Thursday Evening Workshop: Social Media and Your Children

Mediatech-Nintendo2

Children at Mediatech playing with the Nintendo 3DS

We’re pleased to announce a free, public presentation by Mediatech Staff on social media and children.

WHERE: Mediatech, 118 Main Street 2nd Floor, Flemington, NJ 08822

WHEN: Thursday November 17, from 7 – 8 PM

WHO: The meeting will be facilitated by Warren Buckleitner

TOPIC: Many of today’s children are carrying a connect supercomputer in their pockets. This single device can be a million channel TV, a game of Pokémon GO or a way to pass notes and photos to friends. With great power comes great responsibility, however — and a lot of questions for parents.

Let’s explore the general topic together. Here are some guiding questions:

  • How much is too much? How do you set realistic limits?
  • What technologies do children need to know?
  • How much should I worry about access to worrisome content?
  • What age should my child get their own email/phone/social media account?
  • How can I use these technologies to be a better parent?

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ABOUT THE COORDINATOR: Warren Buckleitner is Flemington resident and library trustee. He’s also an educational psychologist who reviews children’s interactive media. He’s been a preschool, elementary and college teacher (currently at TCNJ’s IMM program). He is the founding editor of Children’s Technology Review (www.childrenstech.com). He speaks at education and library conferences, and contributes content to many books and publications, including a decade of children’s tech coverage for the New York Times. He holds a degree in elementary education from Central Michigan University (Cum Laude), an MA in early childhood education from Pacific Oaks College, and a doctorate in educational psychology from Michigan State University. He coordinates the KAPi prize at CES and the BolognaRagazzi Digital Prize at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. In 2003, he helped to start the Mediatech Foundation (www.mediatech.org), a non-profit community technology center. He is the father of two daughters, tries to play trumpet in a Dixie band. He is the author of Buckleitner’s Guide to Using Tablets With Young Children.

2016 Flight Simulation Details

Wanted: Children ages 11 or older to help fly the Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic.

WHEN: On Saturday, August 6, young pilots will attempt to repeat Charles Lindbergh’s historic flight. Takeoff, Saturday Aug 6 7:52 AM Pilots and families should arrive 30 minutes early, ready to fly.

WHERE: Mediatech Foundation, on 118 Main Street (2nd Floor) in Flemington, NJ.

Sign up at the front desk of the Flemington Free Public Library. In order to fly, children and parents must agree to the following:

• A photo and media release form just be signed.
• An adult must be willing to stay with the child all weekend.
• Pilots and parents must attend a flight orientation session to be held Friday at 4 PM at Mediatech, August 5.

MORE DETAILS:

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ABOUT THE FLIGHT:
They will fly a historically correct digital replication of the Spirit of St. Louis, using a flight simulator in current real time weather conditions, from Long Island New York to Paris France. The computer will be equipped with a force-feed joystick and a GPS. Similar attempts have been made; only one successfully despite tipping a wing on landing (the plane survived). Most times, the Spirit of St. Louis crashes into the icy ocean due to weather, fatigue or fuel issues. We invite you to come witness the events, bring the pilots a cookie, and try flying the plane yourself!

COME AND WATCH THE FLIGHT!!
Takeoff, Saturday Aug 6 7:52 AM the pilots will gun their virtual engine and try to take off with 451 gallons of virtual fuel, exactly when Lindberg did. They’ll fly through the day and night trying to dodge real storms to stay alive. Former pilots will be on hand to provide advice. Landing, Sunday Aug 7 in the afternoon. Depending on the weather, the flight should last between 30 to 34 hours, with a landing at Le Bourget Field in Paris France at 4:00 PM EST. The public is welcome to witness the landing.

WANT TO FLY? Pilot teams are being made. Recommended age is 12-up; parents are required to stay with children at all times; pilots will be locked in during evening hours. Contact warren@mediatech.org if you’re interested in volunteering.

FOLLOW THE FLIGHT PROGRESS ON TWITTER The pilots will be tweeting progress at @mediatechflight Visit www.mediatech.org for more information.

2016 Coding Camps & Flight Sim

Summer 2016 Coding Camps and Flight Sim

We’re pleased continue our successful series of week-long morning programming camps designed to provide playful, informal exposure to MIT’s Scratch programming language and/or stop motion animation projects.

The camp is project based, so each child can set his or her own challenges.

Where Mediatech (118 Main Street, in the 2nd Floor of the Flemington Free Public Library. Handicapped accessible).

Recommend ages 7-to 16-years. No prior experience is required.

What to bring  Nothing is required, however children are welcome to their own laptop or tablet.

Information Release  Children will be using the Internet viewing YouTube and sharing work online; and projects may be videotaped and shared. By participating, you provide these permissions.

