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.

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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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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Greenville Senior Leaders Program

Had a very special day attending the orientation class for Greenville Senior Leaders, a nine month program. Met 33 other great people who I can’t wait to get to know better. The program sounds so interesting. Even excited to start some of my homework. Looking forward to sharing what I learn with my friends. Some very fun exercises to get to know each other better. Here is one for you to think of. What three words describe you? I picked for me organized, technical, networker. Here are the topics we will be studying in depth with experts from the Greenville Community.

All About Greenville
Financial Issues
Public/Private Partnerships
Medical Support
Food and Fitness
What do I do now?

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A Day at the Children’s Musum in Upstate

Bob and I spent from 10 – 4 all day Saturday at the Children’t Museum of the Upstate for their big Innoscate (skate board) event.   They figure they had about 2500 people come.

We were there showing our eNABLE hand project and also brought in volunteer Kevin Van Deusen from Computer Source to show people a variety of 3D printers.   We were very busy. We had six other volunteers from our group to help too and needed everyone.  I would say we had between 750 and 1000 parents and kids come in.

It is so fun to watch their faces because most have never seen a 3D printer and they have no idea how it could print a hand.   You can just see the understanding come into their eyes.

We made a couple good contacts for schools, including NEXT high school which is opening next week.

We did pretty well when we were there but when we got home about 5 we were exhausted and stiff from standing all day.  The photos tell it all.

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Fay and Bobs new look!

We continue to be very active in working with middle school students to tell them about printing hands with a 3D printer to give to kids who need a hand.   Check out   This international organization is only a couple years old, is in 30 countries with over 4000 volunteers.   Last year they made 700 hands.   Our volunteer group has a name – S.T.E.A.M Tech Teams and a website and we now have business cards.   We are looking for more volunteers since the Upstate is quite a large area.

Furman University outreach area asked us to be at their tent next Saturday for the iMAGINE Technology Expo in downtown Greenville so we are really excited and honored to be there.

Here are Fay and Bob in their new outfits from eNABLe holding a couple hands made at Gettys Middle School in Pickens.


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JAG, Molecular Gastronomy and Dance Spectacular

A very eclectic group of activities last week.

At the Riley Institute at Furman we heard a presentation from JAG, Judge Advocate General, Dana Chipman, a 3 star general and parent of a Furman Student.   He spoke about the challenges the army faces with the recent decision to allow women in the infantry, sexual assault issues, repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell” and the one I didn’t think about, the problems with grooming and dress codes.    In a half hour presentation he clearly explained these topics as well as answered some very interesting questions from students, Furman president and even one from Bob.    Definitely worth an hour of our time.

An OLLI Bonus class was a lecture from a Furman chemistry professor on Molecular Gastronomy.   This is a topic you foodies have to start to learn about.   I had heard of it but now understand more about what the possibilities are for really cool new taste pleasures.   It’s not so much a new food but eating a familiar food in a form it has never been before like a foam, crystal, etc.   Start checking around your town to see if there are any places who are preparing food like this.   They also are doing some interesting things to beverages so check out the high end bars.  I don’t think Greenville is there yet but will keep my eyes open.

Molecular Gastronomy: The Science of Modern Cooking
Molecular gastronomy is a discipline that seeks to predict and explain the chemicaland physical transformations that createa wonderful eating (gastronomical)experience. Practitioners in the fieldcommonly use techniques and equipment borrowed from the science lab to finelycontrol textures and combine flavorsin novel ways. Greg Springsteen, an associate professor of chemistry at Furman, will lead this hands-on seminarand will provide an overview of modern gastronomy techniques. We will also apply some contemporary scientific analyses to classical recipes. The seminar
has been designed to be accessible to anyone with a desire to learn about the
science of food.
Friday night was the annual Furman Dance Spectacular put on by the Furman women’s dance group and some other dance group from the community.  There were 14 numbers.   Beautiful ballet, clogging, east Indian performance, a fantastic young man doing hip hop, salsa couple, and of course lovely modern dance by the Furman women.   An hour that flies by.   I could definitely watch them for another hour.   One of my favorite Furman events.
On Saturday we celebrated our 39th anniversary with an elegant meal at our favorite restaurant, High Cotton.   I had rack of  lamb and Bob had shrimp and grits.   We shared a roasted beat and goat cheese salad and finished the meal with a yummy pecan torte with home made ice cream.  A quite jazz trio played in the background.   It was a perfect evening.