Jay McKay: Now we're ready. Hello. Welcome to Knowbility's Toolkit Tuesday. We're really excited today. We are going to talk about how to make STEM more accessible for students, students with disability, students of all ages. We are thrilled to have our speaker here today, so we're going to go ahead, and get started. So before we begin, of course, we just want to remind you that Knowbility is a nonprofit. It's Giving Tuesday today. So what a great way to remind you all about Giving Tuesday. But we do encourage you to visit our website and go to Knowbility.org/donate. That really does help keep our community programs up, and thriving. This includes webinars like this today, our Toolkit Tuesday, our K12 access toolkit, which is a great resource when you want to know more about assistive technology evaluations, consideration process. That includes our modules as well as additional trainings, and resources. We also have our Be a Digital Ally, which is our monthly webinar series, talking about the foundations of good web, and content design from that accessibility standpoint.

We have AccessU, call for proposals, and presale tickets are going on right now. That is our annual web design accessibility conference that happens in Austin. But of course we will be doing our hybrid event again this year. So virtual attendees will have access to all of the sessions live, all the keynotes, everything. So you'll be right there with us in Austin, Texas. So please check that out as well. And then lastly, of course, our accessibility internet rally. We just wrapped up our countdown. This is our annual competition where we pair web developers that are interested in accessible web design with nonprofits that are in need of either a brand new website, or a redesign to help make sure that they're able to reach out to as many people as possible. So we just wrapped up this past year. We're going to have our winners announced coming up in January.

So, exciting stuff. Again, please donate to Knowbility.org/donate. All right, so we're going to dive right into the session, and I'm very excited about it. We're going to be talking about STEM. We have, instead of some links, we're going to give you a website. And it is just makerawaker.com. So, that's M-A-K-E-R-A-W-A-K-E-R.com. And our presenter today will take us through different resources, and tools that are found on that website as we go through our discussion. And I'm told if possible to try, and have some paper clips handy. So, we'll see where that takes us later today. So without further ado, let me introduce you to our presenter. We're going to be talking with Ken Hawthorne today. He is a STEM educator who has deep experience in building Makerspaces in schools. His blog, of course, Maker Awaker is free, and has over 100 different STEM lessons and projects that are covered. Welcome, Ken. And if you could give us a little bit more about you, and then also just a reminder for us what STEM stands for.

Ken Hawthorn: Oh, okay. Yeah. My name is Ken Hawthorne. I was a prototyping engineer for a long time. So, I would build the first prototype of a thing usually for a garage size companies. And for the last seven years, I've been lucky enough to be finding my space here in schools, and helping students kind of adopt that prototyping mentality. And that includes students from all different backgrounds, and accessibility is a big part of that. So, when I'm thinking about accessibility, I'm thinking about trying to bring in everybody. And as we look at new tools, techniques, and materials that are available to us, the goal is to find the right tools, and techniques that amplify our own abilities. And so I'm looking at accessibility not just in the lens of somebody who has a lack of an ability, either does not have all of their eyesight, or hearing, or physical ability to move, and hold a tool, I'm looking at all of us overall.

And so I'm trying to, for example, just prior to this conference that we were talking about, there's very large hand tools that I think kindergartners should use, but universally, kindergartners are not large enough to use some of these hand tools. And we'll be talking about that. So, I have some experience working with students with disabilities. We just did a workshop with Texas School for the Blind, and my students here at ACE Academy in Austin, and students over there, one of the things we do, I can explain it further, but we basically teach students how to pick locks, and not like a bobby pin into a lock, but actually be able to pick any lock they encounter is kind of a physical analogy for life, which is there should be no black boxes.

There should be no, if you want to understand a process, there shouldn't be, it goes here, it goes here, and then something magical happens, and then it comes out the other side. So I think the sense of agency is really what I'm trying to awaken all of my students, then all the people that I work with, a sense of agencies defined educationally is your belief that you can move freely in the world around you, and mold it to what you want. And so lock picking is just a great physical life analogy for that. I can start taking us through the site if you want to.

Jay: Sure. Yeah. Let me just to remind everybody who's joined us, I'll be putting some links in the chat, but if you have questions, I will be following chat. But also, Ken, I'm sure you're probably okay if people just kind of jump on the mic if they've got a question, or something like that. All right. We're pretty informal today, so feel free to jump in, ask your questions. But I also will be following along in the chat if you don't feel like jumping on your mic today. So, yeah, I know I would like a little bit more information on the lock picking work that you did, and how that came about. And maybe talk us through some of the, maybe not necessarily accommodations, but what role did your students with visual impairments play, and how did you adapt for those?

