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» Projects of the Month: September 2014
» Cemetech At World Maker Faire 2014 Recap
» World Maker Faire 2014 Starts Today
» Beyond Graphing: Teach Students Programming with Calculators
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Projects of the Month: September 2014
Published by tifreak8x on September 30, 2014 at 8:52:46 PM CST | Discuss this article (7)
Hello again, Cemetechians! This past month we've had quite the list of projects being worked on, started, and finished! (Maybe not in that exact order...). As always, we encourage you to take a look at these projects that their authors put time and effort into, and let them know what you think about their progress.
Until next month, keep them keys tapping and get that code written, and make sure you post plenty of updates so we can see the amazing things you are working on!
Cemetech At World Maker Faire 2014 Recap
Published by KermMartian on September 23, 2014 at 6:19:16 PM CST | Discuss this article (18)
September 20 and 21, 2014, Cemetech made its third trek to World Maker Faire in New York City to show off Learn Hacking and Coding with Graphing Calculators. As in 2012 and 2013, the focus of our booth this year was to spread the word about graphing calculators as a tool for learning programming and electronics, or "hacking". We showed off the different things you could make graphing calculators do, from networking, to connecting to the internet, to playing music, to running educational programs and games. We also showcased resources for learning to use calculators for math and science as well as for programming. Our displays (click any photo for the full size), from left: the east side of the tent, with networking, internet-connected calculators, and books; calculators networked together; internet-connected calculators; interactive calculators with math and science programs and games; calculators playing music with speakers and a floppy drive.
This year, we had our largest crew of participating Cemetech staff and members yet. I (Christopher Mitchell) was joined once again by Cemetech administrator Thomas Dickerson, Cemetech member Alec Szigeti, and Cemetech and Omnimaga administrator Tim Keller. Cemetech member and Omnimaga owner Nathaniel van Diepen trekked down from Canada to join us in showing off our work as well, bringing along his wooden TI-82 created by Caleb Hansberry as well. We gave out over eight hundred bookmarks with Cemetech's URL and an invitation to join us for calculator, computer, and DIY hardware hacking and programming. We chatted with thousands of people of all ages, some new to calculator hacking, some old veterans with great stories of the early hobbyist community. We found that the students, parents, engineers, and teachers visiting our booth were even more tech-savvy than in previous years, and many were receptive to the arguments for graphing calculators as a platform for teaching programming. Among the interactions that particularly stand out in our minds:
We were thrilled to win two Editor's Choice awards from Maker Faire for our efforts, joining two Educator's Choice awards and one Editor's Choice award that we earned in the preceding two years. We look forward to continuing to spread our message about teaching programming with graphing calculators and to working directly with teachers, parents, and enthusiastic students alike. Special thanks to Tim Keller for spending time, money, and effort to make us very professional-looking displays, and to the whole Cemetech team who helped out this weekend. Thank you also to Peter Balyta and Gayle Mujica for their personal enthusiasm on Twitter and LinkedIn about our participation in the Faire. You can check out our full album of photos from Maker Faire 2014 and an informal video showing our displays.
World Maker Faire 2014 Starts Today
Published by KermMartian on September 20, 2014 at 9:02:07 AM CST | Discuss this article (19)
Cemetech is participating in its third World Maker Faire this weekend in New York City. Five Cemetech staff members and users will be showing off graphing calculators as programming tools, DIY electronics platforms, and pocket computers that can be made to run a staggering array of applications. In previous years, we have spoken with teachers interested in teaching calculator programming in the classroom, students who learned to program playing with TI-BASIC on their calculators, and old-school hackers impressed with the versatility of z80- and ARM-based TI calculators. We hope to bring you excellent stories and many more excited programmers by the end of the weekend.
World Maker Faire 2014 is being held at the Hall of Science in Flushing Meadow Park, Queens, New York. It is open this Saturday and Sunday from 10am. You can find us in the middle of the Faire, near the Disney tent and the rockets. Come say hello if you visit the Faire!
Beyond Graphing: Teach Students Programming with Calculators
Published by KermMartian on September 12, 2014 at 5:57:05 PM CST | Discuss this article (1)
[Editorial] Beyond Graphing: TI Calculators Teach Students Valuable Computer Programming Skills
If you've spent any amount of time here at Cemetech, you've probably heard me on my soapbox for the importance of introducing students to coding, programming, and electronics as early as possible. Among the general public, the growing interest in learning to code has been particularly focused on job and career opportunities. It is easy to understand why: the number of jobs for programmers and computer scientists is rapidly increasing, with demand far outpacing supply.
But there are broader reasons for learning to code. By learning to code, people learn many other valuable life skills. In addition to learning mathematical and computational ideas, they also learn strategies for logical reasoning, solving problems and sharing ideas. I know from personal experience that graphing calculators, especially TI calculators, are a powerful tool to expose students to the exciting world of computer programming. From the moment you turn on a graphing calculator, students have all the tools at their fingertips to learn, write, test and debug programs. Not to mention, they can share their masterpieces with their friends to spark rich discussion about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
Most frequently, we introduce students to programming with the TI-84 Plus Silver Edition or TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition graphing calculators, and it's also possible to learn with the TI-Nspire CX. Here's why TI graphing calculators are a valuable teaching tool for introducing students to the basics of programming:
Every Cemetech staff member now knows many programming languages, as most of us are professional computer scientists or electrical engineers or are in graduate school. Without graphing calculators, though, most of us would not have been exposed to programming as an exciting learning platform, hobby or career path. Almost invariably, my colleagues tell me their careers and interests were born on a TI graphing calculator in a high school classroom. The story is often that experimenting with programming commands or exploring existing programs on a graphing calculator sparked a general curiosity in programming. As students, they challenged themselves to create bigger and more elaborate programs, then discovered the larger online graphing calculator programming community and learned even more while showing off their projects. In a recent Cemetech topic, scores of current calculator programmers and students told the same tale.
We will be demonstrating TI and other graphing calculators as a programming platform at World Maker Faire 2014 in New York City on September 20 and 21. I am excited to once again expose thousands of kids and adults to the value of learning to program on a graphing calculator. I strongly encourage you to stop by and post your tale or questions here if you have any experiences of your own with programming calculators or are curious to learn more.
Let's get more kids coding!
Programming the TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus: Learn TI-BASIC for the TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus/TI-84 Plus C Silver Edition.
Using the TI-83 Plus/TI-84 Plus: Learn to use your TI-83+/TI-84+/TI-84+CSE for math and science.
Cemetech Forum: A resource for asking programming questions, sharing projects, and more.
SourceCoder 3: Work on TI-BASIC programming projects online, import existing programs, and export programs for your calculator.
jsTIfied Calculator Emulator: Emulate a graphing calculator in your browser (requires a legal ROM image from your physical calculator).
Classroom Activities: Downloads and material from Texas Instruments.
Cemetech Archives and ticalc.org Archives: Educational programs, games, shells, and more for TI, HP, and Casio graphing calculators.
Spreading the word about graphing calculator programming at World Maker Faire 2013
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