Life Part Two

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

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iMAGINE Upstate Festival

Saturday, yesterday, STEAM Tech Teams spent from 11 – 5 at the second annual iMAGINE Festival.   For new readers, STEAM Tech Teams is a group of volunteers in the Upstate of SC who are helping promote STEAM.   Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math.

We had over 25 volunteers working with us in our two locations.  One group was along the tent line and show off our hands, 3D printing and other things.  The weather was really very nice, not to hot or to cold, however it was windy and that really made it hard to demonstrate 3D printing.   I haven’t heard how many people yet but 10,000 – 15,000 would not be out of line.  This is a very family friendly event.   A big thank you to our business volunteer from Computer Source who sells 3D printers and more.  If you need a 3D printer, repair on a computer or a computer please check him out.

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Fay and Bob and the majority of the volunteers will at the ZEN building with two big exhibits.  The focus of all the activities in and around this building was on drones.  We had one area where we had three flight simulators and our volunteers helped people, mostly kids, try there hand at flying drones.  The flight simulator can get very sophisticated and costs $130.  We figure we had 1500 – 2000 people come through.


In another large room we had three tables set up and people could fly small quadcopters, fit in the palm of your hand.   We had them tied to string so they flew in about a 5 ft radius and didn’t go all over the place.   We had a few challenges but overall it worked pretty well and let people get a safe, not too frustrating experience.  The three boys that Bob worked with at Dorman High School were there all day and were the “lead instructors”.   Most of the other volunteers were over 60 and came from the OLLI at Furman program or were neighbors of one of our volunteers.

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We were very pleased with how things went but were tired when we got home about 6 p.m.   Not much energy today, Sunday!

Our next event is this Thursday when we will be sponsoring with one of our business partners a training for teachers on 3D printing at Greenville Technical School.  After that we have a small science fair at a local private k-5 school and what we hope will be a big science fair at Williston SC, near Aiken.   This is three hours away so we are making a weekend out of it and will see the area.   That’s just April!

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Other comments on our cruise

Your enjoyment on the cruise really depends on what you like to do.   There was a huge gambling casino so if you like to that you would be very happy.   We don’t gamble.

Lots of the free entertainment was centered around contests, trivial pursuit type stuff, games, bingo and we don’t like to do that either but it was very evident that MANY people love this.

They had an art gallery of perhaps 100 pictures in one of the main hallways and it changed daily and we loved that. Also free art lectures.

Also, here is what seems different from cruising on this cruise that you may have heard of but I’m sure each cruise line is different.

  • Drinks aren’t included.   We bought an alcoholic drink package and you might also want to purchase a soft drink package or even a water package.
  • There were something like over 20 restaurants.  Our meals were included at about 6 places.   All the other restaurants you paid extra.   Usually $25 and up.
  • There were about 4 very good entertainment things included but the other 4 really high end events were about $35 a person.   Other activities like a wine and chocolate paring (which was great) was also extra.  Tour of the ship was $80 a person.   Something we wanted to do but too expensive.
  • Tours at the islands were $70 – $90 a person.
  • Internet access – spendy
  • Automatic gratuity per person per day $13.50 or so.  Actually I liked this because I didn’t have to worry about it.   If someone did something exceptional than you rewarded them.
  • Bob had heart burn and went to the medical place to get something.  He ended up with alka seltzer for only $5.  Asked about getting pepto bismal,  that would be a $150 consult with the doctor.

Photo from wine and chocolate paring which was great.



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Fay and Bob’s First Cruise

A couple weeks ago we took our first cruise on the new Norwegian Escape.  We went to some Caribbean islands. The ship is immense. 1069 feet long, well over 4000 passengers and 1700 crew.   The cruise lived up to everything you hear and actually in some ways exceeded our very high expectations.  Although our balcony room was small it was big enough.  Bed and pillows were very comfortable, room was quiet and temperature perfect.   We slept beautifully.  Weather was perfect and a very, very calm sea.   Ship was gorgeous, food great, entertainment good, lots of activities.   Bob even tried the zip line and the two big water slides. Service everywhere was exceptional.  Three of the cruise executives liked us so much they kept sending treats like wine and chocolate covered strawberries.   Guess everyone loves a friendly face who is interested in what they do! This photo shows you just how big our ship was.   The other ship on the left is a regular very large cruise ship.


I had forgotten how beautiful the water is.  What a gorgeous blue.  We went to Tortiga and St. Thomas.   Were supposed to go to Nassau but ship got diverted to Puerto Rico for a medical emergency.


And of course I had to show you this photo.


So having said all this about the wonderful time on the cruise I have to say the original concern we had on taking a cruise was true.   We aren’t cruise people.  With about 6000 people on the ship there was no place we could find that was quiet.   The decks and pools were so crowded I never even put on a swim suit.  Plus it was spring break so LOTS of kids under 10.  I won’t say we will never go on another cruise but it will be quite awhile.  If Charleston ever gets its act together and brings cruise lines other than Carnival we might go.   Adding in the flight to Miami was just another thing that was not so much fun.

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STEAM Tech Teams Busy

We had a very busy weekend last week. On Friday we went to NW Middle school here in Travelers Rest and helped their 3D printing club continue to build 3 hands. On Saturday we went to the Upstate Children’s Museum for their STEM Fest. Over 1000 people there. On Sunday Bob and his friends built the first hovership quadcopter.   The body is printed with our 3D printer. Pretty cool. It needs some tweaking in assembly but it does fly.

