3D Printed Fidget Spinner STEM Lesson
Any time I happen to notice that a significant portion of my students are incredibly engaged with something, I want to know what it is. Once I know about it, I want to come up with a way to turn it into a lesson. When I worked in sales we called this borrowed rapport. Essentially, if you referred me to your friend they automatically have a bit higher level of trust in me because they already trust you.  In education the same holds true. It is far easier to get kids more excited about something they're already excited about, than to create excitement from the ether. I also prefer whenever possible, to trick my students into learning while they think they are having fun…

Makerbot Tips & Tricks: Get the Best From Your Tech
As I've mentioned in other posts, I didn't come to STEM education via the traditional routes. I mention this now because the post that follows is the culmination of three years of working with the Makerbot Replicator 5th Generation in my classroom. It showed up in a box, fully assembled, without anything resembling a manual. It had a quick start guide. That's it. As such I really could have used a post covering Makerbot Tips. Aren't you lucky that I'm here to give you some tips and tricks to make this incredibly expensive, powerful, learning tool work well for you, and your students. …

Lesson: SuperStar Rocketry 2 – 3D Printing Lesson
When I first started teaching I got offered an incredible budget to set up my STEM program. The only caveat was that I buy a 3D printer with some of the money. The challenge however, was that I'd never heard 3D printing before, let alone how to design a 3D Printing Lesson. What I needed was something simple, engaging, adaptable, and quick to learn. I did internet research, and though there are some good resources now, at the time there really weren't. Instead I designed my own curriculum for grade 7 & 8. After twelve or so refinements I came up with the 3D Printing Lesson you're about to read.…

Top Five STEM Learning Tools Wishlist
One of my greatest mentors in STEM told me a story soon after we met. He told me about his first teaching post, and one of his own mentors. The head of his department took him into the storage room, and showed him a set of 30 Microscopes. When my mentor said "How did you get all these?" his mentor replied "One or two at a time over the course of a 20 year career". Education is a marathon, not a sprint, don't be afraid to take your time. The learning tools below are fantastic! They are also expensive, and if you read this post not necessary for a strong STEM lesson.…