Life Part Two

The adventures of Fay and Bob as they move beyond the 9 to 5 life

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Training on 3D printing and design

STEAM Tech Teams had a great opportunity to collaborate with several groups to do training for almost 40 teachers, other educators and visitors on 3D printing and design.   WYNIT, a 3D printer distributor provided 5 printers and two educational programs on what 3D printing is and how to use printers in various classes in schools.  Dr. Nan Dempsey from the Upstate STEM Collaborative helped us plan the content and reach out to Chris Burras. Academic Specialist for K-12 Science/Stem Greenville County Schools who provided a list of teachers for us to invite and gave input on what to present.   The whole event was hosted by the Archicture Dept. at Greenville Technical School.   Reid Becker, from our group, presented on the need for students to get skills in 3D printingnand design so they are ready for future jobs.  The training was 2 hours long and so much information was covered.

We all agreed this event was to us flawless.   It really gives you a good feeling to be a part of something like this.  We are interested to see how many schools contact us to help them or because of this training get 3D printers in their schools. About half currently had printers. We hope that this is just the first of several training programs for the teachers.

We arranged with WYNIT to leave a new printer with Greenville Tech to use for a month or so for students in the Archicture program and their technical staff could get some experience in using a 3D printer to model some of the projects they design.   Can’t wait to see how that goes.

Here are a few photos for you to enjoy.  WYNIT bought about 50 3D printed objects for people to look at.

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Hope for our next engineering generation

Last Friday Bob and I went on an OLLI tour of A.J. Whittenberg elementary school of engineering.  That’s right, engineering for pre kindergarten 4 to fifth grade 11 year olds.  It is a new (2010) school in a not so good part of town.   No requirements or tests to get into the school, students get in with a lottery.   There are about 500 students and this year they graduate their first 5th grade class, 70 students.

The Greenville plan is that when these 5th graders graduate there will be an engineering middle school that some can go to so that school opens this fall and 35 of the 70 students will get to go.   When those middle school students are ready for high school there is supposed to be an engineering high school for them to go to.

To say we were impressed is a huge understatement.   They are teaching power point to first graders.   Every class room has a display of the of  the engineering process.

engineering processIt is hard to explain.   All the stem topics (science, technology, engineering, math) along with art and music are integrated together.  So for example, when they study music they are really learning fractions (quarter notes, half notes, etc).   They have leggo robots, every grade has an environmental task at the school. They had a group of 8 students who went to Germany this year for a leggo robot contest.

They are going to plant cotton next year so they can teach students about how hard it is to grow cotton, link it to history lessons and actually harvest the cotton and make it into thread.

Really fantastic.   We are still talking about it.


Then on Sunday we went to Furman to the first:

T2PI: PROGRAMMING & PHYSICAL COMPUTING WITH ANNUAL PROGRAMMING INVENTORS’ EXPO. WEBINARS AND WORKSHOPS FOR ALL AGES AND EXPERIENCE LEVELS! featuring the Raspberry Pi micro computer and Arduino micro controller.  These are not college students.  These are 6-16 year old kids.

This is for kids and teenagers but Bob is really interested too and maybe eventually he might be a mentor to them.    A couple weeks ago we didn’t even know what a Raspberry Pi micro computer was.   It is a very inexpensive ($40) computer that is the size of a credit card.   It is programmed for single use types of applications.   These inventors who are using the card computers are 14 years old!

Don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of Raspberry Pi.   It is only a year old and comes from the UK.   The inventor thought they might sell a thousand at the most.   They posted a video on youtube and it got 600,000 hits.   They now sell 10,000 a week and there have been 700,000 sold in less than a year, mainly in North America and Europe.

This is Owen, 17 years old, with the 3D printer he built.

3D PrinterThey have quite a few workshops this summer on 3D printing and raspberry pi so Bob is hoping he can attend along with the teenagers.   He is so excited to be back into the electronics world.  This group has been meeting for less than a year and has about 20 kids who participate.   The teenagers teach the littler ones.  Exciting stuff!

You haven’t seen Sabrina and Smoky lately so I will end with a couple photos of the rest of our family.   We have had this kitty mansion several years and Sabrina sits on the top perches every day but this is the first time she crawled in the little hole.   I think Smoky was chasing her and she went to hide.   It was really cute.   She sat in there for quite awhile.


Both cats like sitting on the perch on the porch.   Here is Smoky enjoying the day.


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Humane Society Karunda Beds for Kittens

My Newcomers group donated money a few months ago to the Humane Society. One of the things they said they needed was these special beds for the kittens and some for dogs. They give the animals another place to sit and play and they are easy to clean. They just sent me a picture of the kittens and the bed. So sweet.   The little black one looks like Sabrina.

Karunda Bed

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Sabrina update

She tolerates her eye drops twice a day and the other medicine goes on her food so she eats that.    The eye seems a little better today but still can see that third eye lid.  Still no sign of infection or draining which is good. She seems like herself except a little more clingy to me than usual.   That’s ok with me.  She follows me like a little puppy dog.

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Smoky and Sabrina

Well, I have to say Smoky surprised me just now.   He is a sweet fellow but usually follows Sabrina’s lead on learning something.   I was sitting in the office and I heard a sound in the other room.  I thought Smoky was inside but Bob must have let him out and the screen porch door was closed.   If it’s open he just goes and sits in the chair and waits for us to let him in.  Anyway, he was on the deck standing on a chair so he could reach the window and knocking on the window to be let in.   Smart fellow!

Sabrina’s eye is about the same today.   She is taking her medicine, including the eye drops and isn’t hiding but the eye lid still looks pretty weird.  She seems like herself, slept with me last night and is eating good.   She is sitting in the window in front of me now.   Hope it doesn’t get worse.

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Poor little Sabrina












It took Sabrina a while to get up this morning and usually when she is hiding it is not good. We noticed that one eye was closed for awhile and after letting her wake up for awhile we took a closer look and something was definitely wrong with her left eye so off to the vet.

In the 50 years I have had cats I didn’t know this or if I did forgot it. Cat’s have a third eyelid and when you can see it something weird is going on. I guess fortunately the vet could find nothing wrong with her eye, no signs of injury, infection etc. and she is acting normally so he sent us home with eye drops and a medicine that might help her if she has a viral infection. Hopefully nothing worse happens in the next couple days. She was such a very scared but well behaved little girl. She definitely wanted to be as close to me as possible. I always feel so bad for either of the cats when they are sick. They do their best to show you they are sick but can’t talk to us.

She doesn’t seem to be in any pain or acting like it irritates her and she isn’t hiding but she is not herself. Just sitting quietly on her cat perch.