The S.T.E.M and Arts blog by Aurelius Raines II

The S.T.E.M and Arts blog by Aurelius Raines II
"Producers, not Consumers"

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Evolution of the Producer

Look What I Can DO!

Last Week:

Mr. Payne is SO happy
about his paper cell.
The GC6-DC2 spent the week reviewing concepts that we have not mastered. Some of our children have suffered when the lesson schedule takes precedence over mastery. If a majority of my students show that they are deficient in a skill or subject area, I feel I am obligated to put on the brakes, and do it again. That is where we found ourselves this week and the test scores were so much better. Please check Engrade and congratulate your child appropriately. 

Joshua Lambert uses InkScape to design his keychain.
The highlight of this week had to be our first of 10 classes and the Museum of Science and Industry. Our students took a tour of the Fab Lab. They learned that the lab they were in was one of hundreds around the world that not only provide the same services, but collaborate with each other in real time over video conference. We were fascinated at the large screen in front of us showed people working in a lab just like our in Germany, Africa, and South America. 

I am going to need each household to make sure the InkScape and Google SketchUp software on the right are downloaded and installed on each computer.  I will be sending homework to reinforce the skills that children will be learning at the museum. You may call me for tech support. You can click on the underlined words in this paragraph or the link in the Parent Resource center. 
Marquan watches as an infrared laser cuts plastic.
He can't wait until it's his turn.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with a Fab Lab, let me explain. 
As a teacher and again citizen, I have anxiety about this generations ability to MAKE things. We have become a consumer culture that do not know how the machines and electronics that we rely on work. Yet, we are increasingly dependant on them.

There students are proud of their creations. 
My goal for the students at Cambridge is to turn them into a class of students that knows how things work and how to produce things that are useful to themselves and to the world. This can be any skill from fixing electronics, making vehicles, to growing and cooking food. In my quest to fill the skill vacuum that is becoming larger in our society, I have a philosophy that I make each student memorize: "I am a producer, not a consumer."

Remember it!

What does this man's dress
and facial hair tell about the time
in which he lived. 
We learned about timelines and how American music and Fashion have changed over time. Most of my students didn't get it. Many of them thought that Elvis was popular in 1910. I will own those misconceptions. At the same time, help your child's history teacher and watch historical films with them. Some suggestions: Roots, Shaka Zulu (warning: there is some tasteful yet frequent nudity in both), Titanic, Lincoln, Glory, Eyes on the Prize, Far and Away, Little House on the Prairie. The point, let them see how people behaved and acted at different times in history. This will give them a fundamental perspective that is so important to understanding history. 

F.Y.I. The phrase,"Back in the day," will be treated as profanity and has no place in my classroom. 

Next Week:

6th and 7th will be learning about the properties of Matter. I will be sending a message in Engrade with a "study rap" don't dismiss it just because it is fun. It is VERY informative. 

8th grade is also receiving a message that will have a song about the functions of a cell. They will be learning about cellular function and the organelles that carry them out. 

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