Adventures with my Brother

IMG_6432

My little brother visited last week. I was glad he was able to make the trek out here. He was only here for a few days but we were still able to get out and explore some neat places.

The first place we went to was the New England Aquarium. If you get a chance, you should check it out. I didn’t realize just how many different species of penguins there were.

We also explored a bit of Boston Common and the Public Garden. We found that the squirrels there are extremely friendly and come up to you. There was a bit of snow still left over from the previous week and we had fun throwing snowballs at each other.

We had originally planned on going on a brewery tour but we never got up early enough due to staying up late and watching movies. We did, however, end up exploring the Mt. Auburn Cemetery. It’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s nicely landscaped and a great place for taking a walk. There are a few lakes and benches to sit at and admire your surroundings. We also went up to the top of this tower in the middle and could see all of Cambridge. It was really neat to see the various architecture styles, and to image who all these people might have once been.

We also took a brief walk through the Harvard Fogg Art Musuem. We didn’t get to walk through all the exhibits, but it was still nice. I plan on going back to explore more of it later.

Among the other things we did were eat. My brother’s favorites were Tasty Burger and L.A. Burdick.  We also went to The Asgard, an Irish pub and restaurant, to celebrate David’s birthday on Sunday. Toscanini’s is also an awesome ice cream spot. We discovered 1369 Coffeehouse, which is right in Central Square. I’m absolutely in love with their Almond Joy hot chocolate.

It’s going to be a long time until I see my brother and other family (graduation), so it was nice to spend some time together, even if it was only for a little bit.

T550 Madness

Today we presented our projects for T550. I was a little curious about how it would turn out, as there were over 100+ presentations. It all went really smoothly, though! Mad props to Karen Brennan and the TFs for helping to facilitate that.

The presentations were done Pecha Kucha style, where each person or group had 40 seconds to give an overview of their project. (Karen did an amazing job of putting all those presentations together into one giant auto advancing presentation.)

It was really awesome to get a flavor of what everyone ended up doing for their project. Then we had an exhibition where people had the opportunity to explore the projects more in depth.

I worked with a fellow classmate on a project. Our project was a component of a bigger T522 project – some of you may be familiar with my previous posts about our boat game level that we user tested at TEDxBeaconStreet. Emily and I decided to work on the STEAM Lab component of our game for T550. The STEAM Lab is a constructionist space within our platform where students build their next mode of transportation.

Here’s a website that details our process and other design aspects.

(By the way, if anyone has ideas for a new name, we’re all ears! Apparently Full STEAM Ahead, Inc. is a Fire, Water, and Mold Restoration company.)

It’s amazing how quickly time has passed and how far we’ve come in our projects. I’ve really enjoyed T550, as it’s been a space where I’ve seen project-based learning take place with a group of over 100 people. I was able to learn more about and find theories that back up what I was always trying to do in my own classroom. Constructionism is something I would like to further explore, especially in terms of how it can be used to create digital tools and spaces in education.

I can’t believe my first semester is essentially over. I just need to submit some final papers, but other than that, I’m pretty much done.