Creative Thinking, Education, K-12, Parenting, Student Products, Teaching Tools, Websites

Online Summer Courses

If parents and students have been asking you about ways to stave off that summer slump, here are some online courses that I have been suggesting to the parents and students in my community:

  • Camp Wonderopolis: Free, and you can sign up as a “Camp Counselor” to tailor the curriculum if you like.

Camp Wonderopolis

Maker Camp

  • Camps: Not free, but the first one is only $10.  There is a Lego Camp!

DIY Camps

Remember, students who have adults encouraging them and sometimes working alongside them will get far more out of any online course than most students who are left to navigate courses on their own!

Another way to go might be to give your student one or more of these creative ideas that I saw tweeted by @KarlyB this morning.  They are all using free iPad apps.  (Some may also be available on other devices.)


Careers, Creative Thinking, Education, Independent Study, K-12, Parenting, Student Products, Videos, Websites

If You Build It, They Will Learn

from "If You Build It, They Will Learn" by Infinite Thinking Machine
from “If You Build It, They Will Learn” by Infinite Thinking Machine

Infinite Thinking Machine “is a high-energy Internet TV show that inspires creativity and innovation in education.”  The episodes are produced every two weeks, and you can find the archives here.  The episode that I am featuring in this post is, “If You Build It, They Will Learn”, which was produced near the end of last season.  Last week, I posted about the surge of “maker studios”, (by the way, my daughter and her friend LOVED the Marshmallow Shooter project) and when I found this video, I knew that it would make a great resource.  Not only do the ITM folks do a good job of discussing different examples of “making” around the U.S., but they also post a nice list with links to the featured entities.  I also like their challenge issued at the end of the short video.  Although the deadline for their contest was last summer, I think that it still would be a fun project to offer students, particularly near the end of the school year.

For some reason, the ITM site cut off the episode in the middle the first time I watched it (probably my computer), but you can also access the entire show at  And, if you are lucky enough to not have YouTube blocked, I have also embedded it below.

Creative Thinking, Education, K-12, Parenting, Research, Student Products, Teaching Tools, Websites


"Ice Cube Crayons" project by Jennifer Perkins
“Ice Cube Crayons” project by Jennifer Perkins

You have probably noticed the “maker” trend is gaining headway.  With 3D printers becoming more affordable, and new inventions like the 3Doodler, this trend is beginning to find its way into the schools and libraries – and I welcome it wholeheartedly.  But you don’t have to wait until you have access to a public “Maker Space” to become a “Maker”.  And, you don’t need fancy technology, either.  Last October, I posted about the DIY site (which is also an app), and its wealth of hands-on projects.  Another resource you might enjoy is the “Kids and Family” section of Make’s online magazine.  From designing your own Marshmallow Shooter to making a 10-Rail Model Rocket Mega-Launcher, you can find all kinds of ideas for projects.  The projects are rated in difficulty:  easy, moderate, and difficult.  Parents could find some great ideas for rainy days or weekends here.  And, if you are a teacher, you might offer this site as another reference for students planning Genius Hour projects.