Houston Parks Maker Space

3/26/2020 – Texas A&M research … we need more of this. Have known this since I moved from high school to elementary school to do research on why students have so many problems with algebra.  Bee-Bots are a solution, just need implementation sustained and scaled.  I still don’t know the impact of the Bee-Bots for our low-income community learners as there has been no feedback from the grantees.  And I have asked a number of time.  Herein lies the problem with grants, quality control, which is the Bee-bot in the model below.

9/11/2018 Training Terrapin Logo Maker Space Bundle

Read the story as reported in the Terrapin Logo Newsletter

The Houston Parks Department took major steps in supporting computer science and computational thinking for low-income families in the Houston, Texas area. HPARD received a Child Care Quality Improvement funds to purchase resources for their makerspaces that focused on computer science and computational thinking.

These resources included the Terrapin’s Makerspace Bundle, which includes their complete line of robots, the new Easi-Scope Digital Microscope and all the materials you need to fully utilize them.  I spearheaded day one of the training.  The next two days included  Sphero Kits and LittleBit Kits.LittleBits training was coordinated by Marcie Hebert
Senior Learning Leader, marcie @ eduscape.com supported by Carrena Nuzez carrena.nunez@littlebits.com Regional Education Manager.  Sphero training was coordinated by Jeremy MacDonald.

These bundles will be administered to over 30 low-income locations on school campuses, child care agencies, and community centers throughout the Houston area. This grant also provided teachers with professional development provided by Terrapin that included the continuum of learning that can occur with these products.

Creating a spark of curiosity is what maker spaces are about.
Finding what you are good at is what school is about.
Combine both and oh, what a future. Oh, the Places you will go.

->    Pre-survey    |  -> POST – survey   |  ->  Results


  1. Introduction | Networking – Binary Bracelets
  2. Why -> How -> What – Heidi Williams: “No Fear Coding”
  3. Physical Computing
    1. Bee-Bot
      1. Activity 1 – Play
      2. Activity 2 – Control
      3. Activity 3 & 4 – Rules
      4. Activity 5 – Line Dance
      5. Activity 6 – Robotic Spelling Bee
    2. Blue-Bot and tactile reader
    3. Pro-bot + K’nex
    4. Command cards, activity cards, program planning
    5. The Line Challenge
    6. The Square Challenge
  4. Now you need a device…
    1. Easi-Scope
      1. Play
      2. Take photos
    2. Bee-Bot – Garden and Pyramid Apps
    3. Blue-Bot Emmulator App
      1. Download Terrapin Alphabet mat – add to app
      2. Future challenge – make your own mat and game
    4. InO-bot
  5. Implementation Q&A – Joel Bangilan, Harris County Public Library Youth Services Librarian
  6. Connections Action Plan Circle
  7. TIPS – Think, Ink, Pair, share – Quality control between each lesson
    1. Please share your implementation hints and URL of action
    2. HINT with mats – roll up with outside facing out so curves to floor.
  8. Play and pack

LUNCH provided by Code Ninjas – The Knowles franchises.

Training offered due to the support of the Child Care Quality Funds.


The Future … Next steps?