Ken: Totally, absolutely. Is it possible to share my screen of...

Jay: Yes, you are good to go.

Ken: Good. Let me figure out, now I have to figure out where the tab is. The embarrassing... Give a second. It's only been a few years of COVID. Share screen. Okay. I just prefer to share my whole screen, because it's just easier. Okay. This is my whole screen. Can everybody see it? We're good. And we're all on the same website. Generally, what I try to do is just, everything on here is stuff we're actually working on. And I think by going through some of these tools, and techniques, it's going to be super duper useful. So, it is very STEM-oriented. And one of the things that I think you were saying, you were asking me to define STEM again, is that right? So STEM, or STEAM, STEM is science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. And I think what happened about 15 years ago is science classes weren't progressing along with some of the technology, and mathematics, and we wanted to get things a little more in real time.

I remember looking at a science book that said there's three forms of carbon. Well, there's 18 different types of carbon variants, so you have buggy balls, and everything else. So keeping things, I think the purpose of STEM, or STEAM, when you add the A, is keeping it connected to society. So it's not the same textbook all the time, but science moves along, and technology moves along, engineering moves along. So trying to get teachers a little more into the real world. So, that's generally STEM and STEAM if you add the A. Makerspaces are... They're the new, I'm not going to say fad, but people my age grew up with shop class, so metal shop, wood shop, right? There's also home ec class, and I'm really glad to see that the pendulum was swung back because we got away from that into just book learning.

So, I would call a Makerspaces of room that we used to call shop class, but you're adding some abilities to do some coding, or to work with some electronics. So my job as a Makerspace curator is to have our students find things they're interested in building, curate the tools, like the physical tools, the materials, the things that are being made together, and the techniques, kind of like the workflow. Well, if you're interested in doing this, start here, move over here. And that workflow that can go from digital to physical again. So, that's kind of what we're doing. We're in the ACE Family Makerspace now ACE is an academy for students that are generally gifted learners. Quite a few of us, including myself to some extent, are on the spectrum. And so we're in here, and we are meeting each student kind of where they are as far as...

It was amazing when I first started here at ACE, I thought, just because I a more don't know, just a deeper experience with screwdrivers, and hammers and stuff like that, that I could give a kid a screwdriver and they could drive a screw into a piece of wood. But it turns out that, that's not a totally common thing. So, we had to kind of start where everybody was on their skill sets, and take it from square one. So, yeah, we're in the Makerspace here, and I've got a set of tools which are the physical learning, we call it the learning artifacts. So I've got some physical learning artifacts, and specifically the tools from some of these things. Okay, yeah. So, back in October, two different kinds of schools got together. It was definitely not a school for the not blind helping a school for the blind, this is not it.

I have, not a coworker, but a person who does the same role at the Texas School for the Blind, a Makerspace curator who's name is Chris Corell. And we were having a conversation about the different abilities of each of our student sets. And so we talked about our shared, yes, there's a lock picking club in Austin, and we both belong to it. So outside of our own schools, this is just kind of lock sport a hobby. And we were just talking about how do we want to interact with our students since they're five minutes away from each other. What kind of challenge could we propose? You don't need to click on it now, but we basically went down to, sorry, my phone's beeping. Let me turn that off. Let me get it to mute. Okay. We went, and looked at the pedagogy of lock picking. And so when a person learns to pick a lock, there are hand tools that I'm getting for you now. This is a lock holder, right? So like a lock from a door there.

And in the movies when you're lock picking, or you're in a dark alley somewhere, the criminal usually has two tools. It's never one tool, or the other. And the two tools are kind of the pick to manipulate the pins up, and down, and a turning tool. And so just getting how a lock works across to each of our populations. What I found out in my experience was our students have sometimes hypersensitivity to different materials, and fidgets are super important to them. And not just any fidget, everybody gets a toy ball, or whatever. It's actually nice to have customizable fidgets. I found students that I couldn't teach until lock picking, it turns out we have these little tactile feedback sensations, and put a lock in somebody's hand at this school at ACE, and it's like, wow, now we can teach biology. It's just like there's a thing, a certain circuit in their mind has to be occupied in order for the other circuits to be freed up.

