Blog Posts

Measured for success

Posted by Preston Frazier on July 14, 2018

It seems like every day is a holiday these days, but we’re not complaining. Let’s take a look at a day that really measures up.

On July 14, 1868, a gentleman by the name of Albert J. Fellows of Connecticut revolutionized an item we keep in our toolbox with his patent for a spring-click tape measure (Wired). 

Rulers have been around since the days of the Romans, so Fellows isnt the inventor of the tape measure. And hes not even the originator of the steel spring measure; he improved Englishman James Chesterman’s steel band measuring chain, which was created in 1829 specifically for surveyors. The issues with Chestermans creation were its size and bulk, which also made it expensive. Fellows added a clip that kept the tape from retracting as well as a few other construction improvements, and the arrangement qualified him for his patent. So today’s tradesmen and craftsmen can thank Fellows for the modern tape measure.

Read More

Topics: IN THE CLASSROOM, Middle School, Competitions, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, STEM, Dragsters, Activities, Hands-on Learning

Top 10 spring and summer activities

Posted by Admin on April 05, 2018

As we dive deeper into spring – and look forward to summer – we prepare for the upcoming changes.

The warmer months ahead can mean many things, both good and, well, not as good. Better weather usually means more outdoor activities such as summer camps, but the extended time out of school can mean bored kids and a learning slide teachers fight against the rest of the year.

But spring fever doesn’t have to equal a lack of learning, and summertime doesn’t have to mean boredom. If you want to keep the learning going and keep students engaged, there are several things you can do.

Read More

Topics: BEYOND THE CLASSROOM, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, ROBOTICS, Camps, Makerspaces, STEM, Dragsters, Coding, STEM Units

Persistence wins – with dragsters and in life

Posted by Admin on January 31, 2018

I was an industrial arts teacher in rural Missouri for many years. By nature, my classroom was hands on. But one of the most memorable and impactful programs we executed in class was to build and race CO2 dragsters. I discovered CO2 dragsters at the Four States Conference for Industrial Arts Teachers held at Pittsburg State University in the fall of 1976. Wow, that was a long time ago!

Read More

Topics: Middle School, Competitions, IDEAS & INSPIRATION, STEM, Dragsters

It’s a 4-peat! History is made at TSA’s 2017 Dragster Design competition

Posted by Admin on September 14, 2017

Every June, a crew from Pitsco Education loads up and heads to the Technology Student Association’s national championships to help run the Dragster Design races. It’s always exciting, but this year something unprecedented happened – a competitor won the national event for the fourth year in a row.

Read More

Topics: Middle School, BEYOND THE CLASSROOM, Competitions, STEM, TSA, Dragsters