This week we met with Dorman High School Engineering Advisory Board.   Looks like they have students who want to build the hovership next fall.   Bob is excited about that.  We also have a meeting this week with another high school for possibly building quadcopters.  We will be making an application to have and exhibit for 3 days and do a 75 minute lecture at a national STEM Conference in Charleston in Sept.   Kind of nervous about that.  It is a big deal conference.

Slater Marietta middle school will be having us for a third time.   This time will be flight simulator and quad copters.

Early April is the huge iMAGINE STEM Festival with a very big quadcopter presence so we are busy helping plan and get volunteers for that.   It is a very ambitious project.

We have a small STEM festival at a private elementary school coming up soon and a mini iMAGINE festival right before the big festival in Spartanburg.   In late April we will be going to another large STEM festival down by Aiken, about 3 hours from here.   That was a big decision because it is such a long way from us but we decided we wanted to explore that part of the state so will make it into a mini vacation.   It is a very rural area and they have little access to these science and technology events so we felt that was pretty important.

So as you can see we are keeping very busy but having fun.


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Roper Mt. STEM festival

Had a very exciting day yesterday at Roper Mt. Center for their STEM event. We were there with about 6 volunteers and they were all needed. Attendance was 1500 people over 6 hours. Our display was front and center as soon as people walked through the door so we were VERY busy. Kevin from Computer Source was there supporting us with at least a half dozen 3D printers on display.
I think we definitely “WOWED” people of all ages with 3D printed hands and other cool printed items, quad copter simulation, Binary Computer exhibits, 3D pens, Google Cardboard Glasses, Power UP paper airplane that you fly with your smart phone and Raspberry PI computer. I never got tired of seeing the puzzled and the “ah ha” moments in the faces of children, parents and grandparents.
Bob and I left this event, took a short nap and then hosted Newcomers Cocktails R Us for about 40 people at our house. We also shared with our guests 3D printing, quadcoters and woodworking technology. Our guests told us they had a very fun and educational evening.
Sabrina was definitely very agitated both before and during the event until I found a safe place for her to be and went and petted her several times.   Smoky hid until toward the end of the party and then came out to get some attention.  I felt bad for little Sabrina.
Today we are resting. Children_museum 008
IT2PI 003

Big Hand – 2 feet

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Life in 1915


The year is 1915 “Now only One hundred years ago”. What a difference a century makes!

  • In 1915, many practicing doctors in the US had been educated haphazardly since, according to the National Library of Medicine, “medical schools had become mostly diploma mills.” That slowly began to change when the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, considered the first modern medical school, opened in 1893.
  • In 1915, a dozen eggs cost 34 cents; a gallon of milk cost 18 cents; and a pound of coffee cost 30 cents.
  • In 1910, agriculture was the most common industry Americans worked in. (By 1920, it had been surpassed by manufacturing; today, it’s service jobs.)
  • In 1915, the three leading causes of death in the US were heart disease, pneumonia/influenza, and tuberculosis.
  • In 1915, canned beer, modern supermarkets, and Barbie dolls had not yet been invented.
  • In 1915, the US did not have an official national anthem.
  • In 1910, 7.7% of Americans said that they couldn’t read or write, a sharp decline from 1870, when 20% said they were illiterate. (True rates of illiteracy may have been higher, since these were self-reported.)
  • In 1900, only about half of American children between five and 19-years-old were enrolled in school. Ending formal education after eighth grade was typical.

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STEAM Tech Teams Accomplishments 2015

It is hard to believe that it has been just a year since we shipped our first hand to Giorgio.   We have accomplished far more than we ever expected to and have participated in some great events and made many new friends in all the schools we visited.   2016 already has lots of activities scheduled.

Here is a quick look at what we did:

Schools and Organizations STEAM Tech Teams we worked on projects with in 2015 – 11 Schools
Beck Academy International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program
Belton Elementary School   – Science Fair
Carolina International Preparatory School    – Science Fair
Dorman High School – Spartenburg District 6.
Gettys Middle School – Easley – Pickens County
Greenville Tech Architecture Department
Hughes Academy
New Tech @J.L. Mann2Slater Marietta Elementary School
Northwest Middle School Travelers Rest – Greenville County
Ralph Chandler Middle School – Simpsonville
Southside High School – Greenville White Horse Rd.

Schools and Organizations we met with – 5 Schools
As-Sabeel Academy of Greenville
Bob Jones University
Greenville County Libraries
Greenville Early College – Greenville County
Riverside Middle School – Greer – Greenville County

Events STEAM Tech Teams participated in – Science Fairs 2015 – 12 Events
Barnes and Nobel  Haywood STEM fair
Belton PTA STEM Event
Children’s  Museum of the Upstate COSMOS Camp – July 8, 2015
Children’s Museum Innoskate event with Kevin Van Deusen – Aug. 7, 2015
Children’s Museum of the Upstate Build It Day with WYNIT – July 25, 2015
Hand assembly training session at OLLI at Furman – May 6, 2015
iMAGINE Upstate Technology Festival with Furman and Upstate STEM Collaborative- April 4, 2015.
iT2PI Expo at Furman – May 17, 2015
OLLI at Furman all day expo with 3D printers and hands – April 28, 2015
Roper Mountain Science Center 3D Camp – June 25, 2015
Roper Mountain Star Wars
Southside STEM parent event