Entries Categorized as 'Makerspace'

Headless Pi Zero

March 5, 2018

Pi Zero‘s are even cheaper versions of the Raspberry Pi. The price you pay is that they’re harder to connect to since all the ports are small (micro-USB’s and mini-HDMI’s), so you need adapters to connect to keyboards, mice, and monitors. However, if you have the wireless version (Pi Zero W) you can set it up to automatically connect to the WiFi network, and work on it through there using the command line. This is a brief summary of how to do this (it’s called a “headless” setup) based on Taron Foxworth’s instructions. It should work for the full Raspberry Pi as well.

Set up the Operating System

You can install the Raspbian Stretch (or Raspbian Lite which does not include the desktop GUI that you will not use) on a SD card (I used 8 or 16 Gb cards).

  • Download Raspbian.
  • SD Card Formatter to format the SD Card. It’s pretty quick, just follow the instructions.
  • Etcher: to install the operating system on the SD Card

Set up automatic connection to WiFi

You may have to remove and reinsert the SD Card to get it to show up on the file system, but once you have you can set it up to automatically connect to WiFi by:

  • Go into the /boot partition (it usually shows up as the base of the SD Card on your file manager) and create a file named “ssh”.
  • Create a text file called “wpa_supplicant.conf” in the /boot folder, and put the following into it, assuming that the wifi router you’re connecting to is called “myWifi” and the password is “myPassword”.
  • country=US
    ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev
    update_config=1
    
    network={
     ssid="myWifi"
     scan_ssid=1
     psk="myPassword"
     key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
    }
    

Now put the SD Card into the Pi and plug in the power.

Find the IP address

First you have to find the Pi on the local network. On Windows I use Cygwin to get something that looks and acts a bit like a unix terminal (on Mac you can use Terminal, or any shell window on Linux).

To find the ip address of your local network use:

on Windows:

> ipconfig

look for the “IPv4 Address”.

Mac (and Linux?)

> ifconfig

look under “en1:”

Connecting

To connect you use ssh on the command line (Mac or Linux) or something like Putty

Static IP

Without a static IP address it is possible that the Pi’s IP address will change occasionally. I followed the instructions on Circuit Basics and MODMYPI, but basically you have to:

  • Identify your network information:
    • Find your Gateway:
    • > route -ne
      
    • Find your Domain Server:
    • > cat /etc/resolv.conf
      
  • Add the information to the end of your /etc/dhcpcd.conf file (here the wlan0 means you’re doing this to the wireless interface (WiFi) and the static ip is 10.0.0.99, the static router the gateway ip you found above, and the domain_name_servers takes the domain server ip):
  • interface wlan0
    static ip_address=10.0.0.99
    static routers=10.0.0.1
    static domain_name_servers=75.75.75.75
    
  • Now reboot and you should be able to ssh or sftp into the new static IP.

A Web Server

Adding a webserver (apache with php) is pretty easy as well, just run the commands (from the Raspberry Pi Foundation)

Apache web server:

sudo apt-get install apache2 -y

PHP for server-side scripting

sudo apt-get install php libapache2-mod-php -y

Now your can find the webpage by going to the ip address (e.g. http://10.0.0.1).

The actual file that you’re seeing is located on the Pi at:

/var/www/html/index.html

You will probably need to change the ownership of the file in order to edit it by running:

> sudo chown pi: index.html

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2018. Headless Pi Zero, Retrieved April 22nd, 2018, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

The Wall (Mural)

February 17, 2018

Our seniors wanted to leave a mark, so after their initial application to paint the outside wall of the gym was turned down, they went with a mural on the inside–in our Makerspace.

For this project, we wanted to create a mural on the basementnasium wall. First, we measured the wall and went to Home Depot to get enough paint, paint brushes, drop cloths, and tape. Then, after cleaning the wall with a damp cloth, we covered the wall with tape in a triangular pattern similar to one we found online. After that, we used pencil to mark each triangle with a letter corresponding to one of the six colors that we bought. It took us the majority of the project to paint 3-4 coats on each triangle, and on the last day we pulled it the tape and touched up any mistakes with white paint.

Throughout this project, we found out that some people know how to paint, some people learned, and others didn’t learn. BUT IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!

-Team: Elliott, Abby, John, Zoe, Mary, Annemarie, and Josiah

-Abby R.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2018. The Wall (Mural), Retrieved April 22nd, 2018, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Longboard

February 16, 2018

Longboard built during the interim.

Longboard built during the interim.
Finishing came afterwards.

For my makerspace project I made a longboard. What went well with the board was the wheels and trucks, it was a simple hole in the wood and screwing the trucks almost no measuring on my part. What didn’t go so well was the measuring and cutting of the board, it took me a full day to get all the measurements exact and even then they didn’t come out so good. What I would do next time is get a cnc machine so it does the measuring and gets the cuts exact every time. We could mass produce longboards with ease. If i did it again without a cnc machine i would get the measurements beforehand and then it would make measuring a lot easier.

