The Maker’s Playground at NICE MiniCon

Illinois Computer Educators NICE MiniCon

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I'm planning to be part of a fabulous maker-minded display at the NICE MiniCon, a local gathering of teachers and administrators through the Northern Illinois Computer Educators (NICE). Maker's Playground organizer, Bill Steinbach, and STEAM-minded educators Melissa Rosen and Claire Pritchard and I are serving up an amazing display of educational technology. I want give a shout-out to the companies that ... [ Read More ]

Mapmaker, Mapmaker, Make Me a Map

Map Making Contest for Children. Details at

My geographer friend, Emily White, helps me keep tabs on all things geo. I'm glad she passed along information on the Barbara Petchenik Children's Map Drawing Competition. In fact, I was wondering how I missed this last year, but it turns out that this is a biannual international competition. That is, it takes place every two years. Did you ever meet a kid who was obsessed with making maps? I know one and I'm glad he's still young enough to ... [ Read More ]

Apply Now to the US Naval Academy Summer STEM Program

US Naval Academy Summer STEM camp

Applications are open for the popular Summer STEM Program at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and will be taken though April 15, 2015. At least one Maker Mom reader sent her son last year and he had a blast at the camp. It's reassuring to know this site is living up to its mission to help parents raise STEM-loving kids! The US Naval Academy Summer STEM camps are offered for rising 8th -11th graders. ... [ Read More ]

I Hope Your Year is off to a Wonder-filled Beginning's Wonder Wheel

It's never too late to wish someone a happy new year, is it? My big plan to kick off 2015 as The Maker Mom's Year of Wonder was delayed due to technical issues. The Year of Wonder is about curiosity, exploration, and discovery. I put together a printable Wonder Wheel to help you on your journey. I wish I could take credit for this, or give credit where it's due, but I've simply recreated something I saw in my older son's classroom back in 2008. ... [ Read More ]

Meet Siham Hussein: STEM Girl Friday

Siham Hussein, STEM Girl Friday

Siham Hussein is a senior at the University of Illinois in Chicago majoring in computer science. She’s president of  UIC's Women in Computer Science. The Maker Mom: Why did you decide to study computer science? Siham: In high school, I was in the Career and Technical Education track for Computer Programming and Information Technology. We started programming in a drag and drop environment called Alice. I really enjoyed the logical aspect of it. ... [ Read More ]

Look for Me in the Maker’s Playground at NICE MiniCon

Illinois Computer Educators NICE MiniCon

I'm gathering up my tech toys educational technology and bringing it to the Maker's Playground at a local conference on teachers and tech. NICE, Northern Illinois Computing Educators, is hosting a mini-conference, or MiniCon, in Skokie at Niles North High School on January 31 from 8:00 - 1:30. The Maker's Playground, headed up by Bill Steinbach, who runs this awesome middle school STEM lab, will feature three local STEM teachers and me along ... [ Read More ]

Cirkits: Stitch Cards with a 21st Century Twist

Cirkits teaches kids about circuits.

I'm so excited about Cirkits, a new Kickstarter project, that I couldn't wait until STEM Girl Friday to post about it. Cirkits is the brainchild of a group of STEM girls (okay, women, and a guy, too) at the University of Pennsylvania. It's a fun new way to explore electronics. Cirkits relies on an old-school method, stitch cards, to help today's kids learn about modern technology. Forget about grandma's yarn on these cards! Cirkits uses ... [ Read More ]