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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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
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Big Hand – 2 feet