation.  Lots of learning.     These guys built the world’s coolest “Hello World” program:   They modified the program even further, and this is what they had to show the audience during their project exhibitions.   Major 3D design and 3D printing innovation for the interplanetary ship docking challenge:   Amazing electronic wizardry.  These guys were creating wireless communication between Continue reading →

8 Startling Truths about Teens

One night not too long ago your dear, sweet child went to sleep in their safe little bed.  But during the night the Teenager Fairy flew in the window and sprinkled pixie dust around the room.  In the morning your radiant ray of sunshine had been replaced by a moody teenager! I remember that transition quite clearly for each of my older children.  One day they are helpful and kind, and the next they are temperamental and stubborn. Or are adolescents really as insufferable as we paint them? Continue reading →

Innovation and Openness with Lisa Camp

In today’s world, we already have the internet, smartphones, and lots of other cool stuff, but do you ever wonder where the next big idea is going to come from?  We’ll find out what Case Western Reserve University (My alma mater for graduate school!) is doing to foster and support innovation and ideas during today’s Table Top Inventing Podcast interview with Lisa Camp.  Join us as we discuss her life path, the importance of higher education, and how openness is key to innovation. Download today’s Continue reading →

Simple Fall Science Activity from Table Top Inventing!

Simple Fall Science Activity   Green Monster Slime! Add some gooey, gross, green monster slime to your Halloween this year!  All you need are these 4 ingredients and a little science to whip up a batch.  Elmer’s white glue- 1/2 cup Borax- 1 teaspoon Water- 1 1/2 cup Green Food Coloring                                         Directions: In a bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of glue and 1/2 cup of water.  Then add a couple drops of the green Continue reading →

Don’t miss Dan Miller this week on the Table Top Inventing Podcast!

  Strategy for an Educational Revolution – Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo This week, the Table Top Inventing Crew has been spreading the word about maker education at the Inside 3D Printing Conference and Expo in Santa Clara, CA.  On Tuesday, Steve and Debby presented the “Strategy for an Educational Revolution” workshop.  They were also interviewed by 3D Printing Industry!  How cool!  You can read the article here.  It’s great to have the opportunity to chat and connect with so many folks interested in Continue reading →

Chattanooga Inventor’s Bootcamp Wrap Up

Chattanooga Inventor’s Bootcamp Wrap Up   The Inventor’s Bootcamp in Chattanooga, TN this week was incredible!  Both students and educators enjoyed getting creative with Project 5S. AJ (aka FoamBoardRC) stopped by to help the kids with some Arduino programming. He shared some of his favorite projects but couldn’t bring any in because he’s always tearing them apart to make something new! See some of his projects on his Instructables page at We were excited when Geoff Millener (@GMillener) and Lindsey Frost Cleary (@FrostCleary) from Mozilla Continue reading →

A Treasure Trove and a Redesign

The last couple of weeks have dragged on with our interactive whiteboard marker. We have had a week off of school and have been stuck getting our design to print 100% the way we want it to. We’ve tried a few different software programs, had a Google Hangout with an expert, and tried several versions. We were close, but at a bit of a stand still. Then we had our standardized testing. I won’t go into the details on that or how I felt about Continue reading →

Working Prototypes

An Altoid tin makes a good interactive whiteboard marker. At last we have a working prototype. It may not look like we intended, but it works. After all this research and design I thought it would be a good idea to make sure the LEDs work. So, I used an Altoid tin, some wires, an LED, and a battery to rig something up. We were excited to get something to work. We fired up the projector and the accompanying software, and…nothing. It was a let Continue reading →

Small Victories

My students are making great progress with Interactive Whiteboard Markers. They have successfully overcome two obstacles that were slowing down progress. The first one may have been the most satisfying for them to accomplish. The original file that we downloaded from Thingiverse does not have a cap on the end. Therefore, we needed to fabricate one. This presents a host of wonderful problems for the students to solve. They have to come up with a plan on how they will make it work, design it Continue reading →

A Trend Worth Watching – The Maker Movement [ON-CUE Winter 2013]

The Maker Movement is a technological and creative revolution underway around the world that celebrates using technology to make, repair, and customize the things we need. Hundreds of thousands of adults and children alike are frequenting Maker Faires, hackerspaces, and DIY (Do-lt-Yourself) websites. A growing library of print literature inspires learners of all experiences to seize control of their world. Making brings engineering, design, and computer science to anyone who is willing to dive in and try something new. Fortunately for educators, this Maker Movement Continue reading →

Students creating the future

Students at the Renbrook School in West Hartford, CT have been in the news.  We first met teachers Jean and Jay last fall after a friend of mine introduced us.  After a couple of discussions over an internet video connection, they decided to take the plunge into 3D printing in the classroom.  We flew out to Renbrook to do a short one day training with them to familiarize them with the technology.  After a fun day of creative exploration and loads of questions from the Continue reading →