Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hand construction has begun!

The parts for all four hands are printed out and we have started to build them in the medical advisory.  They are coming out great.  The Raptor hand is very easy to put together, the parts all snap together and the action is nice.  I'm really curious how they will work once the "tendon" cords are put on.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

First 3D printed hand ready to build

This is all of the parts to build our first Raptor hand.  Everything looks great, we will start the build in Advisory next Wednesday.  The second hand is printing as I write this, the third and fourth hands need a little more work in the CAD program Rhino.  We are excited to start the build!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Communal Printer Build at Maker Faire

Here is yours truly helping with the Communal Printer Build of a Printrbot hosted by Create, Make, Learn at the Champlain Valley Mini Maker Faire this weekend.  I see from the photo album that our Robotics team spent a fair bit of time there as well.  Thanks to Lucie deLaBruere and Craig Lyndes for their vision around this interesting project and for taking this picture.  The printer powered up successfully at the end of the day on Sunday, woo-hoo!  Click here for a video of the build.


It's been all about Maker in our community this weekend and I attended many interesting events.  Last Thursday, it was Neri Oxman's talk at UVM about nature inspired design and engineering.  On Friday, Champlain College had the grand opening for their new Maker Space and the Champlain Valley Mini Maker Faire was Sat and Sun at Shelburne Farms.  There are so many wonderful things going on with making and creativity in Chittenden County, I think it's only natural that the STEM Academy at Essex High School should reflect that.  We have several maker spaces in our school and I plan on utilizing them to the fullest for projects in our advisories and for our capstone projects as well.  This is also a natural connection to our Academy of Visual and Performing Arts here at EHS.  Right now, the possibilities seem endless!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Community partnerships

Connecting to the community is at the heart of what we are doing here at the Academy.  In order for the students to grow in their area of interest, it is important to have some interaction with other people that are further along in their experience in that field.  Here in Vermont, we have a thriving culture of innovation and we are working hard to create connections that are meaningful for the students.  Our work was featured in a recent blog post by the Tarrant Institute, click here to have a look.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Test parts made for 3D printed hands

Here is the first test finger made on our 3D printer, the students in the medical advisory will start scaling their parts for their recipients this week


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tarrant Institute Blog Post

Many thanks to the Tarrant Institute for attending our launch party and for featuring us on their blog.  You can read the post here

Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Launch Party was a great success!

The STEM Academy Launch Party for the 2014-2105 school year was held this week in the EHS Library.  Many people came together to make this successful, we had lots of help with party set up and the library looked top notch.  A large number of students, parents, school personnel and advisory board members were in attendance, there were about 70 of us there.  We had speakers from each of our four strands; medicine, life sciences, computer science and engineering.  We also had representatives from Fletcher Allen Health Care and IBM who described their involvement with the program.  There was a great energy in the room, people are excited about our new program that delivers personalized exploratory experiences to students who are interested in STEM fields.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

STEM Academy students have started their portfolios

Each student in the STEM Academy will be working on an electronic portfolio during their time in the Academy.  These portfolios will be maintained as a private Google Site.  We will use them for goal setting and documentation of progress throughout the student's career in the Academy.  We created these portfolios yesterday during advisory and started setting goals.  This will be an ongoing conversation between the student and their STEM advisor.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The new STEM Academy is off and rolling!

We had our first day of advisory yesterday and everything went great.  All four groups of students were welcomed to the Academy, soon we will be starting with our e-portfolios, projects and guest speakers.  It's going to be a fun year!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

e-NABLE Prosthetic Hand

The medical advisory group (15 students) in the STEM Academy will be making prosthetic hands using the 3D printer in our Fablab.  This project is being coordinated through e-NABLE, they are a group of volunteers that connect people who can build hands to people who need them.  Our students will be making the Cyborg Beast, we are being matched with recipients now, we hope to start making the hands in mid September.

                                                     From the e-NABLE website


Essex High School STEM Academy is growing!

The STEM Academy is a place where students can explore their passions and make connections. There are 47 students and seven faculty members signed up for the fall and we are planning some exciting things!The major elements of the program are enrollment in the weekly STEM Advisory, attending STEM Lecture Series events, participating in an internship and creating an independent project. Students in the STEM Academy will be exposed to a wide variety of new ideas and hands on projects. They will meet people who share their interests, both in their high school peer group and in the community.

The STEM faculty are actively working to create the initial projects for this program, we are excited for school to start, stay tuned for more!