What is BlueStamp Engineering and how did I get Involved?
BlueStamp Engineering is a summer program to get high school students doing real, hands-on engineering projects. In the summer of 2012 I taught BlueStamp’s New York City morning class of 10 students. The previous summer, I had guest lectured twice to BlueStamp’s inaugural class – once about the engineering projects that I’ve done and how they have affected my educational trajectory, and once about how the students could leverage open source hardware and software collaboration to get more out of their projects. The program founders, Dave Young and Robin Mansukhani, were so impressed by my ability to connect with the students that they later offered me a role as the instructor for the 2012 summer session. I gladly accepted.
Teaching the 2012 BlueStamp NYC Class
For 6 weeks in 2012 I taught and mentored 10 highschool students in BlueStamp’s intensive summer program. However, this was far more than a teaching position. In my role as instructor, I started communicating with the incoming students weeks before the program began. By the first class, I had already helped each student to select starter and major projects, I had gotten a good understanding of their individual skill levels, and I had ordered all their parts in advance so that they would be ready to hit the ground running.
While I did give a number of short lectures on topics ranging from transistors to college admissions to open source to github version control, the majority of the class was structured as an open working environment. With the help of two TA’s, I fielded questions, debugged, and provided project advice to all the students in the class as they developed their projects. As students hit milestones, I walked them through the importance of project documentation (most of them even built websites to document their projects), and I filmed videos of their projects to post on the BlueStamp Youtube channel.
Want to get an idea of the amazing final projects that all the students made? Check out this playlist of all their final project demos:
Here are some photos from my class:
You can read some of my blog posts regarding BlueStamp here.
Speaking at the 2011 BlueStamp NYC Class
In 2011 I guest lectured twice at BlueStamp and spent some time helping the students. You can check out posts on the BlueStamp blog about my visits:
- 07/27/2011 – First BlueStamp Visit
- 08/03/2011 – Second BlueStamp Visit (w/ video)