Earlier this month I had the pleasure of attending the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in Chicago. I spent time chatting with educators from all over the country (and a handful from all over the world) and got to hear about the exciting projects classes, curriculums, programs and initiatives teachers are planning to engage their students with technology. It was a truly inspiring trip and I walked away feeling extra grateful to have had the opportunity to connect with and learn from so many incredibly talented and passionate educators. One of the most informative aspects of the conference was walking around the trade show floor. I found tons of new and exciting products for tech educators. Below are a few of my favorite finds.
Bit Space is a Chicago based makerspace designed for students to “learn to use real tools to build real things.” Bit Space aims to inspire and teach the inventors, entrepreneurs, and problem-solvers of the next generation, and is a suitable for students from elementary school through high school. The space features open hours, after school and day-off camps, and parties.
I’m sure most of you don’t happen to live in or near Chicago, but maybe you are planning to build your school a new makerspace. Bit Space also offers a consultation service for building a makerspace in your school based on the maker activities you plan to offer, your curriculum, as well as your budget.
ICONIC CNC is a plug & play fully enclosed CNC machine. This means that your students can incorporate CNC fabrication into their projects with an added level of safety but without the headache of dust management. Not only does the enclosure prevent dust from spreading into the room, it also prevents students from accessing the moving toolhead with their hands. Safety first! It features a vacuum, making it super easy to clean and re-use this machine - which is ideal for a classroom with many different users. It ships fully assembled, so it’s easy to set up or move to a new location. The ICONIC CNC has some clear advantages over a non-enclosed CNC machine - especially in a school setting.
Our EDU project sharing platform recently moved to Workbench, which, while at ISTE, I learned also hosts a whole slew of tutorials from a handful of different tech brands. This hub is an amazing resource for teachers and educators to find inspiration for projects/curriculum, as well as support for the hard to solve problems. Workbench has categorized each tutorial with a grade level and subject, making it particularly easy for you to find exactly what you are looking for.
I hope you find these tools and resources as exciting as I do. Let us know about your favorite STEM tool or resource in the comments below.