Chapter 7

Buy the bookResources mentioned in Chapter 7 of Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom

MicroWorlds and MicroWorlds EX – Modern multimedia versions of the Logo programming language, with robotics control with an optional robotics version from Logo Computer Systems International (LCSI)
Scratch – Free programming language for simple storytelling and games. Graphic interface. Materials and videos for educators and classrooms.
WeDo programming and Scratch – Scratch also may be used to program LEGO’s early childhood robotics set called WeDo. Plug the WeDo into your computer, boot Scratch and new blocks appear for robotics control.
ScratchED web site – For educators who teach with Scratch
S4A (Scratch for Arduino) – A block-based version of Scratch intended for programming and controlling an Arduino microcontroller
Snap! – Scratch with first-class objects added to make more complex programming projects possible
StarLogo – Cross-platform massively parallel version of Logo intended for complex systems modeling, simulations, and problem solving
StarLogo TNG – StarLogoTNG (The Next Generation) builds on StarLogo and features elements for the creation of games, 3D graphics, and virtual worlds
NetLogo – NetLogo focuses on mathematical explorations and scientific simulations that may be run on computers across the globe.
Turtle Art – A simple yet elegant variation of Logo with an iconic interface intended to create beautiful images
Processing – A powerful graphic programming language. Be sure to explore both the “learning” and “reference” tabs
Learning Processing – Excellent guide to learning Processing by Daniel Shiffman
BASIC-256 – Free, easy to use BASIC designed to teach programming. (Windows)
Small BASIC – Microsoft-supported free BASIC and tutorials. (Windows)
Python – (Mac, Windows & Linux) Download, share code, and learn about the Python programming language
Introduction to Python – Free e-book by Mark Clarkson
Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python – (Free e-book or book) by Al Sweigart
Squeak – Squeak is the vehicle for a wide range of projects including multimedia applications, educational platforms, and commercial web application development. Scratch itself was created in Squeak.
Etoys – Created in Squeak, the Etoys software provides microworlds for kids to explore powerful mathematical and scientific concepts
Flash – Flash is often used to create graphics and animations for websites, and has a programming language that can be used to control the animations and make games. Suitable mostly for high school students.
AgentSheets – AgentSheets is part of the Scalable Game Design project to teach young people around the world about computer science and science. AgentCubes is a recently released 3D version
LiveCode – A “Hypercard on steroids” cross platform development engine.
Game Salad Creator – Drag and drop game creation tool
MIT App Inventor – Create apps and games for Android devices with this software. Code samples, tutorials, and extensive educator resources are on the MIT website.
Game Maker – Commercial product used in many schools (mostly high schools) to teach programming through game design. It does have a free version that is usable, although the full versions are very reasonable. The website offers ma.
Gamestar Mechanic – Another commercial product designed to teach game development. It offers education pricing, lessons, tutorials, and an educator community.
Kodu – A visual programming tool made for creating Xbox games. The programming environment runs on the Xbox and uses a game controller for input.
Lilypad Arduino – A special Arduino board for projects using textiles and wearable electronics.
Arduino Wearables – by Tony Olsson. This book is a project-based introduction to wearable computing, prototyping, and smart materials using the Arduino platform. Each of the ten chapters takes you all the way from idea to finished project, gradually increasing in complexity and challenge.
Getting hands-on with soft circuits – An e-textile workshop facilitators guide by Emily Lovell (e-book)
Fashioning Technology – Syuzi Pakhchyan is an experience designer whose work investigates the intersection between code, cloth and culture. If you like the blog, you might also like her book.
Soft Circuit Saturdays – Tutorials and project ideas very suitable for kids from Angela, a maker in New England.
talk2myShirt – News, blogs, and projects using wearable electronics. Some of the projects are very technical, but well worth looking at for inspiration.
How To Get What You Want – This website collects projects, global workshops and events, references, tutorials, and more for wearable technology and soft circuits. It has a unique section on techniques that aren’t finished projects, but might spark ideas.
Arduino website – Open source electronics prototyping platform and robotics controller for interactive projects.
Make Magazine Arduino – Videos, project ideas, how-tos, kits, parts, and blog posts about what people are doing around the world with the Arduino.
Raspberry Pi Foundation – Main website for all things Raspberry Pi
Make Magazine Raspberry Pi – Many projects, ideas, and resources for using the Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi Quick Start Guide – Even if you are an “I don’t read instructions” kind of person, you should at least look at this 3 page illustrated quick start guide for the Raspberry Pi.
Raspberry Pi Education Manual – Written by a team of UK teachers from Computing at School (CAS) available at the Pi Store or as a PDF.
Instructables Arduino Projects – Offers a number of Arduino projects at varying levels of complexity.
HacknMod Arduino Projects (gone) – HacknMod specializes in projects that “mod” (modify) one kind of thing into another. For example, projects that mod an Xbox Kinect into a virtual piano or motion sensing interface.

