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Monthly Highlights


Each month an interesting, inspiring, resourceful, or humorous IdeaGarden posting will be highlighted here. There are so many great postings every month, it will be hard to choose. Thank goodness Ron has volunteered for this tough job. Thanks Ron!

Below you will find some of the topics of August 2006

1. How are things at Biloxi Junior High?
2. BESTBUY Te@ch Grant...
3. Drill Doctor Sharpens Manufacturing in Schools
4. Wanted an Introduction to Technology Video!
5. The National Energy Education and Development Project
6. Free 3D drawing software program
7. Need help needed for screen printing!
8. Need problem solving problems for beginning days or weeks of class
9. The top 10 commandments of good teaching:
10. 3rd Grade Teacher needs Help!


1. How are things at Biloxi Junior High?
Hi Lauren,
How are things at Biloxi Junior High?

Gary Wynn , DTE


Better than this time last year, I’m sure
Andy Stephenson, DTE


AMEN Andy!!!!! We are doing much better! We are still down in numbers (around 80% of what we were before) but there just isn’t affordable housing and so very many businesses are gone. Two of our schools are still closed (6 & 8 feet of water) but they should be open again after Christmas. Our casinos are reopening and are doing well. The big one owned by the same group that owns the Mirage in Vegas will reopen Tuesday on the anniversary. That means the taxes have started to flow in!

I still cry when I see buildings that have finally been torn down especially on the beach. 70 miles of beach in Mississippi and maybe 10% of the buildings are still there. But one couple (they were the first to put their FEMA trailer on the beach) is almost finished with their new house! The first one to be rebuilt from the slab up!!! I cry over that too. Repairs to my own house are almost finished and we should be able to sleep back in our bedroom this weekend for the 1st time in a year! YIPEEE!!!!!!!!!

But seriously, Tuesday will be a hard day for many of our students. They experienced things no one should go through. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks for everything everyone has done! Y’all are appreciated!!

Lauren Olson
ITEA Region 2 Director
Biloxi Junior High


Lauren, Great to hear from you, I hope you are doing well!

Try going to the history channel .com I had received an e-mail about the disasters last year. They have created DVD too.


Curt Funkhouser

2. BESTBUY Te@ch Grant...

This is just a reminder about the BESTBUY Te@ch Grant...
The deadline to submit a is Sept. 30, 2006.
I would not push so hard on this grant, but I know a number of technology education teachers who have received this grant over the past few years...You may not receive the grant the first year, but I do know others who have tried as many as three times before they received monies... If you have never applied for a grant online I suggest you do the following...
#1. Go to https://bestbuyteach.scholarshipamerica.org/
#2. Pull up the grant questions and copy them into "word" or something similiar, so that when you are through you can cut an paste into your online submission.
#3. As you complete your submission you might ask yourself what makes it unique? How are students going to benefit from the proposed project. Remember that STEM, Robotics, and Engineering are getting a great deal of attention in the public and media.
#4. After you have finished your writing your proposal. Print it out and let someone review it. (As a reader of grants, I am always amazed at how many grammer mistakes people make when they turn in a proposal)
#5. And finally, submit the proposal on time...
"Best Buy is proud to support K-12 schools using interactive technology to make learning fun. As a company, Best Buy believes that when technology is used effectively it can engage children and have a positive impact on their ability to learn.
The Best Buy te@ch program recognizes creative uses of interactive technology in K-12 classrooms. Winning te@ch programs focus on kids using technology to learn standards-based curriculum, rather than on teaching students to use technology or educators using technology that children aren’t able to use hands-on. The purpose of te@ch is to reward schools for the successful interactive programs they have launched using available technology. Please do not be discouraged if your school does not have the most current equipment.
Schools must be located within 50 miles of a Best Buy store to be eligible. Applications must be completed and submitted online by 11:59pm (Eastern Time) on September 30, 2006. Awards will be announced on February 19, 2007 at www.BestBuy.com/teach."
Gary Wynn , DTE


3. Drill Doctor Sharpens Manufacturing in Schools –

Description: Drill Doctor is interested in educating students about the essential tools necessary for a solid workshop and teaching future manufacturing skills. They plan on donating a free Drill Doctor drill bit sharpener system to Industrial, technology, and engineering technology teachers nationwide! All Drill Doctor machines sharpen 3/32” to ½” twist bits, including high-speed steel, carbide, tin-coated and masonry bits. The Drill Doctor is sold at Sears, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Ace, Amazon.com and Northern Tool. For more information, please visit www.drilldoctor.com. To receive your FREE Drill Doctor, contact: Jack Rubinger of Media Relations at: jackrubinger@comcast.net title the subject line of your request as “Drill Doctor Sharpens Manufacturing in Schools Offer” Be certain to include the following information in your request:

* Your name
* School name and mailing address
* School phone number
* Email address

Mike Fitzgerald


4. Wanted an Introcution to Technology Video!
Wondering if anyone could help me out? I am taking a grad class that involves making a PowerPoint on a specific topic. I teach middle school tech, so I figure why not do intro to technology. The PowerPoint needs to contain a video. Does anyone know of anyone have one or a website that I can go to?
Preston Sweeney


Try the NYSTEA.com web site.
Are you a NYSTEA member?? Looks like you may be an ITEA member!
You can download a membership application there.
Joe Leogrande


AIT, Box A, Bloomington, IN 47402

They produced series of Videos in 1990. A-1, A-2 are about intro to Technology. They were produced to support MAVCC Curriculum. The curriculum material is not available. But AIT does sale these videos.