So, I was talking to Chris about how the lock picking benefited our students. And the question came up not would students who are at various levels of sightedness be better, or worse at lock picking? Because that's a completely diverse population on a totally huge spectrum. So, you can't just say somebody's completely blind, but the way that brains are wired, if you have somebody who doesn't have all of their eyesight, and they are used to navigating through the world with a lot more tactile, and sound feedback, how does that differ from somebody who can't start thinking about learning biology, and tell their tactile senses are engaged? They're just two different populations. So we decided together, as a group here, our students would start off, okay, well we're good at lock picking because our students have been doing it a little longer. How do you teach it? What does that look like? Is there a lock book? And so we started to make models. The model on the left, the larger one, is a model that's been around a lot in different lock picking clubs.

Yes, there's lock picking communities all around the country. You name your city, it's filled with over 50,000 people. There's a lock sport club, but this is an open source kind of model. This is that larger one. And you can see that it was designed for somebody who was cited. And then this model over here, our students were working together with, oh, it's not that we want to make the model better for just people who don't have 100% of their vision. We want to make it better for everybody. So we found that going through the exercise of making the curriculum... Not the curriculum. Yeah. No, it's not the curriculum. The learning tools, the physical lock models more accessible, even if you're thinking about it with a specific population in place, you're making it more accessible to everybody. So, then there's a link to the video, it's a little bit longer, but if lock pickers have rock stars, our rock stars showed up from Seattle, paid his way out here to kind of work with both sets of students, and now that work is ongoing.

So I don't mean this to be just a lock picking thing, but this is one of the things that we do in a Makerspace. We understand these hidden systems. So that is... What was that? October 14th. And this just updates all the time with things that we're working with. I thought what would be interesting, I did ask people to bring paper clips, and we're going to talk about that. But just going through some of the things that we've done very, very recently, I want to share as many tools, and techniques as useful to folks out there. So, definitely in the chat please, hey, I'm super specific in this one thing. Can you please answer this question? Absolutely. I've got to Makerspace, I'll answer to the best of my ability on ways that we can adopt things. You can see from the last few posts some things that don't quite look like tools here, right?

Especially stuff like this. You'll recognize these as political signs. And so as an invitation to you, we're trying to open source a thing. This is not something that's official. It's we're trying to start design date, like design. Using political signs, and taking apart those things. Bending the wires, making new things out of it. And since we launched this earlier this month, oh, my goodness, there's been a huge amount of feedback. So you can learn more about it here, but generally we don't want to be just a Makerspace in a school. We want this to spread around. So I want this to be maximally accessible. And so the idea is people will copy design day, and it'll start to be [inaudible] because political signs are left out, what can we physically build with them?

So, asking the students that they started coming up with, here's things that I want to build. And some of the stuff we ran into right away was how do you work with that? So here's a student. Does anybody recognize these things here? Vice grips. They are ones that will lock into place. So they have this screw on the back. And what happens is you don't need two hands, or all of your digits. You find something that you want to, sorry for the squeaky, you find it's closing something that you want to clasp, and you get it to just a little bit smaller than that diameter like that. And then it will actually click into place and it's like a bulldog. It's not going anywhere. So, we found when we were trying to work with... A student just brought in this sign literally 20 minutes ago, but like most political signs, this is our book fair. We have wire, we have sign, and the goal is to use both of those things. The students had no problem cutting the wire with scissors.

We could think about a lot of different ways to do this, and talk about that. But this was very approachable. This is third and fourth grade, so not yet super strong bodies. So this part we thought about what we can do, make scale model boats, make a real boat, familiar, accessible to more common household tools. This thing, not so much. If you take a regular set of pliers on here and you bend it, yeah, not a lot's going to happen. You can make a really crappy bend like that. But how do you make a precise bend? The idea would be the students were thinking about immediately, the first thing they came up with was we should design a Lego set. And that doesn't mean recreate Legos. What it means is the students wanted to think about how could you cut corrugated pieces of plastic, and then for example, well how do you make 100 of these wires cut up that are all exactly the same? Because if you can figure that out, then the wires slide back in. And so the students were most excited about not building a thing but building [inaudible]

Jay: ...something that they could rebuild. They could build several different things with the same pieces over, and over again.

