Monday, August 3, 2015

Tech Time Survey

Hello Parents!  Welcome back to school!

One of our research friends has composed a survey for our Tech Time families from last year.  Would you mind taking a moment to complete the survey for us?

Here is the link:

We will keep you posted on our plans for this year!

Thanks so much!
Amy Lamb

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Important Information regarding Tech Time!

We regret to inform you we will be ending our last session earlier than planned.  This current session will end next Friday, May 22.

This decision had to be made after learning a portion of our funding from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity was frozen.  We do expect funding from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science to sustain the program during the 2015/16 school year.

With the upcoming move back to Kenwood on Stratford coming up in 2 weeks, this change will allow us the time needed to get the library packed up and ready to move as soon as school ends this semester.  The Tech Time staff will also be reflecting on all that was accomplished this year with your kids and will be making plans for what's to come.

We do apologize for any inconvenience this may cause but we hope that your student has enjoyed the Tech Time Program this year!  We appreciate your support and plan to have an awesome program again next year.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Camp FAB LAB registration is now open!

Looking for a fun summer camp that incorporates technology and learning?

We have camps open to students from ages 9 and up (we also have camps open to teenagers)
The type of camps that are available range from subjects such as Minecraft, robotics, coding, digital comics, and more.

For more information, please visit our website.
The direct link to the camps is:

For any questions about camp, please email

Thank you!,

Friday, May 1, 2015


Our current session ends next week.

Permission slips are available for our last session that starts May 11!  If you haven't already picked up a slip, make sure to get one next week during pick up.  

Permission slips are due by NEXT FRIDAY, May 8.

New Parent Communication APP

Hey everyone!

We are using a new tool to communicate important alerts to our parents.  You should have received a text message or email today from Mrs. Lamb to join "Remind".

If you did not receive an email or text, it's because we don't have contact info for you.  Please make sure we have a phone number on file.

Here is the link to join Remind:

Any schedule changes will be sent out via this service.

Thank you!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sign Up For Next Session

Permission slips are available now for our final session of Tech Time!  Our next session will begin on Monday, May 11 and will run until school gets out for summer.

Reminder--our current session will conclude next Friday.  If your child has been attending, they are already signed up for next week.

Tech Time Family Night Flyer

Monday, April 27, 2015

Attention Parents!

Next Thursday, May 7, from 5:30 to 6:30, we will have a Tech Time Family Night!  

Your Super Heroes have been hard at work!

Come visit us to see what we've been up to at Tech Time each week.  Our theme for the evening is "Super Heroes"!  We will have stations for parents to check out several projects we've been working on.  And, your kids have the chance to teach YOU how to work on the following:

*  Scratch
*  Minecraft
*  PBS Kids
*  Lego Mindstorms

We will have snacks prepared and plenty of Chromebooks for our parents to participate.

Please watch for a flier to come home this week!  All Kenwood and IPA Tech Time Families are welcome to come.  We hope you can join us!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Hardware Friday

Technology comes in all shapes, sizes and forms.  Today, we had a visit from Miss Tammy from Collision Car Care Center.  She was here to teach us about how to check the oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze and wiper fluid in a car.  The kids took turns checking the gauges while Miss Tammy talked to us about the different jobs they do.  As with any piece of equipment, all parts have to be maintained to ensure it works well.  These kiddos may ask you if they can change your oil on your car today.  

Michael and his mom, Miss Tammy, just explained what to look for to make sure you have enough oil in your car.

Michael is showing the boys where the oil dipstick is located.

Ted just got done checking the oil level.

On Thursday, at Girls Lead, we decided to go to school.

The girls have been discussing different things they'd like to learn about and offered up many ideas for topics they could teach.  Once they decided on the topics, they led a discussion on what is involved in teaching!  Questions came up, such as:
"What materials would we need to teach this?"
"What audience will I be teaching?"
"Do people want to learn about this?"
"How long will this lesson take?  Five minutes?  Fifteen minutes?"

They determined we would need two sessions for our school.  Here are the topics they chose:

1.  How to make paper snowflakes,
2.  How to make "Goo",
3,  How to create an "Animal Jam" account,
4.  How to apply makeup.

We are looking forward to see our girls in action as they take us all to school!

The girls are exploring Animal Jam
Chloe and Charlotte are preparing to make their snowflakes.
Here, they are showing eachother how to make their account and what they can do on the site.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Hardware Friday: LEGO Robotics

Today, we used our LEGO robots from previous workshops and experimented with the different sensors in the kits.  One student shot a whole bunch of video which we need to edit before posting, but I still got a couple of good stills I can share today.  Special thanks once again to MechSE for loaning us the LEGO kits!