– Isaac L.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2018. Longboard, Retrieved April 22nd, 2018, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Making Stools

February 13, 2018

Upholstering a small stool.

Upholstering a small stool.

After building our vegetable boxes, I had one of the students use some of the wood scraps to make some small stools. They make it easier for us to sit cross-legged on the floor. This last interim, as a small side project, another student chose to upholster them:

During the interim, I worked on upholstering small wooden stools that Dr. Urbano had made. I worked in the basmentnasium and only used the materials available there. I used thin layers of foam from an old couch to pad the wooden seat; if the foam was too thin then I used two layers. I covered the foam and the seats’ edges with fabric Dr. Urbano brought: a burlap rice bag and old curtains. I attached the fabric to the bottom of the wooden seat with a staple gun; I attached it tight enough to keep the foam in place.

– Mary R.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2018. Making Stools, Retrieved April 22nd, 2018, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Vegetable Boxes

January 14, 2018

Harvesting turnip greens out of our vegetable boxes.

Harvesting turnip greens out of our vegetable boxes.

Two years ago we bought a greenhouse. It was aluminum framed with plastic panels. Unfortunately, its profile was not as wind-resistant as it needed to be for our campus. So last semester we built three vegetable boxes and salvaged the plastic panels from the greenhouse to build low-profile cold frames. These turned out quite nicely, and the Middle School’s Student-Run-Business’ Gardening Department have been experimenting with different types of produce.

Assembling the side panel for the cold-frames. The front and top plastic panels were salvaged from our aluminum-framed greenhouse.

Assembling the side panel for the cold-frames. The front and top plastic panels were salvaged from our aluminum-framed greenhouse.

Cilantro growing out of our raised beds with the cold-frames removed.

Cilantro growing out of our raised beds with the cold-frames removed.

The wood for the raised beds and the frames for the cold frames were purchased using funds from a grant by the Whole Kids Foundation and the pieces cut at the TechShop.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2018. Vegetable Boxes, Retrieved April 22nd, 2018, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Quarto Set

September 26, 2017

Quarto board.

Quarto board.

One of the more interesting projects of the last year was the wooden Quarto set I made for our middle schoolers to use during their study hall.

The game is quite an interesting one, as was the build. The pieces (rectangular and cylindrical prisms capped with solid or hollow tops) were fairly simple to make using the table-saw for the bodies and laser cutter for the tops. However, I wanted to make a box for the pieces and have the board with its 4×4 grid of circle serve as the top.

Cutting out the top and bottom of the box out of plywood (on the CNC machine) was easy enough, as was lasering on the grid, but the most fascinating part was making the sides of the box. The rounded corners on the top required rounded sides, so I used the laser to cut a living hinge on a piece of plywood and glued it to the base. Then I used some spacer pieces for the inside to hold up an inset that would hold the pieces.

Quarto set box opened up.

Quarto set box opened up.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2017. Quarto Set, Retrieved April 22nd, 2018, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Cajón

September 25, 2017

Student sits atop a Cajón.

Student sits atop a Cajón.

Last year, for an interim project, one of my more musically inclined students decide to build a Cajón. It’s a box shaped drum that you can sit on, with a snare inside. He worked up a simple design in Inkscape and I cut it out on the CNC machine at the Techshop. It turned out quite well, and he even built one that I could keep at school.

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2017. Cajón, Retrieved April 22nd, 2018, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

Finger Labyrinths

September 13, 2017

Finger Mazes.

Finger Mazes.

Our first through third grade teachers requested these finger labyrinths. I asked Dr. Steurer to explain how they used them:

Sometimes you just need to be alone. Welcome to our 1-2-3 Classroom “Comfort Zone.” When a child needs a break, they may relax and take a time away from any feeling of pressure or being overwhelmed.

One activity found in the “Comfort Zone” is a finger labyrinth crafted by Dr. Urbano. Children are taught three easy steps for slowly tracing the beautifully designed wooden labyrinth.

Step One: Release – Pause and take a deep breath.

Take a deep breath before you begin your finger walk to the center. This is the time for you to calm yourself and get focused. Let go of everything.

Step Two: Receive – Take in the center.

The center is a place for you to gain calm and peace. You can stay in the center point as long as you need.

Step Three: Return – Slowly take the journey back.

Move back out of the center point. Make the transition from the center back into your daily routine, ready and armed with the experience of peace and calm.

The “Comfort Zone” is one area in our classroom used to support our children in improving their abilities to pay attention, to calm down when they are upset and to make better decisions.

​Being Mindful helps with emotional regulation and cognitive focus.

– Dr. Steurer

Citing this post: Urbano, L., 2017. Finger Labyrinths, Retrieved April 22nd, 2018, from Montessori Muddle: http://MontessoriMuddle.org/ .
Attribution (Curator's Code ): Via: Montessori Muddle; Hat tip: Montessori Muddle.

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