Ken: Yeah, exactly. So, the system, so we need to design the system, and then share that out because these political signs are all over. So, if we made a tradition, and then other cities started to copy, we can't... It's not practical to say everybody times a million across the country, go buy vice grips. The vice grips probably would love that idea, and I highly recommend them, but we don't all have that. What can we do to lower the bar? And the first thing I did, even with the vice grips, you can see I can't really see his face there, but he was like, "Argh", okay. So, if you don't have all your digits, if you don't have sight enough, if it's just not coming together, it's not going to be like, "Well, tough kids, we're not going to use that material." My goal is to curate that accessibility. So what we did, I can show you, is the students started coming up with, okay, well the goal is to bend the wire around a certain radius. These were made, and designed on, is it Wednesday, today? Tuesday?

Jay: Tuesday's today.

Ken: Tuesday. These were made yesterday. Okay, that is a half inch thick, two inch wide. Looks like it's harder than pine. And we can go deep into what power tools that I think are most accessible, and safety. That's super easy. But just say you have a drill press, or a way to make a hole. They made one quarter inch hole, and it chose to make it that about a third of the way over? Then a handle here, which is just gorilla tape. And these two girls, this was fourth grade, two girls were looking at this, how can we easily bend metal, or more easily?

And they thought, well, if we take off each of these legs and I can talk about that. That is a specialty tool, but there's a lot of different ways to do it. Take off that leg. And again, I'll show you that in just a bit. Why don't we do something where we work in teams, a pair, and we have one person standing over here with their hands this way, ready to torque it this way. We have one person standing over here ready to torque it this way. And then the two students together, they're each applying torque, and it's really easy for the eye to see when something's at a right angle.

Jay: Yeah. Nice. So, it's the idea of instead of using something like a standard vice grip, but finding a way to utilize students working in pairs with a variety of different tools. Oh, okay. Somebody actually wants you to dive into a little bit on the power tools that you think are most accessible.

Ken: Okay. Can we get a little bit of background just on what age, or what lack of ability? Is it a digital thing with digits, or sight or?

Attendee: It's vision.

Ken: Vision, okay. Yeah, let me do that right now. I'm grabbing off camera. What kinds of materials are they trying to go into? Is it super general, or is it super specific on materials? Just generally I want to punch holes and stuff or?

Attendee: It's sort of a whole spectrum. It's partly a question, because we have a Makerspace on campus at Kansas School for the Blind, and we have lasers, and 3D printers, but there's certain small things as you probably know that we've sometimes run into barriers of punching a hole in something, or cutting wood down, or just some of those good old fashioned shop class material. I'd say mostly we work with wood, plastic, fabric if that helps. Some metal.

Ken: Yes, yes. Okay. I would like to, excellent. I'll answer the question with I think what's going to be the wrong answer by sticking with power tools. So, I'll just tell you that. And then I have a whole range of tools here that are definitely not power tools that are super, they just amplify a student's ability to work independently. And I can say this from experience because Chris Corell, who's not on the call, and you can contact him at Texas School for the Blind, or I can put you all together in a conversation. We're using a lot of the same tools, and developing a lot of this stuff. It's not just lock picking. Okay, having said that, we can do actual power drill. Does this have a model number on it? I can get it the Nikita XFD10. Super specifically this model. And then what you want to do is on your drill bits, what you're looking to do is you generally want to shorten your drill bit quite a bit.

If it's like eighth inch or quarter inch hole, easiest way to shorten it is if you have a fixed belt sander, or some way to abrade it. Don't try to cut it and then just bring it back a little bit. But the student I've found with this specific chuck this has a lot of turns this way for the amount of closure that it has. So, I've found that even a second, or a third grader does not pinch themselves. And I know you're working with a different population here, but I've never had anybody pinch themselves the way the tip of this chuck is formed, and the ability to lock it into place. I also like if you're looking at just kind of the placement of the forward, and reverse direction there, and then just the whole Nikita line in general, this whole battery setup, which goes to everything from hand vacuums to power sauce. This is just, you can do this in a dark all day long. So, to answer your question in that way, first I would get a few of these and start building that out.

Attendee: Well, can you just confirm the number again? Sorry, it was [inaudible] four, one... Oh, XFD10. Got it. Thank you.

Ken: Yes, absolutely. And I would absolutely recommend that product. Yes. Okay. Having said that, even with sighted students, there's a couple downsides to power drills, and they're not safety. You're not working in parallel. What I want to be able to do is have students take a new material, or tool, or technique, have a goal, and have the most of the class being able to work in parallel in teams, or by themselves, and just push it forward beyond tinkering to actually do stuff. So the tool that I'm most excited about that changed my everything like eight years ago, is this tool. Does anybody recognize that

Jay: It's a like a punch? Oh, I can't remember the term.

