Day 93: Making Pro Connections

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Edit: I forgot to mention that our classmate Chris wrote the school’s highlighted post for the JanTerm blog today. Way to go, Chris!


Today, we had a special guest speaker — Bob Clagett from I Like to Make Stuff. Our intent was to show kids what it means to be a professional maker. He recently quit his job to be a full time maker and YouTube content creator. The kids (and I!) were a little star struck but still managed to ask great questions. We learned

  • the best place to pick up pallet wood (smaller stores like your auto body shop rather than a big place like Home Depot because the latter sells back their used pallets and won’t give them away),
  • the tools Bob uses for keeping track of episode ideas (Trello on his phone and design notebooks he makes),
  • how he transitioned from working for someone else to making his living off of a free video series (it’s a long story but lots of planning went into it),
  • how his videos show the first time he makes a thing (because he doesn’t like to or need a second of most things he builds),
  • and how he gets inspiration for his projects (most start with a real need — the kids loved hearing about the inspiration behind hisΒ secret door bookcaseΒ project.

Bob was the best possible guest speaker I could’ve imagined. Many many thanks to him for giving up half an hour from his week to share with high school kids!


Asking Bob from I Like to Make Stuff a question.

After Bob spoke, we spent the rest of the day building our lamps. I was busy supervising power tools, including the vertical bandsaw, mitre saw, and a drill with hole saw bits.

My colleague brought in sponge cake to add to the finished LED Matrix Dessert Trays. I got a short video of the finished product:

Real talk here for a minute: the dessert tray project was difficult for the kids and I wouldn’t choose it again for our beginning makers. We had to make a transistor circuit that used 10 transistors, easily 25 jumper wires, and 10 resistors. There was a lot going on! Here’s one of the breadboards last week when we were making them:


That said, the trays we did finish (about 5 of the 12 we started with) turned out great and are quite the conversation piece for students.

We also shared our plush monster creations with the folks at SparkFun and SparkFunEdu (Is this day feeling full yet? I wasn’t exhausted living it but am just writing about it!):

And finally, our hashtag war with another class continues. This from his wilderness survival class:

Got this in response from us:

Nbd? You caveman. We tool users. #TWSJanTerm @tfmcc18

A post shared by Megan Hayes-Golding (@megtheteach) on


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