December was a challenging time at Mira Costa. We were closed on two different days and sheltered in place for an hour a third day, all due to bomb threats. I can’t pretend I wasn’t ready to have some time off for Winter Break. I believe we all were. Nevertheless, the library was busy with student and class visits our last three school weeks of 2015. Here are a few highlights.
Class Visits and Projects
Along with a number of other class visits, Mr. Zeoli’s Freshman English class spent several days in the library for a mythology project in which we helped the students learn about good sources, bibliography and note-taking with Easybib, and finding and crediting copyright-friendly images for their slideshows. They also learned about Twitter as a learning tool, as they set up accounts for their gods and heroes and tweeted in the role of each god or hero. Here’s a link to the site for their project, which was also used by Ms. Clarke’s students earlier in the fall. Students will be finishing the Twitter portion of their assignment after the break.
Mr. Brown’s English Language Learners class visited to “speed date” biographies. We planned three rounds of visiting tables with different categories of biographies to sample. Every student in the class selected a book by the end of the second round!
The two 3D printers were busy all month printing cookie cutters inspired by our December challenge and other student projects. Ms. Arazi’s DHH class took up the challenge in their classroom as a group, and sent us a cookie cutter to be printed. While the design was lovely, it was too complex to print well on the printer. The class came to visit and we talked about how the printer works, then some of the students made new designs. Here’s a photo of the original design they drew and of the cookie cutter made from it:
Here’s a photo of us watching the printer in action and discussing how it works:
And, here is one of the students’ new designs:
We are learning that mastering 3D design and printing is an iterative process. We often need to tweak both designs and printer settings a number of times to make things work. Perhaps perseverance will prove to be one of the most important skills learned by all of us making use of our printers. Malik, one of our students, has been working on a stand he designed for his iPhone. He has tweaked the design a number of times to get it small enough to print on our printers, to make the printing time more efficient, and to ensure adequate support for the portion that doesn’t lie flat at the bottom. The Thursday morning before the break, we loaded his design, which the Cura software told us would take 8 hours, and let it run all day:
It was going really well before we left at 3pm:
Unfortunately, something went wrong after we left. This is what I found in the morning:
Malik plans to keep working on the design, and I am confident we will get it to work. Here he is with a smile and the completed portion:
If you haven’t seen a 3D printer in action, you need to come by to watch it running. It’s fascinating to watch each layer being laid. This film will give you an idea, in – at 10x the actual speed – of the process:
Hour of Code
The library served as one of the sites for Mira Costa’s Hour of Code on December 9 during morning and afternoon office hours, coordinated by Mr. Braskin’s computer science class students. Ever computer was taken in both the morning and afternoon, and we were standing room only in the morning.
The library is also always standing room only during Office Hours!
Alexander Street Video Streaming
We were very fortunate in December to add Alexander Street Publishing’s Academic Video Online Premium video streaming for both teacher and student use. It offers an amazing selection of over 48,000 titles from producers such as 60 Minutes, PBS, BBC, NBC, and many more, spanning every discipline. Here is an overview of the collection. Here is the login portal link. Check with me by email or at the library for login information.