The first person I heard evangelizing STEAM (as opposed to STEM) was Adam Savage from the science and engineering themed TV show Myth Busters. Now it’s a movement unto itself. Up with the arts!
Convent of the Visitation School in Mendota Heights, Minn., is home to the state’s first all-girl robotics team, which won last year’s Minnesota North Star Regional Championship. The school also has created a 4,000-square-foot facility dedicated to science, technology, engineering and math, complete with space for the team called the “Robettes.” Students and educators say they hope the facility will inspire more girls to pursue STEM studies.
This toy is a great combination of simplicity and elegant design. Ramp walkers are nothing new but this model is great.
MINKA is a short documentary film about a remarkable Japanese farmhouse and the memories it contains. In 1967, an American journalist and his adopted Japanese son rescued the ancient house from the snow country of Japan, and their lives were forever changed. MINKA is an intimate story about place, architecture, memory and the meaning of home.
Japanese carpenters generally fall into one of 4 categories.
- Miyadaiku – Intricate joinery focused on the building of shrines and temples.
- Sukiya-daiku – Teahouse and residential carpentry
- sashimono-shi – Furniture makers
- Tateguya – interior finish carpenters
This film explores the art of sukiya-daiku. It a fascinating look at the art of japanese hand work.
If you are ever near Chapel Hill, NC, do yourself a favor and visit the Woodwright’s School. They are dedicated to the art of working wood with hand tools, wedge and edge. No screaming routers allowed here. The school is run by the PBS icon of over 30 years, Roy Underhill of The Woodwright’s Shop.
Roy shared his techniques using the springpole lathe and observed while I planed a big hunk of green walnut as he chatted with my Dad.
…and yes, he’s just as crazy in person.
Full episodes of Roy’s show are available on the PBS website or their mobile apps.
Rolling ball sculptures have always enamored me. It goes back to my first marble toy built by my father. It served as the literal and figurative launch for many of the Goldbergesque marble runs I built in our basement with carpet tubes, blocks, matchbox tracks, and anything else I could find.
This gem was found at the Minnesota state fair in 2009. John like’s to call this style “whittlepunk”.
2nd Annual Pinewood Derby 2009 , a set on Flickr.
This was the first pinewood derby at the new house. Brad of the hill people was the winner. It is so much fun to let people loose in the shop for some free form creativity.
Painting our Motorcycle , a set on Flickr.
We weren’t satisfied with our “Poison Video” Red Nighthawk, so we decided we’d learn how to tear down and repaint the tank and fairings.
Our shiny, red Honda Nighthawk just wasn’t cutting it. We decided we needed to paint the baby flat black. This set documents our process of the transformation.