Snack Includes a light morning snack and drink. Please inform us of any allergies.

When: 9 to noon, for five days. Parents are encouraged to come to the final session, at 11:00 to noon on Friday (the last day). Children are welcome to sign up for as many weeks as they like.

Dates
June 20-26
June 27-July 1
July 11-15
July 18-22
August 1-5
August 8-12

Spirit of St. Louis Flight Simulation: We’re looking for two or three middle or high school age pilots who think they can stay awake for 33 – 38 hours to try to cross the Atlantic ocean using a flight simulation of the Spirit of St. Louis. Pilots camp out in Mediatech for the weekend, and attempt the flight in real time, using real weather. Pilots should be 12 or older; at least one parent is required to stay with the pilots (we take shifts).

Takeoff will be on Saturday, August 6 at 8:30 AM. Landing Sunday August 7 around dinner time. There is no cost; however parents are asked to provide food for the pilots.

Cost  $120 per seat is a suggested donation, limited to 12 children per class on a first come, first served basis. Bring a check to “Mediatech Foundation” on the first day.

To Register: Sign up at the front desk of the Flemington Free Public Library or call 908-284-2006 from 3 to 5 PM on weekdays. Questions??warren@mediatech.org. More info at www.mediatech.org.

NJMakersday 2016 Agenda and Schedule

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Download the poster at makersdayposter2016

 

PRESS RELEASE

Mediatech Announces the 2nd Annual NJ Makers Day.

Calling all inventors, makers, programmers, creators and crafters…. We want you!

Falling eggs, flying drones, old engines and electric circuits will once again fill Mediatech, as part of the 2nd Annual NJMakers day.

\Located in at 118 Main Street in the second floor of the Flemington Free Public Library, the festivities are part of the statewide NJ Makers Day celebration (www.njmakersday.org) taking place simultaneously in libraries across the entire state.

The agenda has been expanded for this year, with activity stations and talks starting Friday evening, March 18 from 5 to 9, and continuing into Saturday, March 19 from 10 am to 4 pm.

Volunteers are needed to supervise children and run the activity stations… if you’d like to help, please fill out a form found at the from desk of the Flemington Library. Talks will include Getting Started with MIT’s Scratch programming language. Stations are first come, first served, and will include:

Egg Drop (no yoke). Can you make a structure that can protect a raw egg from a 30 foot drop down the Mediatech staircase? And if you can’t, can you help clean up the mess?

Make an Electric Motor, LED light, or an Air Racer. Using donated supplies from Pitsco Education, Tinker Crate and Soldering Sunday, see if you can make a working motor, light. Note: Small parts, and some soldering required. Children must leave projects behind for the next child. Mediatech, 10-up

Fly a drone. We have a small indoor quadcopter that will make a good flying experience. This station will be open as long as the drone lasts. Ages 12-up.

Program a Robot. Mediatech’s collection of Ozobots, Dash and Dot and Sphereo robots will be available for programming. Can you make it through a maze? For ages 7-up.

“Breaker Day” — Dissect old electronics to see how they work. Please bring basic tools (screw driver, adjustable wrench, pliers and safety goggles) along with interesting gadgets to dissect. Non toxic materials only. Parents must supevise their children. For ages 6-up.

DiY Lightbulb – We’re just 30 miles from where Edison made the first light bulb. Can you repeat history with the supplies provided? We’ll show you how. Ages 7-up

Spirit of St. Louis Flight Simulator. Try to take off and land Charles Lindbergh’s famous plane, the Spirit of St. Louis, using a realistic flight simulator. This is the same simulator that we use to repeat the flight, in realtime, every summer. In Mediatech 8-up

Google Cardboard Demo. Download a free app and use your smart phone (iOS or Android) to put your head inside a virtual world. We have four sets. A smartphone is required. Go to Google Play or iTunes and download one of the free “Google Cardbard” apps. Ages 6-up

Osobots. Program small rolling robots by drawing colored lines. (until 3 PM) Mediatech 8-up LittleBits. Snap together magnetic circuits, to activate motors, lights or sensors. Mediatech 7-up.

3D Printer Demonstration. Watch a 3D printer in operation, and learn how one works. For all ages (note — hot parts, and not all children will be able to take something home due to the slow printing speed).

Other arts and crafts experiences will be available in the library, led by Debbie Moore, Flemington Free Public Libraries Children’s Librarian. Downstairs in the children’s area. Ages 3-5

There is no admission cost and everyone is welcome although donations to Mediatech (a free, public non-profit) are greatly appreciated. Note that participants may be photographed or videotaped.

If you’d like to be a Named Sponsor for one of the activity sessions (sponsors will get their logo show in an 8.5 by 11 inch display) please contact us.