If you find newer videos, please let me know.

Rajni Mehta

5. The National Energy Education and Development Project

To All:
This summer I had the opportunity to attend a national NEED Conference in Denver, Co. Monies for me to attend were provided through an Indiana grant I had received.
NEED stands for the The National Energy Education and Development Project. Through the years many k -12 teachers have attended and gained valuable information that they can bring back to the classroom. If you are interested in attending one of their workshops through the school year or next summer go to: http://www.need.org/ for more information...
Also if you are looking for STEM type activities NEED may be a valuable resource for you...
Gary Wynn , DTE

6. Free 3D drawing software program
Free 3D drawing software program:
Sketch Up from Google, Model your world

Full 3D drawing and rendering capability, allows students to place / view 3D drawings in real context, and store draft documents in the 3D Warehouse.

Build 3D models using Google SketchUp. View 3D models using Google Earth and the 3D Warehouse network link.

Sketch Up from Google: http://sketchup.google.com/index.html

Google Earth: http://earth.google.com/

Goggle 3D Warehouse: http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/

Dick Dieffenderfer, Consultant

7. Help needed for screen printing!

As part of my Communication Systems classes I have used screen printing as an activity to introduce the printing processes. In the past we have used a lacquer based film and had good results. Because of the increased cost of the adhering fluid, not to mention how nasty that stuff is, I switched to a water based film by Ulano. Since that time we have struggled making good screens. The backing film sticks so tight that it pulls the emulsion out of the screen when being removed. The emulsion does not seem to do a good job of adhering either. Any suggestions of what to do? Does the fabric make a difference? We have been using polyester fabric.

I would like to stick with the hand cut stencils and no longer have the facilities for photo stencils. In my middle school classes we use a thermal stencil so I don't want to repeat that.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
Brad Moore



It has been a few years since I taught Screen Printing but I do recall a time when our "backing pulled the emulsion out of the screens". As I recall, we found that the polyester was coated with something like "Scotchguard" ... meant to prevent staining, it served to reject the adhesion of the emulsion.

Our solution was to "tooth the screen". They sell a chemical that removed the Scotchguard type stuff and acts as a mild abrasive on the fibers that make up the fabric ... thus leaving a slightly ragged piece of fiber vs. a smooth surface.

What we did was wash the screen with common cleanser ... Comet ... and rinsed well.
We wouldn't scrub hard but we rubbed enough to get that "tooth" to the fiber so that the emulsion had something to adhere to .... hope this helps.

Thomas A. Frawley


I have used Welsh products materials for many years for t-shirts, folder covers, mouse pads, etc.. They use all water-based inks, and the system is very economical, as well as requiring much less storage space, since the heavy frames are replaced by cardboard or heavy plastic. If you still can find an old school thermo-fax machine ( like we old-timers used for spirit masters and transparencies)around the school or E-bay, get it. That is the pricey item, since they are no longer made, just repaired.
http://www.welshproducts.com/index.htm Good Company.

Hans Van Den Bosch


8. Need problem solving problems for begining days or weeks of class

I have just started teaching 90 minute block classes to middle school classes for the first time in 6 years and I have misplaced so of my great quick one day problem solving activities does anyone have any one have some have any they can help me with? I am already back in class.

Amy Hamilton

Try this link to the GITEA Problem Solving Cookbooks: http://www.gitea.org/Teacher%20Resources.htm

Steve Price

I sent them (the PDF's) to her.
Howard Stob


9. The top 10 commandments of good teaching:
• Never teach students without having interesting things to do to meet the stated objectives, 185/190 days a year, K-12.
• Be persistent/consistent utilizing “the best” of teaching behaviors and work hard to discover what works for every child
• Build caring and professional relationships so that students know you want to be their teacher
• Try new strategies learned during staff development days; always enhance what you learn to ensure students get your best thinking.
• Never escalate violence in the classroom or embarrass a student by interacting with negative behaviors; find another way to resolve issues
• Visit homes to learn more about each student
• Visit the master teachers when they allow
• Be organized for more time on task
• Talk less and facilitate more, to ensure learning
• Never Give Up!
Mike Fitzgerald


10. 3rd Grade Teacher needs Help!

Lisa Rawlings is a 3rd grade teacher in Meridan, Mississippi. She needs teachers from all 50 states to participate in an email project with her students.

The following states have committed to the project:
North Carolina
New York
North Dakota
South Carolina
New Mexico

If you can help fulfill the remaining states I know she would be thrilled.
Please email Lisa Rawlings directly if you are willing to help or if you need more information. Her email address is:

Thank you for helping out!

Lisa Smith


I got a question from an Ohio teacher...
What is the nature of the email activities, what will they be communicating about?
What are estimates of time involvement, duration, etc.
Thanks...Dick Dieffenderfer



What type of project are you doing with your students? If you send me some of the details, I will try to get more teachers to help.

Ron Yuill


I am trying to get one third grade teacher in 24 different states to do a year-long pen pal project. I have an activity planned for each month.
I would need for the teacher to allow 1 or 2 of her kids to be partners with one or two of mine. We will be sending out questionnaires, trading postcards, exchanging personal narrative essays, and more.
Thanks for any help you can give me,

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