Monday, December 14, 2015

Using The Green Screen

By Coleman Moore

Are you interested in learning how to use the Green Screen?  Below are some directions on getting started Veescope (the iPad app we have for using the green screen) so that you can use the Green Screen in the Hack Shack. It is really fun and their are some built in backgrounds and features such as a swirling vortex background and a 80’s party background . Some other backgrounds included a cartoon hero background and multiple landscapes. Use the following directions to get started:

1. First you are going to want to open the Veescope app on your iPhone or iPad.

2. Then click on the Select button

3. Now click on the add button

4. Then click on the folder that holds the type of pictures you would like to choose from (in the example I chose Camera Roll).

5. Now choose the picture or video that you want to add and click done. 
6. The image is now in the list of choices, click on the one you want to use and then it will be your background.

Need more help with this?  Come in to the Hack Shack to have someone help you!


Monday, December 7, 2015

Friday, December 4, 2015

The Hack Shack Goes to Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference

By Mrs. Pamela Carr

On Wednesday, December 2 I had the opportunity to be a part of a panel discussion about student-run help desks at the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference in Manchester, NH.  I presented along with teachers from Sanborn Regional High School, The Christa McAuliffe Elementary School, and Pinkerton High School to a room filled with educators from across the state.  The purpose of the panel discussion was to help other schools implement a student-run help desk at their schools.

During the presentation each of us gave an overview of how our help desks were created and how we maintain the program and then members of the audience asked questions.  It was exciting and energizing to see so many schools interested in getting students involved in this real world learning experience.  Audience members were very interested in how Oyster River High School was able to combine the student-run help desk and the maker space into one place where innovation and support are happening daily.

While I was there to give information to other educators, the outcome for me was much more.  I learned so much from the other presenters and from audience members as well.  I got ideas for blog entries that our students can write, new ideas for how we communicate with each other, and inspiration for getting our students to professionally market themselves and the #ORHackShack.  I’m looking forward to implementing new features and curriculum elements into the Advanced IT Services class that provides the employees for the #ORHackShack.

If you are interested in learning more about the #ORHackShack please contact me or Kathy Pearce:

Mrs. Pamela Carr
Twitter: @pammcarr

Ms. Kathy Pearce
Twitter: @KathyPearceNH

Friday, November 6, 2015

Creating My Own Design For The 3D Printer

by Alex Landrigan

First Attempt
On Monday, I took a shot at SketchUp, the 3D printer design software. I had absolutely no idea what the heck I was doing. After much trial and error and attempting to follow the complex start up instructions, I finally began to get the hang of it! I tried to make an ‘A’ for Alex. However, it is much more complicated than it sounds. You cannot just type in ‘A’ or easily draw a block letter. The diagonals of the letter made it even more complicated. I got very frustrated and wanted to quit. But I didn’t. I was so excited when I finally designed it, only to find out that I was not actually done. Ethan then informed me that I needed to create the dimensions and raise the heights of each line to create the actual 3D part of the print. I figured it out and exported it. After 17 minutes of printing, it was done. It was done, but it was not great and that is putting it nicely. It was a bit abstract to say the least. But, it is mine and I finally did it!

Second Attempt
A few days later I decided to give it another try. I again tried making an ‘A’, only this time, it came out so much nicer! After trial and error from Monday, I knew that in order to gain proper perspective to ensure my ‘A’ was symmetrical, I needed to shift the view of the screen so it was “bird’s eye view”. This allowed me to make a virtually perfect ‘A’. I am very proud of the progress I have made in just a few days. The other really cool thing is we just got new black filament. Filament is the plastic that gets melted to create the design. Before we only had white so it is a nice change.  

Monday, October 26, 2015

Fun with the Boe-Bot

By Matt Jones

Figure 1: Board of Education on Boe-Bot.
The Boe-Bot is a small robot that can be programmed to do several different things.  This past week I have spent lots of time setting up activities for the Boe-Bot. I will be holding a workshop within the next few weeks to teach some of the basics of the Boe-Bot to students that are interested in using these fun and exciting robots. Not only will students be able to gain a better understanding of what a micro-controller is, they will also be able to see what the Boe-Bot does by writing code that will run on the Board of Education.

Figure 2: Boe-Bot with inferred sensors.

