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WV Maker News 
A Newsletter of The Education Alliance 

Maker Spotlight 
by Washington Lands Elementary

Our second grade class here at Washington Lands Elementary School in Moundsville, WV, has been working all year using the Makey Makey. Students were put into groups of three or four students and were first introduced to Scratch, practicing for several weeks to explore the different functions and commands of this program. 

Each group created a "Character Project" with the ability to control two different characters on the screen, and also a music project where their task was to use the different keys to control multiple sounds such as a drum, piano, or even animal sounds.  After the programming was complete, the students then had to decide, as a group, what they would be hooking their Makey Makey up to, in order to control both their characters and music. The options that were chosen by our students ranged from cups of water, fruits, and vegetables, to  Play-doh , and paper with pencil drawings on it.  

This was a very "student led" project. After given a half hour introduction to Scratch, the students went straight to work, and it is amazing to see what seven and eight year old students are capable of when given a very complex task but also some freedom to explore their own solutions. What was even more outstanding was being able to watch those students who struggle on a regular basis ace spelling, vocabulary, and reading tests, getting their chance to shine and be successful. Our Maker Space has definitely made a positive impact on our school and given our students opportunities that they would have otherwise never had.

Printing: Dye Sublimation Heat Transfer
by Stephen Strothers, AmeriCorps VISTA

Tucker County High School has been developing its MakerSpace/FabLab over the last year. Our newest and most exciting piece of equipment is a Dye Sublimation Heat Transfer Printer.  You're probably asking yourself what is a Dye Sublimation Printer and how does that differ from other types of printers? Let's start with the science of what sublimation is. The sublimation name was first applied because the dye was considered to make the transition between the solid and gas states without going through a liquid stage. Dye sublimation printers use special inks to create transfers designed to be imprinted on a substrate, also known as the base material like a mug, hat, or polyester t-shirt.
What is the process of printing with sublimation dye? A graphic software package like CorelDraw or Creative Studio is used to create something to be printed. The printer uses transfer paper to print CYMK colors (Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, Black). A heat press is used to transfer the graphics to the substrate. A heat press uses a combination of time, temperature and pressure to transfer the sublimation dyes at the molecular level into the substrate. The most common dyes used for sublimation activate at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
The end product is a nearly permanent, high resolution, full color print. Because the dyes are infused at the molecular level, the prints will not crack, fade or peel from the substrate under normal conditions. The inks/dyes used will vary depending on the substrate.  We purchased a Sawgrass Virtuoso 400 with Sublijet-HD inks, a 5 in 1 perfect heat press, 100 mug transfer sheets, and 100 8.5" x 11" transfer sheets. This package comes with free Creative Design software which works with a web browser and stores designs in the internet cloud. If you have any questions or would like any additional information, please contact Stephen Strothers at

Innovative Ideas

Use food coloring to create tie-dyed flowers in honor of Mother's Day. Learn about the process of transpiration and have some fun while completing this beginner level project. Click here for more information on how to create your own dyed flower. 
Maker Updates      

Grant Opportunities: 

The Captain Planet Foundation is offering two grant opportunities for students to engage in inquiry-based projects in STEM fields that use innovation to address environmental issues in their communities. Be sure to apply by the May 30th deadline.  

STEM Classroom Grant 
First Energy is offering STEM education grants of up to $1,000 for educators of schools and youth groups in communities served by any of their electric operating companies.This grant will support creative classroom projects within STEM fields that will take place during the 2017-2018 school year. Be sure to apply by the September 22nd deadline. 

Student Opportunities & Competitions:

WV STEM Challenge
The Education Alliance is pleased to announce the 3rd annual STEM Challenge: Map WV. Students will use an online map-making software to design interactive maps of West Virginia. The top ten maps will win $100! The contest is open through May 1. Register by April 28.  

Remake Learning Days
Join us for Remake Learning Days from May 15-26. An open house of hands-on, innovative learning featuring over 300 free events across West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania. These events are open to youth of all ages. Click here for a complete schedule of events.

Academic Year Fellowships
NASA WV Space Grant Consortium is offering an opportunity for STEM project developments by students in collaboration with faculty and peers during the 2017-2018 school year. Each student will be awarded $4,000 and the faculty member will receive a $1,000 honor. Register by May 15th .

Beginning on June 5th, Marshall University College of Science will host their third Summer Science Adventure camps featuring hands-on and activity based learning covering many fields within STEM. There are different camps available for grades K-4 , 5-9 , and 9-12. Scholarships are available to cover camp costs.  Register by May 15th

An academic camp for middle and high school students designed to provide a firsthand look into a professional forensics career through hands-on exercises and concept-based instruction. Registration due by May 28th

Explore rivers and watersheds while learning about science in a week of adventure. SSCC 2017 will take place from July 17th - 21st. Registration due by July 1st

Educator & Professional Opportunities:

From June 26th - 28th, The WV Center for Professional Development is offering an opportunity for educators to learn effective classroom instruction using technology. The core concepts will be based on technology integration, student centered learning, collaboration, instructional strategies, and project-based learning. Registration and registration fee ($100) due by  June 12th

From July 25th - 27th, The WV Center for Professional Development is offering an opportunity for educators to learn effective classroom instruction using technology. The core concepts will be based on technology integration, student centered learning, collaboration, instructional strategies, and project-based learning. Registration and registration fee ($100) due by July 10th