Ken: Yeah, it's an eyelet setter. Do you see the shape of that? There's a nice parabola in there. That parabola is what we're going to cut a hole in before we reinforce it with an eyelet. So there's a few different things going on here. I've got deep experience with very young students. I've got experience with students who are blind. You can take something like cardboard, but you can also take something like a Popsicle stick. You get a Popsicle stick here, and as soon as you are able to make a hole in a Popsicle stick without cracking it along the grain, then you're off, and running in a Makerspace. So if you take a Popsicle stick that's not cracked here, there's a large hole, and a small hole on the other side. I have had no injuries over, knock on wood, but I don't think I need to. This is something I've literally done down to kindergarten. This is the seventh going on the eighth year.

You can pinch your hands all around, try to get into the cutting area, and you just can't do it. It's exactly the right size. So, what it allows you to do is, because it's a parabolic shape, it's going to touch on two points first. Where... Can you see the shape of the cutter underneath right there? Is that right there? Okay. So, it's touching on two points first, and then as you squeeze it, those two points are going, and you don't crack the popsicle stick. This is a little bit of a gold paint we're using earlier. So you have a popsicle stick that's not cracked, or you have cardboard, or you have this thing will do one eighth inch birch plywood, like just serious stuff. You got to get on it, but it'll do it.

And then you take that, you take the metal eyelets, oh, how much am I paying for these? Like 1500 for $15, something like that. But the reason we want to put a metal eyelet in there is wood can still crack along the grain. And this is so well designed that you can feel in here, you can just feel there's one tooth that wants to go up and down, and then there's one tooth that's fixed. If you take the tooth that wants to go up, and down, you can feel on the eyelet where up, and down is over here, bring it together. You don't need to see, you can feel this happening. And then you're just rolling that back. And then you've got a back, and a front. As soon as you have a back and a front, you can do this in cardboard, you can do this in wood, but now you're able to have a durable rotary joint. If you have a durable rotary joint, then we can go to the next level, which is taking... Put up so many little goodies here.

This is a completely different thing we're trying to explain the inside of a ratchet. Actually that's red on red, that looks terrible. We were making models in CAD of what does a ratchet look like? Why does it make it sound? How does it work? But you'll see these nylon screws all over my Makerspace. The nylon screws can be cut with wire cutters very easily. It doesn't mess up the threads. So you're able to take something where you put a hole in it, and now you have a screw, which is just the right tolerance to go through, and not have any slot, cut it to length. So then you're making linkages, and complex machines right away. Cardboard is the same thing. It's easy to punch a hole in cardboard, but punch a hole, then put a durable rotary joint in it, and eyelet.

And then you're building very quickly in parallel. This single tool, and they have related tools, here's... [inaudible] We've been doing a lot of cans this year. If you're ever interested in it, there's a really quick one. I haven't posted the technique, but taking aluminum cans, and then adult volunteers cutting them down to stock. You just chop off the two ends, and then cut it. Then you have a rectangle. And then what you do is you come across with a, it's not a guillotine cutter. What's the big scary paper cutter? The... Do you know what I'm talking about?

Jay: I call it the big scary paper cutter. I feel like that's [inaudible].

Ken: Big scary paper cutter. Okay. So, just cut off the two ends, side, rectangle. And if you do it with the big scary paper cutter, this is a prep for an adult to do, but you end up with 500 sheets of aluminum can that are just flat. Now when you do that big scary paper cutter, the edge becomes not sharp. So, then students are able to quickly prototype three dimensional structures. When you start going into three dimensional structures, then turns out this inside is perfect with the cake pop stick, and then a cake pop stick can go through here. I can go deeply, deeply into this. There is, and I feel passionately about it. So, if you're at a school, or Makerspace that you, I'm not going to be able to buy into stuff. But if you got some hand tools, and wanted me to jump on a call with the students and just kind of walk through getting going, I'm very happy to.

This is the quarter inch punch version here, and it's the same thing, except with a quarter inch punch, you're able to come in, this will be a little bit large for an eyelet, but the grab the straws here. This specific brand of paper straw, well that fits in there really, really nicely. And so you could imagine if we could take that, or this is a nylon washer that's spaced for those screws I showed you earlier. Well that can just slide in there, and then you can put a screw in there, and then you've got another rotary joint. I think my point is with two, or three, or four hand tools, if you're not working with these students, were trying to solve a specific thing with bending wire. If you're generally into a Makerspace, and you're just like, "I want to build, not worry about student injury", there's a set of five, or six hand tools, I'm more than happy to send you. In fact, what is it? I was working with ACC right now.