This robot is equipped with a microphone for sound detection (on its left side), a
laser for ground detection (at front center), and an ultrasonic sensor for sonar vision.
Some of the students started a "Battle Bots" club and outfitted
their robots with various weapon and armor attachments.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Girls Lead Thursday: Fixing a Flat

Today, Liz, Jake, and Dan from The Bike Project of Urbana-Champaign brought a bunch of bikes and gear so that we could all learn how to repair flat bicycle tires.  We had a great turnout and many requests for a repeat, so stay tuned in the fourth quarter when the weather gets nicer!  I got a bunch of great photos and some really good video while Ms. Larson ran the show and some new volunteers helped out.  The video needs some editing, but the photos are ready to go.  Plenty more below the cut.  Many thanks once again to James and The Bike Project for all their support!

 Students broke into groups to repair flat tires.
 A couple students brought in their own
bikes.  These sisters work on one of them.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Scratch Tuesday: Passion Projects

Today, we began working on our projects for April's Family Night.  There's only a week and a half in March before intersession, then we're back and it's April.  My, how the time flies!

One student actually finished working on a project he had been polishing for some time.  Take a look:

Monday, February 16, 2015

Hardware Friday: LEGO Robotics

Today we started doing the robotics part of the LEGO Mindstorms/NXT kits.  We built the basic chassis on which other designs will be based in future workshops.  A few students took turns shooting video.  We've got a lot of material to sort through, but here's a quick clip:

Girls Lead Thursday: Open Textile Lab

Today we had an open textile workshop, with friendship bracelets and crochet being the main activities.  Here are some photos (more below the cut):

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Scratch Tuesday: Design

Today we did bottom-up design for our Scratch workshops, doing much the same work as we did last Thursday.  Lots of great design today, and we finished our bottom-up design document for our production cycle board (more on that later!).  Stay tuned as we keep working on these projects for our upcoming Family Night!

These students are hard at work turning their designs into (virtual) reality.

This student shows his dad what he's been working on.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Hardware Friday: LEGO Building

We kicked off our month of LEGO workshops with an afternoon of free building.  We had twenty kits, one for each student - stacked up on the cart, they barely fit through the door!  Special thanks to Joe Muskin at MechSE for letting us borrow them!

I got a bit wrapped up in all the activity and didn't have time to take pictures.  However, I did manage to get a couple shots of one student's work while we were cleaning up:

Check it out in motion, below the cut:

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Girls Lead Thursday: Design

Today we started designing our projects for the April Family Night (date coming soon!).  Rather than take the usual top-down approach (where you decide what your project will be first, and then decompose it into manageable chunks from there), we decided to take the bottom-up approach (where you start with what you know how to do, and think of cool projects you can make with those building blocks).  The students seemed to have a much better time taking it from this direction!  Here is a stellar example of a third grade student's ability to plan ahead when working bottom-up instead of top-down:

Click through the cut for some photos of students hard at work on their projects!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Scratch Tuesday: Brainstorms

January's Scratch Tuesdays were spent refamiliarizing ourselves with the basics of socializing, researching, and debugging on Scratch.  Today, we discussed the "Theatre Metaphor," the central idea around which Scratch is designed:

In Scratch, actors called "sprites" wear costumes
and perform their scripts on the stage.  Source

We then brainstormed ideas together for what we could put on a stage, with a mind to our upcoming Family Night in April.  Here are some of the results!  (More below the cut!)

One student designed an animated Valentine's Day card, and saw it through to completion
right there in the workshop.  Here is his project (make sure your sound is on):

Click the green flag to begin!

Monday, February 2, 2015

K/1 Monday: Scratch, Jr.

After working on for the month of January, our K/1 students tackled Scratch, Jr. today (click those links to find out more).  Special thanks to the International Preparatory Academy for letting us use their iPads for the workshop!  Here are some photos from today's Tech Time:
One student shows her mom what she's been learning.
More below the cut!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Girls Lead Photography Show and Tell - 1/15

After learning a quick overview of photography basics - focal points, scanning the background, and the rule of thirds - we went out into the world to be photographers for an afternoon. Here were each groups' favorite photos from the day.

 Tech Time Photography Photo Album (1/15)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Week of January 12th

Next Week
  • Monday, January 19th: NO SCHOOL in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Tuesday, January 20th: Scratch Passion Projects
  • Thursday, January 22nd: Scratch Day @ Girls Lead
  • Friday, January 23rd: Take Apart Laptops
New at Tech Time
  • Open Lab Time, 4:15-4:30 - We will be ending with open lab where you can do absolutely anything you choose to explore. This is a great time to explore games you are considering remixing, look around a studio that interests you, or draw a sketch of an idea.
  • Monday K/1 Day - Let us know if you want to be a helper on K/1 Mondays. We are looking for mature 3rd, 4th and 5th graders to assist Kindergarten and first grade students.
  • Raspberry Pi Club, Every Thursday - Explore the world of computer programming using mini computers called Raspberry Pis. RPi Club will work with computer scientist, Adriana O’Brien to learn about morse code, stop motion videos, and other things you can do with these tools. Learn more by watching this video:

Setting up your Raspberry Pi from Raspberry Pi Foundation on Vimeo.