It’s Rover Time!

In this blog post I’m going to talk about a “mission” we are in the process of completing. We are building drum roll please…the Mars Rover, yep you heard me. An open source build developed by @JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory Open Source Rover) I came across the build one day when I received a newsletter from NASA and it had a bit of a blurb about a Mars Rover.  I went to the website and find out about it. It looked interesting and a great learning opportunity.  I thought this might be something that we could do here at school. Since I’m involved with the robotics team, it seemed this could be a good fit. So, I emailed our Mentor, Head Coach and Biggest Supporter. You name it, he’s an all-around total support and leader of the robotics team. I e-mailed him the website and information. I’m not kidding within next 24 hours he sent me an email telling me it was possible with a list of all the parts and cost. Amazing right, well he was as excited as I was to do this.

I gathered all the information needed and decided to approach our Principal. I stated my case by promoting the “mission” as a great community opportunity especially once the Rover was built.  It could really be used to bring in tons of other people and the Rover could be used for other club’s activities. While being a great teaching tool. He thought it was a good idea. And after a long talk with him he funded our project. We are planning on a ton of things to do. Once our Principal gave us the go, we started to order the parts and had a meeting. The Rover team right now consists of students from Physics club (@physics_cghsnc ), Gibbons Robotics (@robotics_cghsnc) and Space Explorers Club (@spaceexp_cghsnc). The group mainly has students from the Physics Club. Two members come to mind Peter and Mihir. Both have done an outstanding job working on this project. I can’t begin to tell you how much their leadership is appreciated.

So, this began our project two months ago. Check out the pictures from the beginning. It all started with having to inventory all the parts. The whole Rover has about 400 parts, if not more. Once that was finished we needed to manufacturer some parts. This is where our maker room came in handy.

For now, I’ll end here, because I could go on forever. The excitement around the Rover is building and hopefully we will have a fully functional Mars Rover by Thanksgiving. I’ll keep up with the posts. My next one will go over the good and bad we have faced since the beginning.


Startling new research finds large buildup of heat in the oceans, suggesting a faster rate of global warming

More than 90 percent of global warming ends up in the oceans.

Source: Startling new research finds large buildup of heat in the oceans, suggesting a faster rate of global warming

OneNote Class Notebook: A Digital Binder That Will Change the Way You Teach | Cult of Pedagogy

When a single platform lets you share and deliver materials, access student work, and allow students to work together, you can do some pretty incredible things.

Source: OneNote Class Notebook: A Digital Binder That Will Change the Way You Teach | Cult of Pedagogy 

I’ve used OneNote in the past, but this year I really focused on taking notes, grading and using it as the main tool in class. I’ve integrated it with PowerSchool because of the help of Gibbons Technology. Couldn’t of done it without them (Actually Ms. Coe). The transition was a bit bumpy, but once you start to get the hang of it its amazing. Set up the assignment in OneNote, it integrates it into PowerSchool. So now the assignment is listed there, and all I have to do is grade it in OneNote. Once that is done I can submit it and it will post to PowerSchool. Nice little feature.

As Ms. Gonzalez mentions you can integrate this into google classroom also, there are a couple of LMS that OneNote works with. I like how the article shows the difference between Google Classroom and OneNote. But guess what? You can use both! OneNote can integrate into classroom and can become the portfolio you need.

I’ll probably start writing about OneNote soon, I’m in the process of working with Teams. It will be the first time I tried it, can’t wait to see how things go.

10 tips I wish I knew as a First Year Teacher | Authentic Teacher Audioblog Episode 18 — Authentic Teacher

10 tips I wish I knew when I first started teaching way back in 2003 or even sooner!

via 10 tips I wish I knew as a First Year Teacher | Authentic Teacher Audioblog Episode 18 — Authentic Teacher

Here’s what’s unusual about Hurricane Michael

Warm Gulf waters were the engine behind Hurricane Michael’s quick intensification.

Source: Here’s what’s unusual about Hurricane Michael

With more and more hurricanes hitting the US this is a good introduction article for students. It could lead to a more in depth study on “why we are getting stronger hurricanes”.

