Life Part Two

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


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Teaching kids of all ages about quadcopters and technology

We just returned from 8 days in MN to see Bob’s mom and other family and friends.  We got back Tuesday night and on Wednesday went o J.L. Mann New Tech to talk to two classes of high school students about quadcopters, safe flying, the rules of flying and jobs.   There were over 60 kids in the two classes.  Bob and I team taught and we had two new volunteers from STEAM Tech Teams there to learn.  We thought it went very well.

On Thursday at noon we made our third trip to Slater Marietta Elementary School to work with the computer club and science club.  We had about 25 students, probably 5th grade.   We split into three groups and the students moved to each group.   One was actually flying the small quadcopters, tethered by a string, one group was using the flight simulator and one group learning the rules of flying.   Reid also taught them what pitch, roll and yaw mean.   He is so good working with the kids.   They were very excited and had lots of questions.   The 45 minutes really flew by.

Thursday night we went to Carolina International Preparatory School.  We were at their annual science event.   We went there last year too.   This is a small private preschool to 5th grade school.  I would say we had about 50 families come.   These kids are really little but their parents could figure out what we were showing them.  Everyone is still in awe of the 3D printer.

We are still working with a couple schools to make hands and an arm and then in mid May we have the it2PI expo.


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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.  http://www.steamtechteams.com/

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.   https://computersourcesc.com/

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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.

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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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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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Drones and more

Another busy week for Fay and Bob and STEAM Tech Teams

Our friend Kevin at Coumputer Source has loaned us a Makerbot Replicator 5, the new model, to take to Columbia for the STEM Summit.   What an easy to use printer with beautiful print quality.  Good thing to play with on this dreary wet day.

Monday night we went to the open house at Southside High School. The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) has adopted this school and has ask STEAM Tech Teams to be a part of a couple of their lunch time sessions. Not a lot of people there but those that were seemed interested in the drones and the hand. We were part of the NSBE exhibit along with about 15 other exhibits. Enjoyed getting to know Ken Carter better.

Bob and his 3 junior students at Dorman HS got great news this week. The boys gave a presentation to administration to get funding for some small drones and a big drone. They were able to answer the many questions the principal had and were granted the money. But here is what is really special, the administrators had decided before the presentation that they would only fund the small drones. After they heard the presentation they changed their mind! To say we are proud of these students would be an understatement. The school also wants Bob to consider doing another group of students to print and build a drone next term. We will have some great stories coming up on how the students will be using the drone for events at their school. Bob worked hard to have the boys research lots of things like laws, liability issues, policies and it paid off. I’m really proud of him. Of course, Fay provided some valuable research to get things going so it was a team effort. Here is a link to the big drone they want to get. http://www.dji.com/product/phantom-3-standard

DJI Phantom 3 Drone –
Easy to Fly: An intelligent flight system automatically keeps your Phantom 3 Standard in the air and under your control.
Amazing Im
ages: Take stunning 2.7K HD videos and 12 Megapixel photos with the integrated aerial camera.
Stable Footage: DJI’s advanced gimbal stabilization technology gives you movie-quality results no matter how you fly.
Enjoy the View: A live video feed gives you a 720p HD real-time view of what your camera sees right on your mobile device.
Peace of Mind: Fly up to 25 minutes on a single charge, and the Intelligent Flight Battery will automatically remind you when power is running low.

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I continue to work with my student on her 3D printed hand but get lots of help from Bernie and Reid who know how to do lots of things I don’t know about. She is excited about coming to help as a volunteer at Roper Mt. Science Center next Saturday.