Category Archives: Makers14

Makers Team – Day 5

Our day began with a visit from the adorable kindergarten children from Mrs. Thaxton’s class. We thanked them for praying for us and then showed them around. Each student showed them something he had been working on (lights that light up, noises, buttons, etc.). They also learned a little bit about a few tools. We let them put some wires into the breadboard, too. Then Josh & Jesse demonstrated the robot. We enjoyed the children’s enthusiasm!

The rest of the day was self-directed and the guys stayed on task quite well. Looks like we hung an Arduino board or two, but at the end of the day everybody left with a working kit. That alone is amazing! Everyone made progress. Bill completed his wood box for his music box, made up a new song on the Arduino, battery-powered it, and began creating the enclosure to house it. Jason added another row of LEDs for his cube. Jesse cut apart his strip board and moved a few steps closer on his LED project. Joseph got his Simon game soldered, snipped, and working. Vinnie put knobs on his potentiometers and finished mounting the audio jack. Josh, well, he gets the perseverance award for the day. Due to a frustrating “feature” he spent most of the day trying to figure out how to fix a hung Arduino. We were unable to revive it, but fortunately I picked up an extra Arduino the other day so he will be able to continue working on his proximity-sensor project at home.

While we enjoyed pizza for lunch, Vinnie shared a favorite verse for his devotional:
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” I Timothy 4:12
He said that even if others seem to dismiss you because of your age, don’t believe the lie that what you do isn’t valuable and important. Youth can make a huge difference. Youth can accomplish important tasks. What youth do matters. However, it’s important to remember that this will only happen if good choices are made concerning speech, conduct, and how others are treated. He challenged the students to be an example that others could follow.  It made me think about how all those little 5-year olds were looking up to these guys and who knows what kind of impact they could be on these precious little ones.

Everyone’s favorite part of the day was cleaning up the lab – well, not really – but I’m pleased to say that everyone had a good attitude and our goal was to make it cleaner and nicer than when we arrived. I think Mr. Carr will be pleasantly surprised when he comes back to school!

In closing, I had such a blast this week watching these young men grow and learn. Watching them struggle and succeed. Watching them encourage each other and serve other people. Watching them grow in self-discipline and self-confidence. What a blessing to be a part of this rich experience!

Barb Fox
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Makers Team – Day 4

Jesse began the morning with a devotion from Isaiah 43:19. God declares “I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” God makes new things that are beneficial and helpful to people…and this reminded Jesse of what we’re doing this week. He said this is what we can do, too. We can make new things that can benefit other people – another way that we reflect God’s glory. Even though we are tinkering this week and our projects may not directly benefit other people, by exploring electronics and using tools, we can be better prepared in the future to design useful inventions that can be used to help people.

A little later in the morning we walked back over to Kennworth Park and began our painting. The guys decided what color to paint each of the raised beds and the garden is now more welcoming with bright colors. We came home with souvenirs of red, blue, green, and purple decorations on our skin and clothes. After we finished, Cobb County surprised us by giving each of us a t-shirt to thank us for buying the paint and doing all the work. They will plant more plants in the beds in April to attract butterflies and other pollinators and the bright colors on the raised beds will help.

Bill, Jesse, and Vinnie sketched plans to decorate the center planter, but the base coat of paint was not dry and we did not have any detail brushes so we could not do the decorative painting today. They asked if we could finish it up another day after school. This is so exciting to see young men who want to finish the task they began and volunteer, even though most of them have already earned all their necessary community service. It demonstrates their servants’ hearts and the understanding of what it means to be a Christ-follower. We are tentatively planning on the Tuesday after we return to school.

We ate our lunch on the Kennworth playground. The guys noted that young children love playgrounds, and then they are not that cool for a few years, but at about age 15 they become interesting again. They sure seemed to have fun today! After we walked back to school, we spent the rest of the “making”. I noticed many improved their soldering skills significantly from yesterday!

Tomorrow morning we are hosting our partner class – Mrs. Haxton’s kindergartners. They will come visit the lab and the Makers will show them what we’ve been working on this week. We are all looking forward to it!

