Why Do We Change Our Offerings So Frequently?

Why Do We Change Our Offering So Often?

We believe in the power of play as a basis for learning.
Our schedule and activities are responsive to you, your child, and to our Makers.
What interests you interests us.  This includes everyone around us, including our Makers.  Everyone who walks into our space has the potential to change how we play.  We embrace your learning needs.

We’re all playing, and being energized to learn through play.

Our Play is Evolutionary

If play as a learning motivator is working, our play will grow in positive directions, morph and change.  While one might be tempted to seek out the perfected curriculum… and we certainly have some who have perfected their curriculum, we believe in the power of accepting and being part of change as we evolve.

Ozobot Bit (and Evo)

I’m working through an evaluation of the Ozobot Bit and the Ozobot Evo. I’ve had these for some time (since 2016) and I’ve tried to start some Ozobot themed races. The information on the Ozobot Bit and the Ozobot Evo is all online, and I don’t feel that there is a central place that a text-based learner can go to find the information. What I’m going to spend some time on is a navigation around the Ozobot Bit, then the Ozobot Evo, admittedly with some repetition.

So we start with the Ozobot Bit.

If I recall correctly, first there was the Ozobot Bit 1.0 then there was the Ozobot Bit 2.0 then there was the Evo.

The Ozobot Bit provides some great, core capabilities, and has a lower price point than the Ozobot Evo.

REVIEW: OZOBOT BIT 2.0

Instant Engagement for All Ages
Turn the Ozobot Bit on, calibrate it, and set it on a line of any color. If the line is wide enough (just about 1/4″ I’d say) the Bit will start moving on the line, and its LEDs will glow in the color of the line that it is following. Kinders can ooh and aah over it.

Color Based Programming Language
What the Ozobot introduces that I haven’t seen elsewhere is a color based language. Communication in pictures, shapes, sounds, written symbols, have been around for a long time, but I don’t think I’d heard of a color-sequence based language before. I suppose some IQ test may have included pictures of color sequences and sample “what next” multiple-choice questions.

Color sequences that represent instructions such as “timer”, “go fast”, “tornado” are pre-programmed in 2-4 colors. Blue, red, green and black.

Note: Variations in color instructions. I have seen conflicting instructions for the color sequences, but I think this may have been due to a change from the early instruction set.  I will test the instruction set at this location and record the behaviors in a video in this post.

Ozobot Codes
Action Code Sequence
U-turn in line Blue Red Blue
U-turn at end of line (doesn’t always work, sometimes the Ozobot stops) Blue Red

Kano Pixel Kit: My Christmas Toy Favorites 2017






I had the opportunity to spend some time with toys this year when Makersville Makers, young and old volunteered to help out at the Long Beach Mini Maker Faire at Barnes and Noble.  Many thanks to all the volunteers who showed up to test the cool toys on display that weekend in early November.

If you are unfamiliar with the Maker Movement, it was created through the support of the Make: magazine and the Maker Media group and produces Maker Faires around the world.  The basic premise is that everyone who makes something is a maker.  Everyone makes something so everyone is a maker.  Stick around on this blog, and I’ll be sure to share more with you!

Lucky me, I got to borrow a number of the products from the store, notably the Kano Pixel Kit.
 

Two thumbs up! Three if I had them.  Here’s what I liked.  I’m including experiential videos and a link to the Kano products on Amazon.  Please support us through purchases made on our links.

Great Interface Design – The software implements a number of lessons, each one building upon the other and providing access to another bit of the coding language.  You are guided by a little dot that makes a delicate sound to capture your attention if you haven’t followed it.  It reminds me of Tinkerbell.  In fact, now that I think about it, it is probably Tinkerbell – inspired.

Plug and Play – There’s no fiddling around with either the software, or the hardware.  It just works!

Just want to Tinker? – You can bypass the lessons anytime!

Immediate Feedback – There’s no long coding followed by debugging then finally leading to testing.  Code a couple of lines.  Test.

Lots of Ways to Play – You can vary the colors, the brightness, make a monochromatic picture, or create a scrolling text or imagery.

A Community to Plug Into – Share what you make with others through their linked kit.

Cons?  Only one.  The kit is 8 x 16 pixels.  Wish there could at least have been 16×16.  Then it would be like a Minecraft base grid.

Compatibility.  As with any tech toy, compatibility with your existing equipment is key.  I have a windows laptop, and it works on Windows and iOS.

