Move Over Algebra, It’s GADS Time

For the past few weeks the CTS interns have been doing a new type of assignment that was created by Google. The series of activities we did is called GADS (Google Applied Digital Skills), and it is very focused on how to use various things in Google Drive especially spreadsheets. Throughout the course we looked at a fair amount of code (a lot more than I expected), and actually giving functions in spreadsheets which was actually pretty cool. Google made spreadsheets look a lot easier to program than I was expecting.

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I have been working on various spreadsheets to do various things, from car payments to spring break trips, to living in Seattle. There were a lot of functions to learn, and they were very useful. I think a lot of the code, programing, and functions will be used in my life outside of high school when I’m on my own. I actually enjoyed learning how to do things in spreadsheets since it’s kind of newish to me.

Here are the spreadsheets I’ve been working on for the past few weeks:

  • Area Guide – https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1DcXlkbCM1VkMgAk2FNS113_gkNn71nVgjOB-AVqqEXg/edit#gid=0
  • Product Comparison – https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1aVGZc8cdEl-r6gwXxC8YmMaq9nmwr6XiExV2i2NqjWY/edit?usp=sharing
  • Housing Options – https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1utsoGVHdsAubw3K62cQ3kNH2bVPKg9HYnTNaAAW7eOw/edit?usp=sharing
  • Checking Account – https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vmkVlWJEyZBtY4cS86NuHyhVvFQGQ_ETg9IUnCJBt5w/edit?usp=sharing
  • Loan Amount – https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/182xkYyLU2Mvdghg-99200UlM5iVLINrqdEuVijlOgaw/edit?usp=sharing
  • Spring Break – https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/18etZ77irhu1DBZIiw0XJEq9UmjPpSBL9eV1MZ4hVoBg/edit?usp=sharing
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Maker Space, Printer Space

Last week the Cane Tech Squad took it’s first ever field trip to the Spark Place Maker Space in the Greene County Library. It was a ton of fun, and we learned some pretty useful things. The way we went about doing our individual projects was that we split up into first year and second year students. Second year students went into a conference room and we learned how to use Raspberry Pi’s which I talked about last year, and did a project with. As the first year students went and did their own thing, we set up the Raspberry Pi’s and made a rock, paper, scissors game program. Which was pretty awesome, and I thought it was a good excuse to learn more Python, which is a programming language that really straight forward, and easy to use.

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For the second half the first and second year students switched, and for my project I got to use the vinyl printer/cutter. I printed a really cool Star Wars poster, and what we had to do was take the .jpg file and convert it to a PDF and edit it any further in Photoshop, then we just plugged it in to the computer attached to the printer and they printed it for us. It was honestly a really cool and satisfying to watch my poster print. There was also a good sense of accomplishment and pride in my work.

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Practice Space Maker Space

As the Cane Tech Squad approaches it’s first ever field trip to the Greene County Spark Place Maker Space  on January 24th, each of the CTS members got to choose a project to do. I chose to print a banner or poster from the vinyl printer, which I’m pretty excited for. In order for me to do this, I actually took an image from the internet, and I plan on editing it and bringing in the .jpg file into the maker space and printing it off.

For the editing I am leaning towards using  with GIMP which is a photo editing app, it’s pretty basic and easy to use. Right now I’m not nearly finished with the editing, but its coming along very well so far.

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Make a Dream from your Maker Space!

In a few weeks the Cane Tech Squad will be taking a field trip to the Spark Place Maker Space in Xenia. Which is pretty exciting! At the maker space we’re going to they have a bunch of really cool things I’d love to just tinker with for a day or so. They have a laser cutter, laser engraver, a vinyl cutter, vinyl printer, CNC router, 3D printers, sewing, and embroidering. However; I can only pick on thing to do for the time that we’re there (I’ll probably go back some day), so I’m leaning towards using the vinyl printer. I just need to think of a design.

You may be wondering “what is a maker space?” Well, a maker space is a place you can go to express your creativity with a dash of technology. In case you didn’t know there’s actually a maker space in the Co|Lab in the library. We have Raspberry Pi’s, Arduinos, three 3D printers (one is down for maintenance for the time being, and another is not fully built), among other things to use at your disposal. Assuming you have Mr. Reed’s permission of course. Being a part of the CTS does have its perks with using the maker space, we all get to use and and make little projects for ourselves if we want to. We actually use the 3D printers a lot both for personal reasons, and for the actual CTS Desk, for instance Michael and I worked on an LCD screen that works as a display for who’s on shift.

All in all I’m really pumped to visit in Spark Place Maker Space in a few weeks, and come up with a design. Until next time, this is your Cane Tech Squadian Signing off.

Get a Draftback on Your Life!

Teachers! Lend me your ears — well eyes — the app draftback is a pretty interesting tool for looking at files in Google Drive. It allows the owner or people who have access to the document and see every single revision done to it, since the document was created in a video that you can thankfully adjust the speed setting to. There is also an option to see a graph of revisions and its correlation to the documents length.

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Generally speaking draftback is for mostly teachers and professors that want to see whether or not a student has either cheated, or just copied and pasted some work from another person without citing them. However, it can also be used as a way to show students where they get stuck on a paper, or where their trouble areas are. So it’s both for constructive criticisms, and calling out the students that don’t do their own work which is pretty useful. How do you do it? You may ask, well it’s pretty simple, I’ll show you in the video below.

Why do Java programmers wear glasses? They can’t C# (see sharp).

Hello all! For the past week or so my protege, Michael, and I have been working on an Arduino project on instructables. For the most part we have been dealing with programming and wiring up LEDs to a breadboard, which was honestly pretty cool. Working with hardware is just so great, and it’s what I love doing. However Michael and I asked Mr. Reed to do a different thing for lesson 4 of the Arduino project, so instead we will be making a cool LCD screen with who’s at the CTS Desk during which period. Right now it’s not totally finished, we just have to fix a wiring problem, 3D print a holder for it, and it should be up and running.

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Throughout the course was a lot of vocabulary dealing with electricity, and programming. The course goes over soldering which is essentially melting solder with a soldering iron to connect wires to whatever they need connected to. However, we didn’t need to solder because we have solderless wires and breadboard.  A lot of the programming side of things dealt a lot with C which is a programming language. C is pretty straight forward the only annoying thing is that after every line of code, you have to put a semi-colon, aside from that it’s a pretty awesome language.

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed doing this project with Michael, we had a fair amount of fun while learning. We also can’t wait to get the LCD screen up and running. Until next time! This is the Cane Tech Squadian signing off!