[Week 5 Activity] Time for Tinkering


Hi everybody! This is what I’m tinkering with these days:

Three years ago I started facilitating a Scratch after-school club and now we’re beginning to introduce some Robotics with Meet Edison :slight_smile: I’m a complete newbie but it’s so much fun (and so frustrating sometimes too :-P) that time flies by when I’m preparing a session for the children or trying to wrap my head around a bug :smiley: If any of you is familiar with these educational robots and would like to share experiences, project ideas or just give a hand when I’m struggling with them, please, let me know. I’d really appreciate that.
Keep tinkering!


Thanks Rebecca, I appreciate your response. I think you’ve created a great project. I see students having lots of fun creating something like yours. I’ll have to look into the Hummingbird kit as Scratch is loved by my students here so the easy integration sounds logical.


What an amazing time. I brought in my son, nephew, niece, and had the entire family watching as we took the down time after Thanksgiving dinner to “Create!” Some of the interesting moments were watching us push through walls in the “Hard Fun,” getting tips from eachother on how to improve the current versions, and the community excitement when everything worked. Awesome experience.



Ok so my goal was to tinker with Minecraft over the Thanksgiving Break but was too busy. I have played Minecraft before and died the first night so know that I will have a lot more to learn. However yesterday I had some 4th and 5th grade students working on scratch using one of the many tutorials and I decided to sit down with one group and create my own. i started with the Hide and Seek tutorial and then created my background and characters. Here is the project so far: Scratch Project.


I recall doing a similar work years ago but it wasn’t as complexed as the one on the picture. Congratulations. They really enjoyed the experience.


This was a difficult assignment for me. I don’t think I’m good at playing.

Trying out “Sugru” is something I’ve been wanting to do for several years so I used it for this project.

It’s a multi purpose moldable glue. The story of how it was invented is interesting. Jane, the inventor of Sugru tells its roller cover invention process @ the @99U conference:

I fixed my almost broken iPhone charger.

Then, having a 30 minute window to do something with the remainder in the package, I made a charger holder to prevent it from sliding off the table.


Hi fskiada, good work I love it!


most of the times I use LEGO MINDSTORMS for tinkering. It is the perfect tool to invent something, for those who likes robotics, because you have many different pieces to develop your ideas.

I usually start from one basic idea, something more or less easy to build. In fact, I have an idea and I quickly try to implement it. But when I start to make it, it is never as easy as it was supposed to be. Then I begin to change my mind to something slightly different from the original idea. As I continue to explore, several different lines of invention apper in front of me, and I have to choose the one I like me more.

In this case I am trying to build a vehicle. I decide to include different gears, to provide the vehicle with more power than it would have in case I connect the wheel directly to the engine. Then I use a small gear connected to the wheel, which is itsef connected to the engine. I see how it works, and then I decide to change the gears one with each other, to see how it affects the vehicle power versus speed.

Later I decide to program the vehicle, and I see that it is not so easy to move he vehicle when some gears are used. I mean, it is not so easy to move the vehicle in circles as it was when the wheel is connected directly to the engine.

And that is the situation right now. i don´t know if maybe I will decide to take a new path, or if I will try to investigate in this same project until I solve the mistery.

Anyway, taking any step, and dealing with any specific situation, I learn a lot, and I enjoy a lot as well.


My tinkering project this week is to work with sums using with play-doh. It is impressive to see the students how they have fun and at the same time how they develop different skills and work on mathematical thinking.

Since we finished working with math, the girls were able to enjoy the play-doy to make the figures they wanted.
I would like to try something new with paper, like origami where they can enjoy making figures made with paper.


Super helpful, MissMissShelly! I like ALL of your suggestions–will try them out. Thanks for brainstorming and sharing these creative ideas!


I thank you!


Well, I got so deep into my tinkering, that I didn’t get around to posting anything! I chose to work with the Hopscotch programming app on the iPad. I had the idea of using code to create an interactive map from a screen shot of our school on Google maps. I noticed that once I got the basic logic figured out, it was pretty simple to replicate it for all the items on the map. This reminded me that things that look complex are really just based on many simple behaviors and principles. As I was working, I became aware of having more than one idea about how to solve a particular problem. So, in order to try out multiple solutions, I made multiple copies of my project and used them to explore different approaches. While I was in the thick of working out the code, I was very focused. But as I got to the final stages and was adding the “window dressing” and “eye-candy” elements, I was able to “look up,” so to speak, and I started envisioning other applications for the techniques I had just practiced! So I took an image of the digestive system and made that “clickable,” and I started thinking about the many ways this project could be adapted. I’m now thinking I am going to teach this project as an Hour of Code activity!!!
See a short video and screenshot of the project here.


So I wandered into our storage area for this activity to pick a material that I don’t usually work with. U wound up with yarn. I really wanted to make something 3D from yarn, so I started tinkering with ways to make the yarn firm instead of flexible. I tried hot glueing strands and letting them dry on wax paper, but that was kind of a disaster (which you can see in the photos) as the wax paper stuck right on and the pieces didn’t end up firm after all. Then I moved on to paper mache paste with flour and water which worked considerably better as you can see from the finished seaweed project. This process was a really nice change from my usual work and I appreciated the challenge and lens of working with something new. this is something I often challenge my students to do but rarely put a focus on doing this myself. I really enjoyed this challenge!


LED Jewelry - I made this necklace while attending a Maker Space workshop. The challenge was to create a piece of jewelry that incorporated an LED bulb and had a removable 3V cell battery. It was alot of fun and great chance to explore circuits while thinking creatively. I’m excited to repeat the same activity with my students.


Really amazing!:heart_eyes:


My animation


Fantastic job! Respect!


Boa tarde a todos os amigos do Curso. Produzir projetos virtuais no Scratch tem sido empolgante pra mim, pois cada vez que me arrisco a realizar descubro novos recursos. Imaginei um tema bem diferente dessa vez.
Aproveitei o tema Play para brincar um pouco no Scratch. Vejam abaixo o meu Projeto “Noite Assustadora”!

Um abraço a todos!!


Many thanks. I like to take time for doing that. I found it “rigenerating from stresses”. So helpful


Meus alunos tem aula de Educação Tecnológica 1 vez por mês. Considero insuficiente, porém para atender todos os alunos e demanda de trabalho, esta é a organização atual.
O trabalho com Educação Tecnológica tem como objetivo desenvolver uma série de procedimentos que levem a criança a pensar cientificamente, elaborando hipóteses, experimentando-as e reformulando-as a partir dos resultados obtidos e propondo outras soluções para os problemas. Para isso, elas contam com o material estruturado blocos de encaixe, além de outros recursos.
Esse trabalho é realizado em situações nas quais o aluno exercita sua capacidade de argumentação, aprende a trabalhar em equipe de forma colaborativa, realiza a construção e montagem de mecanismos ou objetos baseados em conceitos de estruturas rígidas e móveis relacionando sua vida escolar com o seu cotidiano.
Em nossa última aula, resolvi participar montando minha cadeira. Confesso que foi desafiador, mesmo com algumas instruções determinadas, o executar não é tão simples quanto parece. Alguns alunos terminaram antes de mim. Foi uma atividade prazerosa.
Partindo destas propostas fechadas, consideradas “cercadinhos”, imagino que possamos criar outros objetos, introduzindo o conceito dos “parquinhos”. Eu particularmente, sinto dificuldades em criar, mas tenho certeza que meus alunos terão facilidade neste processo.

Materiais rígidos – Cadeira de Praia