 

 

Trish Tsoiasue is a Maker and, together with Morio Murase and Caprice Rothe (Hands of E.T.) started a community called Makersville, a BSA Career Exploring Club called Club Ten (Unit 1010) and a BSA Career Exploring Post called High Values (Unit 1111).  She has come to the conclusion that she makes social systems (communities) and sometimes she makes and finishes physical things.  She is the LUG Ambassador for the Long Beach LEGO User Group, a Recognized LUG.  Once she played a game called the Community Lemonade Game.  She also blogs on the Belmont Shore Patch, and she has several YouTube channels, her main channel being Squigglemom.

Trinidad Christmas: Making Pastelles






Pastelles are a favorite at Christmas time in Trinidad.  Here in the U.S. we can have everything most of the time.  Cosplay is not just for Halloween.  Apples are for every day.  In Trinidad, apples were few and far between.  At Christmas time we were permitted one apple.  They were scarce and cherished.

Also cherished were pastelles.  I just spent a week understanding why they are so cherished.  It’s simple.  They take an incredible amount of time to make!

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I have a certain memory of a certain flavor that I wanted to reproduce.  I came up with a medley from 3 different recipe sources.  Here is my recipe for making pastelles, and I will post a video at the bottom.  Enjoy!

Trinidad Pastelles

Ingredients for Filling

I have found some links on Amazon for the ingredients that you are less likely to already have.  If you shop on Amazon for the ingredients, please use our affiliate links!

  •  1 lb beef
  • 1/2 c raisins
  • 1 tsp Lea and Perrins Worstershire sauce (we did a test and this was better in this recipe)
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped Spanish olives
  • 1 tsp finely chopped capers
  • 2 med or 1 lg onion
  • 2 lg or 3 med tomatoes
  • 1 bunch chives,
  • 1/4 sweet red pepper
  • oil for cooking meat
  • salt and pepper
 Ingredients for Crust

  • 2 c Finely ground corn flour (not corn meal!)
  • 2 c tepid water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp oil
 Banana Leaves and string for wrapping.  Oil.

 

Prepare the filling

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Finely chop the Spanish olives, capers, onion, tomatoes, chives and red pepper.

Combine the beef, raisins, Worstershire sauce, and chopped ingredients.

Heat pan with oil, and brown beef.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside for later.

Prepare the crust

Place corn flour into a bowl.  Add salt and oil.

Microwave 2 c of water for 1 minute until warm, but not hot.

Pour about 1 cup of water into the mix and knead with hands until mixed. Mixture should be soft but not wet. Separate into 6 balls.

Prepare the banana leaves

Pass the banana leaves over a flame until they change in color. Wipe clean with oil.

Assemble the Pastelles

Place an oiled banana leaf on the surface and place a crust ball on the leaf.  Cover with another oiled banana leaf.  Roll flat with a rolling pin.  Place a couple of tablespoons of filling onto the crust and fold edges over.  Fold in on all sides.  Wrap with leaf or leaves and tie with string.

Cook the pastelles

Steam for 20 minutes and serve with a beautiful salad!

Sources used for recipe

Naparima Cookbook http://naparimacookbook.com/trini-pastelle/

Naparami Girls Cookbook –

SimplyTriniCooking- https://www.simplytrinicooking.com/trinidad-cornmeal-pastelle/

And a Video

Trish Tsoiasue is a Maker and, together with Morio Murase and Caprice Rothe (Hands of E.T.) started a community called Makersville, a BSA Career Exploring Club called Club Ten (Unit 1010) and a BSA Career Exploring Post called High Values (Unit 1111).  She has come to the conclusion that she makes social systems (communities) and sometimes she makes and finishes physical things.  She is the LUG Ambassador for the Long Beach LEGO User Group, a Recognized LUG.  Once she played a game called the Community Lemonade Game.  She also blogs on the Belmont Shore Patch, and she has several YouTube channels, her main channel being Squigglemom.

Why Does Anyone Blog?



Blogging usually accompanies a message that needs to be delivered.  Or in response to an impetus to find a message to deliver.

In the case of my friend, it was her job to curate a platform for delivery of the message, the Belmont Shore Patch.  For me, it was a desire to help my friend, and to explore writing.  If you like to write, there are many opportunities to do so today.  I’d always written in response to a project at school or at home, or an assignment in school or at work.  Never for fun.  Never in response to something from inside me.  I was not that public person and in fact, when the concept of blogging first became popular, I always wondered who would choose to be so public?

I have grown to love the medium as a mechanism for sharing thoughts.  With whom am I sharing those thoughts?  Well… with you, and with anyone else who might read this.  Not everyone will agree with my thoughts and ideas, but I always think that it’s a big world, and if I think, believe or want to do something, then someone else will.