The Boe-Bots are programmed using PBASIC. This is a programming language created by Parallax Inc. that allows new programmers to easily create actual programs that will tell the robot what to do. In my workshop, I will be showing students some more complicated things that the Boe-Bot is capable of doing and each student will get the chance to manipulating code to make the Boe-Bot complete fun and interesting tasks.
Keep checking the announcements and the #ORHackShack for more details on my upcoming workshop.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Green Screen Workshop

By Lilia Pettit

Last week, on October 15th I held a workshop for the green screen in the Hack Shack. About eight people attended and successfully learned how to work the green screen using the Veescope Live app on the iPad.  They also invented new ways to use the green screen.  One of the most innovative techniques was when a few of the people put a chair behind the green screen and draped the screen over the top.  They then decided they would sit or lay on the chair and pretended they could fly.  Since you couldn't see the chair behind the screen it actually looked as if they were floating in the air.  By the end of the workshop everyone had learned how to work the green screen app and by the amount of laughter in the room, I think everyone had a good time.  Everyone seemed to get the hang of the green screen in no time and overall, I think some great memories were made.     

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

3D Printing a Partially Floating Object

by Coleman Moore

Today I did a few tests on how to print objects that are partially floating. The first test I did was to try and print an object that had pieces that were partially floating not using supports. The second test I did was print an object with supports that only had very minuscule parts floating as seen in this picture.

The third test I did was to print an object that was mostly floating or that had large parts hanging in the air, this can be seen in this picture.

To turn on supports all you need to do is click on the settings tab in maker bot and the check the supports box.

Unfortunately when this model printed it was missing a leg which means that the supports feature doesn’t comprehend the need to build supports under a flouting object though the arm which was pointed down slightly came out incredibly well which leaves me perplexed about the limits of the make bot.

The model can be seen in this picture.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Ready or not, here we come!

By Mrs. Pearce

Are we ready to open the doors of our new makerspace? No way! Will we ever be ready? Probably not. It’s kind of like removing a band-aid. Just rip it off fast—it will only sting for a minute.
So, let me back up for a moment and explain. We are turning the back room of our library, which used to be a group study area, into a makerspace. Thanks to a Chris Nelson grant from NHSTE and some funds we were able to scrape together from the library budget at the end of last year, we have a 3D printer, Little Bits, a green screen and a BOE-Bot. There’s a bin of legos, some craft supplies, and soon a sewing machine or two.

The space is being run mostly by students who are enrolled in our new Advanced IT Services class. The class (loosely known as “Help Desk”) is an independent study supervised by our computer teacher Pam Carr. Students in the class are learning how to use the makerspace technology, creating tutorials to share with others, and running workshops for students and staff on a variety of topics. It was hard getting the word out initially, so we only had two students signed up at the start of the year, but word is spreading and we now have a staff of five students. National Honor Society volunteers are filling some periods, and the library staff will keep an eye on things during after school hours.

Last week was supposed to be our “soft opening,” but our staffing was a bit thin, and the kids were still a bit bewildered as to what exactly they were supposed to be doing, so it wasn’t much of an opening. Today is the grand opening! And by that, we mean that we’re going to prop the door open. No balloons, nothing fancy. In fact, nothing grand about it. Except that I hear laughter. And beeping. And already kids are doing cool things that I never would have thought of. (and don’t totally understand)

Graphing With Excel

By Lilia Pettit

It is that time of year again when students need to know how to create a graph using Excel. I hope you will find these directions useful when completing your lab reports and other projects! Just click on the link below and get started!

Graphing With Excel

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Having Fun With The 3D Printer

By Alex Landrigan

As I write this blog entry an octopus is being created next to me. After a week of being unsuccessful in setting up the 3D printer, this is very exciting. It was a lot of trial and error but we have finally figured it out. Now that we know what to do it is actually fairly easy. It is just a matter of making your design (I don’t actually know how to do that yet. I still have to use example designs) and saving it onto the USB flash drive to print it. As expected, it takes a long time to print. The estimated printing time for this octopus is 30 minutes and I guess we will see how realistic that estimation is later. Check out the time-lapse video of the printing.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Endless Possibilities with ORHS’s Maker Space

By Matt Jones

As an Advanced IT student at Oyster River High School I have had the outstanding opportunity to work on setting up the ORHS Maker Space. In just six days I have been able to experience working with a 3D printer for the first time, along with playing with a few other fun gadgets in the Maker Space.

The 3D printer is truly a look into the future. The picture to the right looks nothing like what someone would think of when they hear the word printer. Amazingly enough this is ORHS’s very own 3D printer! We are working hard to make this printer available to all of the students at ORHS. We look forward to sharing the amazing projects that this printer will be able to make.

Another cool gadget that I have had the opportunity to play with is called Little Bits. Little Bits are little electronics that magnetically connect to create circuits of varying complexity. ORHS has several different sets of these Little Bits. Once the Maker Space is open every student who is interested will have the opportunity to play with these fascinating gadgets. The picture to the left shows just one of the many variations of circuits you can make with these simple and fun electronics.