I've got... That's something that I should do for this. I should be accountable for, I don't have the link now, but I'm happy just to open source that list to everybody, and it'll have all the screws, all the tools. This is a ID card punch for punching ID cards. But it does exactly the same thing, except if you go here, you can start putting it in slot. Now you have the ability to move the screw back, and forth. If that makes sense. So yeah, that's super duper exciting to me. So, if there's any Makerspace, and it's specifically for students who are sight impaired, I'll make time to walk you through these things, but with a few hand tools, people can be building quickly in parallel. Does that kind of answer your question?

Attendee: Sorry, I cut out and just got back in, but yes. Yeah, and I'd love any list or...

Ken: Yeah.

Attendee: I've dotted some notes, but yeah. I appreciate [inaudible].

Ken: Yeah. I'm more than happy to do the list. And if you want to work with myself, or Chris, we're happy to jump on a call and once you get the hand tools kind of get you going. Okay. So, that's specifically making holes in stuff. Do it with a parabolic punch, and then specifically with the power drill, this one. Excellent. Okay, where were we? Okay, we've got... Jay, tell me if I'm staying on track or moving a little further a field. I'm thinking if we're talking about the best hand tools, why don't we talk about the study of hand tools? Because if something works, or doesn't work for us, it is us. Our sense of agency is not like, "Well, I don't have the appropriate tool. Bummer." It is, again, making, it could be a simple block of wood to bend a wire. But how about something like this? We were working with some students, or not students, some seniors, or students were working with some seniors to develop a grasping tool.

Because if you're working with arthritis and you've got limited mobility in your fingers, how does that look? And the students have done a little bit of research, they've identified that one of the things with grabbers is it can still fall out. So they found this design, and then just modified it, and talked about it. Well what would it take to make it grasp? And we found out maybe take material from those relatively thin plastic cutting boards, it's made out of something called delrin. And delrin has a different feeling to it, a different flexibility to it than something like acrylic. And so we found out if we took delrin jaws and then worked with these sizes here and these linkages, we could get something that you put this in the grasper, and then do you see what's happening to the tip?

Jay: Oh, it's forming around it.

Ken: Yeah, which is what a hand does. And we found you can get pretty... There I am. So, I'm firmly held. I'm not hurting my finger, but this is definitely on. And so this idea of understanding what a, the technical term is a flexure mechanism, and you can see that these triangles are under either compression or tension, or different parts of them are. But what does that look like? So, we've done with, I should, yeah, well let me go back [inaudible] So, like examples, we were working [inaudible].

Jay: Hold on one second. Can you go ahead, and stop your share screen so that way people have a little bit better time seeing what you're doing there?

Ken: Absolutely.

Jay: There you go. Sorry.

Ken: Okay, so, testing, this is one that didn't work. We found that acrylic isn't... You can see where all those little supports kind of gave out. It still wants to flex, but it would crack. And just even where to route the rubber bands, maybe something is, we want to change how hard you need to push, or pull on the lever. Where can we find rubber bands? What are those rainbow bracelet, rubber band kits? 10,000 for 10 bucks. So, they decided on that rubber band because of this dimension, and this geometry, we found out we were breaking handles because we had points that were coming too sharp, and there was stress building up on them. So, these are all prototypes. I mean, when you buy a new tool, spend time figuring out how to make it better. So with this one, is how do I make this better? Well... Yeah?

Jay: Oh, well I was curious in terms of, especially for your students that you mentioned, you can't just hand a kid a screwdriver sometimes that they need some additional information, and starting places. Can you walk us through, maybe briefly, just when you're giving a student that eyelet puncher, or having them first work with those tools, what is your intro process to that, and how are you walking them through?

Ken: I think it gets better with the experience. Well, [inaudible] Seriously, the crappiest lesson I'm going to give on that tool is the first time I give the lesson on the tool. The best time to get a lesson from me on how to use a screwdriver is to be the last student out of the last 300 in the last five years. Okay, I got it down. So, the explanation gets better with experience. But there are common things like, okay, always, always, always look for safety. So, parents are super picky about the same number of fingers coming back every day. And so what is my student safety like? And so I've got to look at where's the danger? Where's the, oh, that is bad. So, I have to start... First put on the administrative hat, or the insurance hat and just be like, what can go wrong? And so if you're working with, I don't know [inaudible]

Jay: I guess my question is how do you make them avoid the what could go wrong? Because I know what my kids, you give them something and they're going to find the worst thing to do with it, right?

