3-D Portraiture testing- Upper School

Upper School students in Sculptural Forms designed and built a rotating stand (lazy-susan) to assist in 3-D image capturing. They hacked into an XBox Kinect to use the powerful camera and Skanect software for the scan itself. Once the image was scanned they were able to alter the recorded image in Tinkercad. Once the portrait was designed the finished piece was sent to the Printrbot 3-D printer. This week, Students had the opportunity to scan our very own Head of School, Matt Miccichi to create his  3-D portrait. The students are continuing to refine the accuracy of the scan and quality of the print but were very pleased of this test. Who should we scan next?

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Roar of the Robots / Middle School

The Quakers and the Quakers Too headed over to Boys Latin yesterday to compete in the Roar of the Robots, their first ever (?) Lego robotics competition.  Both teams were very nervous going in, but quickly settled and started preparing for the day.  A Lego competition includes four separate competitions:  they are judged by a panel on their knowledge of First Lego League core values and group process, by another panel on their robot design, and by a third panel on a project they have completed related t the competition theme (This year’s theme was trash and recycling).  Then in the afternoon, they go to the robot game, where their robot competes against other teams in three rounds, with the highest score determining your place relative to other teams.  The two top overall winners (2 teams) go to the State competition in March.



Both teams felt really good about their performance in the morning judgings, and were feeling really confident as they got to the robot game.    They were ably supported by many parents, who fueled them with snacks, drinks, pizza, and moral support.  Their confidence was evident in the “pit area” by the way they read, joked, played Magic cards and video games, and generally had a great time in between rounds. The robot game went really well as a result, with both teams hitting all of the mission elements that they had designed their robots to do, and posting some impressively consistent scores.  Quakes scored: 297, 357, 347, and Quakes Too scored 221, 281, and 161.  When the dust cleared, Quakes Too ended up in 11th place overall, and Quakes in 3rd place (out of 21 teams!)

Hour of Code / Lower School

On the heels of the LS taking part in the Hour of Code in December (where students wrote code to control the Star Wars characters BB-8, R2-D2, and C-3PO—some students were even able to write code, making their very own Star Wars game), the second annual LS PLUSS day devoted to STEAM, Making, and Designing took place on January 6th. Lower school students were able to self-select into two sessions of their choice from a variety of sessions being offered. Those sessions included: Spaghetti and Marshmallow Sculptures, Marble Mazes, The Art of Balance, Cardboard Building Challenges, Human Coding, Building with Pre-Primary Students, Coding with Kindergartners, and Digital Makerspace 101. Here is a full list and descriptions of each session.

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During the reflection at the end of the day, many students were excited to share how wonderful it was to be able to tap into their creativity. The resiliency needed to finish their creations was also noted. The best line of the day was when students were asked to leave the Digital Makerspace to head outside to recess. Collectively, the room moan, “Awwwwwww! We don’t want to go to recess, we want to continue to create here!” Music to our ears and goosebumps ran down our arms.


Overall, the day was a success. Students and teachers alike were engaged and enthralled with a day full of learning.


Andy Hanes

Lower School Technology Integrator & Educator


The Friends School Maker Space is defined by its fluidity and interchangeability. The functionality of the space is intentionally not set or fixed. It is not a wood shop, garage, science lab, nor art studio but rather, it is ALL of those things. The space is a physical manifestation of the school’s Teaching and Learning Paradigm which is the pedagogical and curricular framework for the school. The 3 spheres of this paradigm, Knowledge, Skills, and Habits of Mind, work interchangeably in the design and delivery of the learning experiences at all levels of the school. Curiosity, Creativity, Empathy, Reflection, and Resilience are the foundational habits of mind of the Teaching and Learning Paradigm and are among the habits that students cultivate and develop in our Maker Space.