Barb Fox
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Makers Team – Day 3

Day 3 began in the UpperLab as Joseph Worrall led us in a morning devotional. He reminded us of how important it is to give our all. Whatever we’re doing, God calls us to engage fully, not give a half-hearted effort. He mentioned how at the end of race if you’ve run your hardest and given your all, there is sense of accomplishment and euphoria knowing that you did your best. It’s true in other areas of life as well. The work is sometimes hard, but it’s important to persevere to the end. He encouraged us to try out best whether it’s studying for a test, or trying to create new Arduino circuits, or participating in an athletic event, or pulling out stubborn privet like we did yesterday.

Next we headed to the Robotics Lab for our guest speaker. Mr. Mike Fox came in and demonstrated how to safely use the power tools and hand tools in the lab and let the guys practice on the scroll saw, the drill press, the drill, the PVC cutter, and the soldering iron. Then the “making” began. Mrs. Fox distributed the electronic items she bought from the list the students had made. All students began working on different activities according to their own interests. By the end of the day, Vinnie had created a box and soldered several potentiometers to it. Bill had his Arduino playing a song using his Piezo Buzzer/Speaker. Jess and Jason were working on projects involving many LEDs. Joseph was working through the various components in the Spark Inventor Kit and implemented circuits to control them. I didn’t see them all, but I think they involved a servo, temperature sensor, photo resister, soft potentiometer, and spinning a motor. Josh worked diligently on trying to get two motors to work that respond to an input and made some significant progress.

We took a morning break to play ping pong, cards and wii, then enjoyed Chinese food for lunch and snacked throughout the day. Food is important to teen boys! During our afternoon break, half of the students stayed in the lab because they were so interested in what they were working on. Quite a few students did some soldering today and it was wonderful to watch them helping each other. We talked about Spring Term Teams, and it is a privilege and honor to see the teamwork displayed in this group!

Barb Fox

Makers Team – Day 2

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After our morning devotional, we learned a little more about programming. Then we packed up and walked to Kennworth Park’s Senior Citizen Center, where the seniors greeted us warmly. One of the ladies took the time to tell us how happy it made her to see teenagers who were willing to give of their time and energy to help out others. Then all the Seniors showed their appreciation with applause.

We then headed outside for our work. First, we weeded the Seniors Herb Garden. We also spent a couple hours removing invasive privet from around the Herb Garden area using the “Privet Puller” as it was affectionately called. We also pressure washed the raised flower beds in preparation for painting them when we return on Thursday. When our “spring cleaning” was done, we headed to the pavillion and had our lunch.

After walking back to NCCS, everyone put together a supply list of parts they want to use on their own projects. Mrs. Fox will go shopping this evening and see how many of the parts she can locate!
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Makers Team – Day 1

Jason Davis led the way with an opening devotional on Colossians 3, one of his favorite passages. He reminded us that as Christ-followers we are to put away all our old worldly ways that are self-centered –like anger, malice, greed, and immorality. Instead the “new self”  is to be clothed with “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. “ He reminded us that we can leave the past behind us and that God has made us a new creation.

There was a little nervousness about connecting up the first circuit – would we destroy the Arduino’s? blow up the LED’s? So what is the worst thing that could happen? They decided to take the pressure off with a little humor as they decided the motto for the day would be “If at first you don’t succeed – you fail”…and made sure everyone knew there would probably be many “failures” for each “success”.

And then, with a great attitude, we jumped in and learned a little about electricity and schematics and such. As the day continued, we had a lot of “failures” and found out they weren’t all that bad. All students successfully created numerous circuits that controlled lights by push button switches. As they helped each other out and persevered when things went amiss, it was a blessing to watch Jason’s devotional come to life, as the students put on kindness, humility, and patience.

We took a mid-morning break in the Pavilion to shoot some hoops, enjoyed a Chick-Fil-A lunch, played some games in the Student Life Center, and visited the Robotics Lab in the afternoon. We are looking forward to beginning our service project tomorrow morning at the Senior Center of Kennworth Park.

Mrs. Barb Fox
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