Ken: So, I think what I'm trying to say is the first step in process is identify the mistakes that we can't come back from. Because I want them to make a lot of the other mistakes. So, what I'm trying to clarify is if you poke your finger with a screwdriver, and you got to go get a bandaid, that's fine. That's all right. But you need to be showing students, if you're using this to pierce something, what I don't want is an injury that goes all the way through the hands. That's too much. I don't ever want that to happen. And so we have to talk about, well, we're always standing up over a table, pushing down. We're never ever on our legs. We're just looking for... The thing that you're pushing on is not on you. Stuff like that. So I try to clear as much of that as possible. So I'm looking at hair getting into the, this is called the chuck.

And then as soon as the hair gets, so try to keep my students absolutely safe there. And then I'm ranking it on, I want them to discover some things about the tool that need to be discovered. So setting the correct direction, that little parabolic cutter, if you cut it 90 degrees across the grain, it's more likely to crack. I'm not even going to cover that. I'd rather that you find that on your own. And then it comes to the middle ground stuff, soldering iron. Two ways not to burn yourself. One, listen to my instructions. Two, do it one time. Either way you're going to learn not to burn yourself. That's kind of like the middle ground. So, once I've kind of get the safety mapped out, then I'm switching over to how am I going to have a student use the tools? And I've found that visually holding it up, and showing them, and now you repeat loses a lot of information.

So, if it's possible, I'm going to step behind the student, and I'm going to drive their hands. So, ideally, I am holding their hands on the tool. And so specifically with a Phillips screwdriver, the problem is they're not pushing as they're twisting, so it keeps jumping off. I need you to push, hold. Can you feel the screwdriver? It has kind of a cross shape. Can you feel that you're generally perpendicular? Can we feel that? Are we located all the way in? And then at the same time, I'm pushing on the student's hands so they can feel that. Now as we start to turn, and it's never a visual explanation if possible, it's always, I need you to feel the feedback on the tool.

Jay: So, you're essentially finding a way to kind of do that step by step, but checking in with them continually to make sure they're getting that tactile feedback.

Ken: Yes. So, to start it's, let me not show you, let's do this together. My hands over your hands. And then what I try to do to not get bogged down is, safety allowing, have one student who sometimes might be the behavior issue in the class. Sometimes students who are really good with hand tools are really bad at staying focused. So, just take a student, and just go, "Hey, you now know how to use this. I'm done. So when people need a lesson, they're coming to you." And then you spend a lot of time, a lot time showing that student how you taught, which was you are using your words, you're using your hands over somebody's hands, but you are definitely most certainly not picking it up, and talking to them while you do it. And so trying to get a first, or second advocate in the classroom who takes great pride in, "I'm not only teaching, I know how to do it right like Mr. Hawthorne's doing it."

Jay: All right. Well, we have a few minutes before we're going to wrap up. So if anybody has any additional questions, either about specific tools, or any recent projects, I'm curious with the designs. So that is your project where you're going to be recycling all these different political signs, and things like that. And I know that you've put on the website some of the projects. Now there's something happening in January. Did you want to tell us a little bit about what that one's going to be?

Ken: Yeah, so what's happening is we've come up with a concept that we want to have shared across all the different schools, and Makerspaces in the country. The purpose of this thing is to have it replicated. So, this is an environmental thing. What do we want to do? Almost like a new holiday. It's called design day. Well what do you do the day after elections? Well, for the people who have not removed their signs, and if they're not in a runoff or whatever, you can help them with that. And so we have, I don't know, hundreds of signs. You can check the blog posts probably tomorrow. It's it a lot, like several hundred pounds of signs. So, here's what happened. We got a parent to find us a space to hold like 100 people. That's a brewery. The brewery's like that's cool. It'll be full of parents that want to have beer.

And then over the next two months, here's what's happening. My students are developing further tools, and techniques on how to work with this Coroplast material, the corrugated sign material, and the wires. And then on January 17th, they're going to maybe 20 students, and 100 other community members will learn along with our students. The idea is to have this just copied, just copy left, it started over in Austin because a lot of amazing stuff does. And then there's no barrier, there's no organization, there's nonprofit. It's just the school in Atlanta is like, "That's a great idea." Awesome. Here's literally the projects, and here are the tools, and techniques. Please go. That is entire purpose of it.

