Sunday, March 17, 2013

2 Minute Moment Project -School Fundraising

2 Minute Moment - School Fundraising

In this 2 Minute Moment video Jenny talks about what it is like to participate in school fundraising activities.  Jenny has been responsible for leading our marketing and fundraising team that has raised in excess of $60,000 over the last two years for her high school robotics team.

When talking about the less compelling activities she talks about the typical bake sale type fundraiser which is typical in our school district and many others.  In our school a lot of classes try to raise funds for classroom materials or field trips.  The photos used in this section are from our government class.  They are trying to raise funds to visit the local jail.  It will cost the class $30 per student for this field trip or about $900 for the entire class of 30 to go.  During the day we photographed them selling puppy chow snack mix in the cafeteria they made $30.

Jenny explains that these fundraising activities are looked on by the students as a chance to get out of class first and a fundraising activity second.  They have become so common place that a different group is trying to sell something almost every day.  The students end up sitting at the front of the cafeteria waiting for other students to purchase what every they are selling and very little effort is put into the activity by the sellers or the purchasers.

Jenny describes her movie night activity as a compelling fundraising activity.  She says that all of the students are involved and engaged in the activity.  They spend more time planning the activity and the activity is conducted after school and involves the whole community.  The movie night she is describing is a screening of the documentary "Last Flight Home."  It is about the BentProp Project and the search for and recovery of American MIAs in the Palau Islands.  Jenny and her marketing team obtained the rights to show this documentary from the films producer Dan O'Brien.  The screenings are heavily promoted by Jenny and her team of student marketers.  They ask for a donation of $5 at the door and offer snacks for sale during the event.  At the last movie night they also held a silent auction.  Planned and conducted by the students.  On this evening they spent the same amount of time (90 minutes) as the above mentioned government class did.  The results however, were much different.  Jenny and her team raised over $3,000 in the same 90 minutes.  Not only was the activity much more engaging for the students participating in the fundraising.  It was also much more enjoyable for their customers/donors. And much more profitable too.  

The key to making it a compelling experience is getting everyone to buy in.  The students, the teacher and the community.  Too often we as teachers fall back on the old staple the "bake sale."  I'n not sure if it is worth the time.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Immaginative Bridges - 9

Immaginative Bridges - 9
Using video in the high school robotics class

I've always wanted to make videos with my students and I've tried several times prior to this semester but the results were usually poor.  It was not the students fault.  It was do mainly to poor quality equipment and my lack of ability to make the old out dated equipment work properly.  I know I needed to fix this so this fall I wrote a grant to obtain a Macbook Pro to use in editing video and I set aside some of my robotics budget to buy newer video cameras for use on land in addition to the ones we use underwater on our robots.

I've learned quite a bit while making these short videos for CEP 882 and I wanted to get my students into the act as soon as possible and before we left for Palau.  One of my goals for this year was to create a short documentary about our project.  I think that may now be possible.

We purchased the new Macbook Pro three weeks ago and my students have used it just about every day to edit videos shot in class and to make videos introducing the class to all their followers on Facebook before our Expedition to Palau.  I would like to share some of these with you here:

We have also been fortunate enough to receive two brand new "Hero3, Black Edition, Cameras" from GoPro.  GoPro donated these for our upcoming trip.  

This video was prepared by one of the members of our engineering team using a GoPro camera and the new MacBook.

This video was posted to our team's Facebook page and ended up being liked by almost 2,000 people and being shared 50 times.  

We also created team introduction videos.  We created one for the engineering team and one for the marketing team.  These videos both ended up helping us quite a bit.  We learned last week the "The Discovery Channel" would be creating a short feature presentation about our project for one of their shows called "Daily Planet."  We used these videos to introduce the producer to our students and based on these videos she was able to set up interviews for tomorrow with my students.  "The Discovery Channel" will have a film crew in Palau to video tape my students on March 26-27, 2013.  Based upon last years trip we all ready know the film company "Roll'em Productions.  Roll'em is owned by an American expatriate formerly from East Lansing, Michigan.  He spent time setting up interviews with the local media in Palau last year.

Here are the introduction videos created by my students in class:

I think that the use of video has enriched my class and helped to create are more compelling educational experience.  Through the process of creating videos my students have been given another way to express themselves and to show others what they have leaned in this class.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Tale of Two Spaces
Two Retail Hardware Stores

For this module I visited two hardware stores.  The funny thing is that at one time both of these stores were owned by the same family and had the same name, yet the experience of visiting both stores was dramatically different.  

The first hardware store is in an older store front in a small village.  From the outside it appears to be a quaint little store, freshly painted in bright, victorian colors.  The store front has large windows in the front which allows for plenty of natural lighting.  The doorway to enter the building has a freshly hand painted sign.  The side walk is wooden and worn.  It looks well used.  Upon entering the store the appearance is much different.  It is not neat and clean as the outside suggests.  It is however vary interesting.  Antiques and memorabilia from days gone by is hung high on the wall.  It makes me think that I may be able to find anything in here even repair parts for my older home.  

Next I notice the floors which are wooden and squeak with each step.  They are worn, wooden and probably original, yet dirty.  Dirt tracked in by do-it-yourselfers, carpenters, electricians and all sorts of hands on workers who could careless as long as they find that need piece of hardware.  The lighting is patched together and old.  The store was built before electricity was available in this farm town.  The large store front windows provide lots of natural lighting which is supplemented by crudely hung electric lights which seem to be an after thought.  This leaves the back areas of the store darker than the front.  What could possibly be hidden in the back?

The store is stocked with all of the fasteners, and pluming and electrical supplies that any do-it- your-selfer or farmer may need.  The isles are close together and it makes me feel as if the owners have tried to use every bit of space possible for merchandise.  

In the front of the store, on that old wood floor is a wooded table and four wooden chairs,  this is a meeting place for some of the locals and place to work.  

The second hardware store I visited was a much different experience.  Modern, and recently built, located on the edge of town on a busier road.   The entryway was different, it was not only more modern but it was steel and glass and the glass on these double doors was the only natural light in the building.

Upon entering the store I first noticed the bright fluorescent lights.  The store was clean and recently rearranged.  In front of the door was a common area for the display of seasonal items, gardening equipment, picnic tables and garden/flower seeds were the first thing I saw and it made me wish it was spring.  The new set up of the store forces customers to walk past the seasonal items, tools and nice to have items before getting to the real hardware at the back of the store.  The isles are wide and the displays are brimming with products.  This store is built for quick shopping and an easy in easy out experience.

The design of these two spaces creates two different shopping experiences.  The first is an old time hardware store that encourages the shopper to slow down, ask questions, have a seat and talk about what is going on in town. The second is built for through put.  Quick in and out shopping with easy to find products and convenient shopping.