Snagit – Make GIF’s and Videos – Teacher Tech

Snagit Screen Capture is a Must I use Snagit every single day. It allows me to take screenshots, record video, and crazy super easy create animated GIF’s. Let me start by saying that Snagit does not work on Chromebooks. It is a download for your Mac or PC. Snagit is not free, but it is […]

Source: Snagit – Make GIF’s and Videos – Teacher Tech

Snagit is pretty cool for a a light capture program. But if you are wanting something to create your flipped videos take a look at Camtasia.

Its a great program and I use it all the time to make my videos.

Using Microsoft Products in the Classroom: What Do They Bring to the Table? – The Tech Edvocate

Spread the loveWhen it comes to producing technology for the classroom, competition is fierce among the lead manufacturers. Microsoft has historically been one of the big players, but they fell behind in the face of inexpensive Chromebooks and other inventions. Now, they are making a comeback with plenty of products for educators to be excited about. You will likely find that the entire Microsoft line has a lot to bring to the table once again. Schools that are trying to decide which devices and products are right for their classroom will want to know more about Microsoft. This company is […]

Source: Using Microsoft Products in the Classroom: What Do They Bring to the Table? – The Tech Edvocate

Robotic assembly of the world’s smallest house — even a mite doesn’t fit through the door!

A French nanorobotics team has assembled a new microrobotics system that pushes forward the frontiers of optical nanotechnologies. Combining several existing technologies, the μRobotex nanofactory builds microstructures in a large vacuum chamber and fixes components onto optical fiber tips with nanometer accuracy. The microhouse construction, reported in the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A, demonstrates how researchers can advance optical sensing technologies when they manipulate ion guns, electron beams and finely controlled robotic piloting.

Source: Robotic assembly of the world’s smallest house — even a mite doesn’t fit through the door!

DataStreme Program – American Meteorological Society

Source: DataStreme Program – American Meteorological Society

These are great courses to take if you teach Earth Science or General Science. I’ve taken the Meteorology and Ocean Studies. Next Spring I will be taking the Climate course. They are giving graduate credits now through Cal U. Most of the work is online. Check them out and pass along.

NatGeo Educators

Student Work

Recently I was honored to be interviewed for the NatGeo Educator Spotlight. They interviewed me about my capstone I did for them on their certification. You can read about their certification National Geographic Certification.  I’m always a bit hesitant of being interviewed, but it turned out okay and I’m happy to have shared my project with everyone.

Now for the project I’m not sure if I did write about the project in the past. But as you read through the interview you will get an idea what’s about. I used the Book reading project we do in class and integrated the maps from National Geographic. During the year I give a book reading project, students in class read Rocket Boys and Hidden Figures. Two great books by the way. Students are given a schedule for reading, I would recommend this, I found it helpful for the students. My sophomores knew exactly what pages they had to have done by a certain date. Feedback from students indicated this kept them on track, even for my Honors class.

Rocket Boys Book Project

When completing their reading they had to answer questions on a google form and then they were to create a presentation answering the questions posted on the assignment sheet. I changed things up a bit, by choosing different groups to present after each section was completed. I decided the year after I had implemented this project, I would adjust it and assign the “Hidden Figures” book. Last year was the first year we did both books. The only changes I’m going to make for next  year is I will assign this project in the 2nd Semester. I’m flipping the Genius Hour project with this project.

West Virg

To enhance the Rocket Boys Project I used National Geographic Maps and Mapmaker.  Basically the goal of the lesson was to get students to understand the different resources (geological)  in each state. Using the maps the students needed to create a legend and indicate on the maps the resources and geology of the states. During the activity we highlighted West Virginia and Coal Mining. Integrating some of the readings from Rocket Boys. They also learned about their own state and its resources.  Feedback from the students was great, they gave some ideas on how to improve the activity.  

The project was my capstone for the certification. I would recommend the program to anyone who would like to become a part of the NatGeo Education community.

For those of you who are interested here are the National Standards I addressed with this project: HS-ESS3-1 Earth and Human Activity and HS-ESS3-3 Earth and Human Activity.

National Geographic Education Twitter: @NatGeoEducation