NSTA 2019 hot topics: Coding and Robotics

Posted by Tommy Ly on April 29, 2019

Science teachers and the next generation of American scientists and inventors filled the halls of the America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis earlier this month. The NSTA National Conference hosted more than 300 exhibition booths specializing in disciplines from traditional life and physical sciences to makerspaces and rocket kits. By far the most astounding thing was the representation of coding on the exhibit floor.

Read More

Topics: ROBOTICS, Technology, Trends, Coding, Future Ready, Hands-on Learning, Conferences

The telephone: Evolving communication

Posted by Tommy Ly on April 25, 2019

Greek legend has it that when the town of Marathon was invaded by the Persians many, many centuries ago, they outnumbered the Greeks four to one (Awesomestories.com). A soldier named Pheidippides ran 150 miles to ask the Spartans for help, only to be turned down. He ran back to the front lines, where he battled victoriously. He then ran a final 25 miles to Athens to utter “chairete, nikomen,” translated as “hail, we are the winners,” and then he died from exhaustion (Ridetothehills.wordpress.com). Coincidentally, the source of the word telephone’s etymology is Greek, meaning a far sound or voice. If anyone could have used a far voice, it was Pheidippides. April 25 marks National Telephone Day, and what better way to celebrate than by taking a moment to appreciate how far we’ve come with our “far voice.”

Read More

Topics: IDEAS & INSPIRATION, Technology, innovate

FIRST® things first: Are you ready?

Posted by Preston Frazier on April 13, 2019

Top 7 things you need for FIRST® Champ

“Remember, if you fail to prepare you are preparing to fail.”
– H. K. Williams

Will you be traveling soon to the FIRST Championship in either Houston (April 17-20) or Detroit (April 24-27)? You might be a spectator watching from afar or a fan sitting in the stands supporting your favorite robotics team. But even more exciting, you might be on one of the competing FIRST Tech Challenge teams that has made it all this way. If so, congratulations! That’s something to celebrate.

Read More

Topics: BEYOND THE CLASSROOM, Competitions, ROBOTICS, Collaborations, FIRST Tech Challenge, Technology, Social and emotional learning, TETRIX Robotics

National Peanut Month means it’s legume and jelly time!

Posted by Tommy Ly on March 28, 2019

Author’s Note: This blog was co-written with Educational Consultant Preston Frazier.

This month marks the 45th celebration of National Peanut Month (Nationalcalendarday.com). As the title suggests, and as many of you might already know, peanuts aren’t actually nuts, they’re legumes. Unlike its kidney bean, lentil, and pea cousins, the peanuts enjoy the limelight as one of America’s favorite snacks and food sources (Peanut-institute.org); it’s an important ingredient in several mainstream candy brands; and need I mention that it inspired a pretty catchy song and dance in 2001 (Peanutbutterjellytime.net)? In honor of National Peanut Month, we’re spreading the science (along with the tech and engineering) behind what it takes to make this infamous legume jelly’s other half.

Read More

Topics: IDEAS & INSPIRATION, Science, Technology, STEM, Engineering, TETRIX Robotics, Hands-on Learning

Move over R/C, there is a new way to control a robot!

Posted by Lacey O’Brien on January 31, 2019

It’s here, it’s finally here! With the delivery of the 2019 Big Book, Pitsco and TETRIX® Robotics released the much-anticipated TETRIX Tele-Op Control Module. The module connects to a TETRIX PRIZM® Robotics Controller and allows for remote control operation of your robot via Bluetooth. In layman’s terms (yep, this one is for me 😊), it serves as the go-between for transferring code from your PRIZM to the SONY PS4 DUALSHOCK 4 controller and its many buttons.

Read More

Topics: ROBOTICS, News, Technology, Future Ready, TETRIX Robotics, 21st Century Skills