2015 Spirit of St. Louis Flight Simulation Information

The instrument panel is examined by Andrew Vollenberg while Tim Sabbarese looks at a digital map as they prepare to re-create Lindbergh's feat -- the first solo trans-Atlantic flight.

The instrument panel is examined by Andrew Vollenberg while Tim Sabbarese looks at a digital map as they prepare to re-create Lindbergh’s feat — the first solo trans-Atlantic flight.

Greetings pilots, coaches and flight historians! 

The 2015 edition of the flight will take place the weekends of August 8 and August 15 (Sat morning through Sunday evening). As always, the public is welcome to drop in to observe.

WHAT IS IT: Students attempt to cross the Atlantic in real time, in real world weather using Microsoft Flight Simulator History of Flight and realistic flight controls.

WHO:  If you have a child (aged 8- up) who is interested in participating in the flight simulation either this weekend or next, with one parent or legal guardian who will stay with with the child throughout the flight, we will try to get you one one of two flight teams for this weekend. We have six pilot seats; not counting coaches.

Since we have more supply than demand, here’s how we’ll choose the pilots.

  • New pilots get first priority. If you’ve flown before, you can participate as a coach unless a seat opens up.
  • Recommended ages are 8 to 18.
  • One parent or legal guardian must be willing to be present or on call throughout the weekend.
  • Parents should be willing to sign a media release form (this is a free, public event).
  • All food allergies or medical information that might influence the 33+ hour flight must be disclosed in advance.
  • Pilots will be assigned to a team with one or two other pilots.

This year, we’ll have two flights going going side-by-side, so we can have as many as six spots. Spots will be filled on a first-come, first served basis.

HOMEWORK
If you think you’re serious about attempting this flight, please do the following:

  1. Watch this movie https://youtu.be/oR1FkSasydM to better understand the historical context of the 1927 flight. Charles Lindbergh was a controversial person, and we choose to focus only on his flight rather than the Flemington trial, despite the local connections.
  2. If things go well we can expect a Paris landing early afternoon or as last as early evening depending on crashes and/or wind. Only one team has made the flight successfully with no crashes but don’t worry — we set the simulator on “bounce” so that the flight can continue — pilots are on an honor system to record any crashes in the flight log.
  3. Get ready to learn a lot about persistence, global navigation, work when tired, and working as part of a team. Here’s the historical timeline of the actual flight (all times local EST): http://www.charleslindbergh.com/history/timeline.asp
  4. Watch some previous teams https://youtu.be/v5dbPeTaooQ
  5. Practice taking off and landing when Mediatech is open.  We have two flight simulators this year being used.
  6. Meet at Mediatech at 7:10 AM (Sharp) on Saturday morning of the flight. Takeoff is exactly 7:52 AM (when Lindbergh landed). Bring a pillow, sleeping bag, food and supplies for the flight. We’ll set up camp in the community room of the library.
  7. Read the flight log from the last flight, at: https://twitter.com/mediatechflight
  8. The landing will be approximately 4:30 PM on Sunday.

PICKING THE TEAMS
We’ll make either 1 or 2 teams; both will take off at the same time (7:52 AM on Saturday, which is the same time Lindbergh took off in 1927, on a rainy spring morning, only from Roosevelt field on Long Island).

MANAGING THE FLIGHT
Children will take turns flying and will work out their own flying schedule. Key decisions about the flight — including navigation, scheduling shifts and so on will be made by the pilots.

PARENTS ARE REQUIRED TO STAY WITH CHILDREN AT ALL TIMES TO HELP WITH SUPERVISION, SUPPLYING SNACKS AND SO ON.

Mediatech will stay open to the public during the flight, but doors will be locked at 9:00 PM; reopened the next morning at 8:00 AM.  The public is welcome to come and visit.

REMIND CHILDREN — This is a long, serious, exhausting flight that requires full attention for 30 to 35 hours, flying in real weather conditions where surprises can spring up at any minute. In addition, this is a public event and is sometimes covered by media. Your child and/or name may appear on YouTube and/or in other forms of social media.

Lindbergh’s objective was to reach Paris. Ours is to create a supportive, fun, educational experience that the pilots will remember for years to come.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Warren Buckleitner, Ph.D.

Executive Director (Interim)
118 Main Street 2nd Floor
Flemington, NJ 08822
908-284-2006
http://www.mediatech.org

Coding Camp Instructions for Parents and Coders

Welcome to Mediatech’s Summer Coding Camp!

Let’s start with the most important item: this isn’t “school.” 

There are no assignments, homework or grades.

Our objective is to offer an informal, self-guided experience with programming using a “guided exploration” method of teaching.

Our instructors are experienced high school or college level programmers and/or former graduates of the camp who have come back as coaches. We’ll do our best to provide support and a safe, non- judgmental setting. Parents are always welcome to drop in to observe.

