Friday, November 14, 2014


Coincidence? This year we teach wearable computing and Raspberry Pi.
The number of girls in next year’s class increased 50%.

Latin 7th Grade Girls featured on Raspberry Pi Blog

We are on today. Here are the very nice comments from Liz Upton:
I met Tom Dubick about a year ago at Hackerspace Charlotte, NC. He teaches engineering to the girls at Charlotte Latin School, and we believe his class was the first to be using the Raspberry Pi in the United States.
He and a group of his 13-year-old pupils have just given a TEDx talk called How Girls Should Serve Raspberry Pi. The girls here are presenting the projects they’ve made with Raspberry Pi over this semester, but there’s another important message here: we know that STEM subjects are not just for boys, but we should recognise that not all girls are the same, so our teaching approach is doomed if we decide that the only way to get girls into engineering subjects is to “shrink it and pink it”.
Keep watching — the projects get better and better. (Rolling backpack indicator lights FTW!)

Building Future Engineers

A goal of this blog is to promote teaching young people the engineering method. I have spent over twenty years teaching middle and high school students engineering. I think the best way to teach engineering is by doing engineering with a minimum of lecture time and and a maximum lab time. The labs or projects need to be interesting and relevant to kids. We try to create labs where students use math as a tool that saves them time when doing the engineering project. We explain the underlying science ideas or better yet we try to get the students to rediscover these concepts. The sweet spot is a class that is both engaging and academically rigorous.
I will provide tips and trick for teaching kids engineering as well as news that you might find interesting. Here are some of the topics I will cover:
  • Aviation featuring Fly To Learn
  • Bridges featuring West Point Bridge Designer
  • Programming including Scratch,Python and C++
  • Physical computing — think Arduino
  • Raspberry Pi Computing
  • Robotics featuring LEGO EV3, NXT and Tetrix
I have linked a local TEDx talk I did in Charlotte last year. It explains my views on teaching children. I am very curious what you think and I hope you will share your ideas.