Jay: And you said that the projects that are going to be created, and shared out, these are things that students are essentially developing, and designing.

Ken: They're developing it, they're designing it. They're talking a lot about, we're not saying we're putting it on a laser cutter, with these it's all low tech. We found kitchen spatulas that are an eighth of an inch thick used with the meter stick, push this direction, we'll score it. So, the first time our students will have developed, I'm hoping 50, or 60 little techniques. And then next year it's just out there. There's going to be a set of PDF pages, there's going to be a website that's accessible. And I don't think mine's there yet. I would be one of those website people that would love to get some help with that. I want my website to be more accessible.

But there would be, here's eight different ways to accomplish what you want with eight different household items. And then I think if we can get it there, then that's the natural press thing for the PR. If you send a press release to the newspaper, our local school is recycling signs, and everybody's available come on by, the politicians can come by, and learn from our kids, because our kids see a sign as a building material. I think it's beautiful for the adults to go, "Oh, yeah, it's not all about us", right? I mean they're trying to help the city, but I don't know something there.

Jay: Yeah, no, for sure. We had a great question that popped up in the chat that maybe we need to bring you back later to get some progress, and see how some of those projects turned out, and once you're ready to share out to the world.

Ken: Totally it is going to be updated live. But I will talk to anybody, and everybody about this because I want people to steal it. Copy it.

Jay: Excellent. Well we are happy to help steal. So we are wrapping up for the day, but I just want to say thank you, Ken. This was great. I really liked hearing, for me, it's all about that process and how you introduce the students, especially to new materials and techniques. So this was great for me. I know we're looking forward to getting your links, and all your goodies in terms of your favorite power tools, and things like that. But yeah, I'd love to see you again maybe in the spring.

Ken: Sure, absolutely. And I am accountable for, I will, as soon as we get off this call, I will see if I can find the file, and send it off to you. It'll just be access in Google Drive.

Jay: Excellent. Excellent. And so as we wrap up, I'm just going to remind everybody that we have our library for our K-12 access summit, and what we'll be doing, not only with our previous summer conference that we had where all of those videos are stored, but we will also start transferring all these Toolkit Tuesdays into the library in the next year or so. So just be ready for that. So, the ideas, we'll have them available on YouTube for a brief moment of time, and then store them long term in that library. But if you are interested in accessing our K12 access summit, this was over 12 hours of just really great content, looking at inclusive practices across the board from teachers to administrators, please go ahead, fill out that form, and then that won't get you signed up and into the access library. And then also we have our feed feedback form, and we greatly appreciate it.

Let us know not only how you liked this session, but if there's other topics you would like to know more about. Also, we played around with the time a little bit today. This was our first time trying an afternoon session instead of our kind of lunchtime hour. So, let us know if this time is working better for you. So that way we want to make sure, of course everything's recorded, but sometimes you really want to be there live, and be able to directly talk with the presenters. So we want to make sure these times work best for you. So please go ahead, and build that out. It's going to be B-I-T.ly/Nov, so N-O-V, with a capital N. Toolkit with a capital K or T, excuse me. And then survey with a capital S. Oh, the feedback is... Oh, all right. I will make sure that that is clickable in just a second.

And then lastly, of course, please, please join us for our next one. We'll actually have Melissa Green, our very own, who's one of our accessibility specialists here. She's going to be talking about how to create accessible course content. So if you're using MLS, depending on which ones you're using, we're also going to talk about just kind of basic good, how to create your course content for all of your students to be more accessible. So, that will be happening not in December, because that's the crazy holiday time. So we'll take a break in December, but we'll be back at the end of January, and we'll go ahead with that afternoon session again. So I will put that link in the chat as well. And if you're not able to click on it, if you copy paste the links, it should take you right to it. But I will make this next one with the TTPs, but to get information on all of our toolkit Tuesdays again, it's another Bitly, so it's B-I-T.ly.

And then it's just going to be Knowbility Toolkit Tuesdays, it'll be a capital K, capital T for toolkit, and then a capital T for Tuesdays. So, let me put that in there. And Ken, thank you so much. This was great. I had a great time. This is always the kind of stuff I like to talk about. So, I hope everyone learned a little something, and we'll see you next year. Oh my gosh, exciting.

Ken: Thank you