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THE PROGRAM
Each child will be asked to come up with their own challenge or challenges on Monday, work on their project  throughout the week, and share it on Friday. This “plan-do-review” formula has served us well in past years. We do ask children to challenge themselves and try something they feel is difficult. We want them to show something off at the end of the week.We call it “hard fun.”

FRIDAY IS DEMO DAY!
Please come at 11:00 on Friday for graduation and project demos. If you’d like to bring some cookies on the last day to help us celebrate, you are welcome.

DROP OFF and PICK UP
Camp starts at 9AM and ends at 12:00 Noon.  Pull over on Maple Avenue in front of the library (118 Main Street) and walk your child up the Mediatech steps. They’ll know the way after the first day… You can generally park across the street.

Wear weather-appropriate clothing. Mediatech is air-conditioned, and we have a bathroom on the second floor. We also offer elevator access if needed.

SNACK: A small midmorning snack (a bag of chips and a juice box) is served during the morning break each day. It includes a bag of chips and a juice box. Children are welcome to bring water bottles or additional snacks (such as cookies) to share. Let us know if your child has any food allergies.

WHAT TO BRING: If you easily bring a laptop or iPad, please do. Otherwise we’ll use the house hardware. We offer Chromebooks and a mixture of older Windows and older Macintosh computers.

OUR TOOLS: We use MIT’s Scratch 2.0 and an app called iStopMotion by Boinx Software.

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Mediatech’s Scratch channel is https://scratch.mit.edu/users/mediatechfoundation/ This is where all of our work is saved. The login is “mediatechfoundation” (ask for the password).

If you have an iPad or iPhone, we recommend downloading iStopMotion ($9.99, at  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/istopmotion-for-ipad/id484019696?mt=8).

NOTES:

• Guest speakers. If you are (or know of) a programmer or video editor who would like to make a short 15 minute “show and tell” presentation to the group, let one of our instructors know. We make every effort to tie coding into the real world, and we’ve found this to be a nice way to accomplish this goal.
• It’s useful to have a laptop computer (nice but optional). Any Windows, Chromebook or MacBook will do. We’ll have several computers available for public use. If your child doesn’t have a computer, don’t worry.
• Name tags. We give each child a nametag on Monday and ask that they keep them throughout the week.
We sometimes bring a friendly dog to camp. Let us know if your child has any dog allergies or doesn’t like dogs. Our first priority is to make sure every child is comfortable.
Photographs and video. Note that we sometimes videotape projects and/or take photos for use for PR purposes. By enrolling your child in this program you grant this default permission for images or projects made by your child to appear on Mediatech’s web site. Please be aware that we make every effort to protect children’s privacy by

a) not using names or ages in public postings.
b) respecting parents requests to have images removed or not captured in the first place.

IF YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS OR QUESTIONS, call 908-284-2006 from 3 to 5 PM or contact Warren Buckleitner (warren at mediatech dot org).

Summer 2015 Coding Camp Schedule

scratchclass14Summer 2015 Mediatech Programming Camps and Flight Simulation

We’re pleased to offer seven, week-long morning programming camps, providing a fun, informal exposure to MIT’s Scratch programming language and stop motion animation.

The curriculum is project based, so each child can set his or her own challenges.

Recommend ages:? 7-16; no prior experience required. Bring your own laptop or iPad if possible.

Children will be using the Internet and sharing work online; and projects may be videotaped and shared. By participating, you provide these permissions. Includes a light morning snack, drink and Mediatech T-Shirt; taught by college students.

Cost:?$100 per seat suggested donation, limited to 12 children per class on a first come, first served basis.

Bring a check to “Mediatech Foundation”?on the first day.

Where?? Downtown Flemington, in Mediatech (118 Main Street, in the 2nd Floor of the Flemington Free Public Library. Handicapped accessible).

When?? 9 to noon, for five days. Parents are encouraged to come to the final session, at 11:00 to noon on Friday (the last day). Children are welcome to sign up for as many weeks as they like.

Dates:?June 22 – 26, July 6 – 10, July 13 – 17, July 20 – 24, Aug. 3 – 7 and Aug. 10 – 14

Spirit of St. Louis Flight Simulation Attempt We’re looking for two or three middle or high school age pilots who think they can stay away for 33 – 38 hours, to try to cross the Atlantic ocean using a flight simulation of the Spirit of St. Louis. Pilots sleep in Mediatech for a weekend, and attempt the flight in real time, using real weather. Pilots must be 12 or older; at least one parent is required to stay with the pilots (we take shifts).

TO REGISTER FOR THE CAMPS OR THE FLIGHT

  • Sign up at the front desk of the Flemington Free Public Library or Mediatech.
  • Call 908-284-2006 from 3 to 5 PM weekdays.