I know that my writing would not pass muster in many environments.   This is the beauty of a blog.  I’m in charge.  There’s so little that each of us is in control of today.  Well, there’s the blog.

Which brings me to self-regulation.  This is the internet.  It’s an open environment to which anyone with a  browser has access.  My recommendation to you is this.  If you blog, remember that your words are open to everyone, and once put up, might not be able to be taken down.  I try to stay positive and yes, I hold some thoughts back that might be counter productive to the image and message I try to present.  There, I’ve said it.   My blog is regulated.  By me.

It occurs to me that I haven’t yet begun to share the reasons one might care to blog.

#1/ It gives you an audience.  Although you might not know the size of your audience, it provides the possibility that someone will read your writing.

#2/ You have a message to share.  This is an amplified version of #1.  A specific message that needs to be delivered could reach audiences to which you don’t otherwise have access.  The internet enabled community is the limit.

#3/ You want to propel yourself forward in new ways.  If you have a special project, sharing it is a great way to get your creativity and forward momentum going.

#4/ You want to grow your community for fun.  It’s nice to see what others are doing.  You can join a community, or you can grow one.

#5/ You want to create or grow a business.  The internet connects people in ways not previously possible.  It enables you to see opportunities where others might not have existed.  If you want to try to bring in a slow but steady stream of income, this is it!  Companies are constantly looking for ways to share what they do, and they need help from others.  Like you, like me.

#6/ The big reason: I’m just playing and through that play, I’m learning and growing.  It’s turning into what we do at Makersville, and we share that play- those learning experiences – with others.

There will be other reasons.  For now, I’ll stop here, and come back to this later to add in new reasons to blog.

Trish Tsoiasue is a Maker and, together with Morio Murase and Caprice Rothe (Hands of E.T.) started a community called Makersville, a BSA Career Exploring Club called Club Ten (Unit 1010) and a BSA Career Exploring Post called High Values (Unit 1111).  She has come to the conclusion that she makes social systems (communities) and sometimes she makes and finishes physical things.  She is the LUG Ambassador for the Long Beach LEGO User Group, a Recognized LUG.  Once she played a game called the Community Lemonade Game.  She also blogs on the Belmont Shore Patch, and she has several YouTube channels, her main channel being Squigglemom.

 

How it All Began






Where does one’s story begin?  Is it at the point of birth when your brain receives the first signal.  Not the slap of the doctor’s palm, if indeed they still – or ever – did that seemingly barbaric action.  No, the point at which one emerges from the birth canal and the cold air of the operating room causes messages ‘Cold!’ ‘Cold!’ shrieking to the brain.  Is it then?

I won’t start there, because then the story will never be completed.  I’ll start at the time of the playing of the Community Lemonade Game.  Before that activity, which started in June, 2012, life had been pretty normal for me.  I.e. as normal as anyone’s life can be.  Get up, drop off kid.  Get onto freeway, go to work.  In Los Angeles that means a 1 hour drive, if you’re lucky.  Work, have lunch, work, go home.  Often dark when you leave, often dark when you return.  I’ll admit, I had it good. I’d had some good twists and turns and negotiated myself a nice work schedule.  It let me do important things like pick up a kid – my kid – and take him somewhere.  Perhaps it was soccer or baseball.  There’s always something.

I was on vacation at a timeshare resort near San Juan Capistrano when the call came.  My contract was ending.  I had two more weeks.  I’d been a long term contractor, and my time was up.  Every ten years, it seemed that I was looking for work.  My tenth anniversary had just passed.

I had a week to think about what I would do.  I was blogging at the time.  My friend N. was the editor of the Belmont Shore Patch.  She had to find folks who might want to blog, so I helped her out.  I’ve always liked writing essays, and loved the English Language.  That was my big introduction to social media.  Some might say blogging is not social media, but it is to me.  I talk to you as my friends, even if it is a one-way conversation.  I guess that’s the media part.

It’s scary with no job, no steady source of income.  It’s also liberating.  Can you imagine being able to define your work yourself?  What would you do?  I knew I wanted to make a change.  To find something meaningful to me that I could do.  But when you are a well paid – anything – giving that up to start from scratch could certainly be hard.  I’d been liberated, but then, what next was there?

More about that later.  I am finding as I write this that reconstruction of events as they happened is going to be less important than individual messages that I experience.  Hope that’s ok with you, my readers.

Trish Tsoiasue blogs on the Belmont Shore Patch, shares experiential videos on her YouTube channel Squigglemommakes Makersville, and things for Makersville and celebrates the opportunities provided by life.  She also blogs on the Makersville Blog.