Gadget Hacks – How to hack gadgets and phones – caution – not always suitable for youngsters.
GoGo Board – Open source hardware platform for programmable projects using sensors and robotics. Works with MicroWorlds and Scratch.
Thingiverse – Thingiverse is a place to search for or share digital designs with the world for laser cutters, CNC machines, 3D printers, and even automated paper cutters. The site is hosted by 3D printer manufacturer MakerBot.
Laser cutters – Although we do not directly address laser cutters in this book, they can be a part of a school makerspace. Adafruit has a terrific tutorial and buyers guide for those thinking about laser cutters
It Will Be Awesome if They Don’t Screw it Up: 3D Printing, Intellectual Property, and the Fight Over the Next Great Disruptive Technology – By Michael Weinberg.
The next Napster? Copyright questions as 3D printing comes of age – by Peter Hanna
3D Printing Settlers of Catan is Probably Not Illegal: Is This a Problem? – By Michael Weinberg
(UK) The Intellectual Property Implications of Low-Cost 3D Printing – By Simon Bradshaw, A. Bowyer and P. Haufe
FabLab@School – A Stanford Education School project supporting school-based FabLabs around the world
LEGO WeDo – An early-childhood robotics construction kit that may be controlled via Scratch.
LEGO Education – Main LEGO website for education products and resources.
LEGO Mindstorms NXT – Robotics construction kits for middle school/high school students
Enchanting – Alternative programming language for LEGO NXT
FIRST LEGO League – Worldwide robotics competitions for youth ages 9-16
Botball – A team-oriented robotics competition that focuses on reusable components and autonomous programs (no remote controls,) that encourages creativity and programming.
Go Pro Cameras – Go Pro Camera – Go Pro has a line of small, sturdy cameras built to strap onto helmets of extreme sports enthusiasts. This also makes them perfect for school projects where you want to put a camera on a robot or a weather balloon. The HERO3 is the latest and most affordable option – accessories are available separately or in more expensive bundles.
Creative Commons – Creative Commons (CC) licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work with conditions of your choice.
SketchUp – A free, easy to use 3D modeling program There is an online warehouse of models to download or contribute to.
Autodesk’s 123D – Free 3D modeling program, available both browser-based and as a downloadable app. Options include creating paper sliced or folded creations.
Shapesmith – Free, open-source, browser-based 3D modeler.
3DTin – Free use 3D modeling program, charges for storage. Browser-based (WebGL enabled browser required).
ReplicatorG – Open source CAM program
The Edutech Wiki – 3D printer guide for educators
Instructables Introduction to 3D printing – Simple introduction to 3D printing with many photographs
Make Magazine (Winter 2013) – 3D Printer Buyer’s Guide – Extensive product comparisons and recommendations for printers of various types and price ranges.
Make Magazine 3D Printer Comparison Rubric – Make Magazine offers a rubric of over 60 questions used in their Winter 2013 printer roundup.
Shapeways – Upload a design and it will be printed and delivered to you. Also offers a community and marketplace to sell your own designs.
Ponoko – Create your own design or modify someone else’s with an easy to use “Personal Factory.” Your object will be delivered to you in plastic, wood, metal, ceramics, acrylic, or other materials.
Sculpteo – Print your 3D object in a variety of materials. Browse designer collections or open a 3D object store. Offers plugins for SketchUp and Blender.
Maya – Maya is a professional 3D modeling program that can be used to create 3D files for printing. It has a steep learning curve but is very powerful. AutoDesk (the publisher) offers a free 3 year student license if models are not sold commercially.
Blender – Blender is a widely used 3D creation tool, free to use for any purpose and supported by a worldwide developer and user community. Blender has a high learning curve but may interest students who are fans of 3D animation or video games.
Programming Arduino: Getting Started with Sketches – By Simon Monk. Clear, easy-to-follow downloadable examples show you how to program Arduino in C. This is a must have book for learning to use the Arduino.
Getting Started with Arduino – A handy little guide to getting started on Arduino by Massimo Banzi
Make Magazine Arduino – Videos, project ideas, how-tos, kits, parts, and blog posts about what people are doing around the world with the Arduino.
Super Awesome Sylvia’s Simple Arduino Projects – Fun video tutorials for two simple Arduino projects
Modkit – An iconic programming environment for controlling Arduino, Lilypad, and a number of other popular microcontrollers
MaKey MaKey – An “invention kit for everyone,” MaKey MaKey should be a part of any tinkering classroom. MaKey MaKey creates a simple alligator-clip-based interface between the computer and everyday objects. It plugs into the USB port of any computer, even a Raspberry Pi, and turns household objects into a keyboard or joystick.
Drawdio – Allows you to turn a pencil into a simple music synthesizer. You can play music while you write! Build your own or buy a kit.
Minty Boost – A small kit that lets you create a battery-powered cellphone charger that fits inside a tiny gum tin. The kit doesn’t come with the tins, so you might wish to purchase those too.
TV B Gone – A tiny contraption that turns off (or back on) any television in your vicinity. This has serious mischief potential and can make your colleagues want to kill you, but kids love it and learn a bit about electronics too (before being chased from the mall.)
Code.org – Code.org is a non-profit foundation dedicated to growing computer programming education.