Thursday, March 18, 2010

Animal farm

Munchie and Trixie...good buds!

Science Fair and Wax Museum

Yesterday was Harding Avenue Elementary's Open House which meant a wax museum for Grant and a Science Fair for Spencer.

Spencer did his science fair poster on binary numbers and he wrote a program in Visual Basic to convert numbers between binary and arabic (base 10) numbers. I helped him format the poster, but the ideas and writing were all his. Below he is pictured with his good friend Vivian.

Grant was Shaun White the snowboarder, and he and his classmates sat or stood still for 45 minutes, making no eye contact and acting as statues! They took it very seriously!! Check out Grant's body screams TEENAGER already!

Williamsburg Trip

On Thursday, March 11 - Friday March 12, Spencer and I were on the Harding Ave Elementary Williamsburg field trip. We left at 6:30 am Thursday, toured Yorktown and Jamestown, checked into the hotel, ate dinner, and went on the Hauntings of Williamsburg tour. Friday morning was a guided Williamsburg tour, group lunch, and time in our small groups for additional touring.

The forecast for the two days was dreadful, but we managed to dodge most of it and instead had some drizzle that was manageable and didn't dampen our enthusiasm! The kids were great and the trip was well organized. Here are some photos from the trip, or check them all out here:

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy

Now these entries are REALLY out of order, but I'm realizing I never put anything up about my big event this semester, which was our 2-day conference on February 18-19 at the Inn at Virginia Tech. I served as the Chair for the second year in a row, and was pleased to see attendance jump from about 300 to over 400 with attendees from over 30 schools! Here are a few random photos, but the whole collection can be found here.

just prior to registration..

opening keynote

lunch and poster session

me, Curt, and Jonathan

closing keynote/lunch

The gang! Jonathan, me and Peter (back)Pupung, Curt, Joan, and Laura (front)

Cats and Dogs

We're not big advocates of cats on counters but Munchie is older
than the hills and about as senile as they get

Grant turns 8!

Yup, this post is out of order and delinquent, because Grant turned 8 last month! No matter, here are some photos from his party that included William, Tyler, and Joel. His big birthday gift was the snowboard setup - board, bindings, boots, helmet, goggles, and several trips to the slopes. Not to mention a shopping spree at the iTunes store!'s all about the food:

All-American processed food dinner (we're working on that) hot dogs, mac and cheese, fries.

No cake for Grant - simple Breyer's Cookies and Cream ice cream.

And breakfast...the Martin family tradition of pancakes!

Spencer turns 10

The big co-ed 10-year-old sleepover birthday party

Spencer had Tyler, Vivian, Davis, and Chris over for dinner (pizza and wings), a movie (Futurama), sleep (HA!), and breakfast (chocolate chip pancakes). They are great kids who apparently don't need more than 6 hours of sleep in a night.

Spencer hit the jackpot for his 10th birthday. His BIG gift was a new Acer laptop. The USB ports on the old one crapped out so he couldn't work with his LEGO programming bricks. It was not affordable to fix, and it was an old machine, so a new one made more sense. Grant can still use the old one to surf the Web. The other main gift was an Arduino Mega microcontroller board. Spencer found it and it turns out it's very similar to a product that his Opa used for a water monitoring system. He and Robert have been exploring its possibilities and learning to program it in C++. Spencer has enormous patience for it, he really loves it! The other funny gift was this Pi tshirt in which the Pi is formed of the digits of the constant. Right up his alley! Of course So a BIG birthday for sure, but you only turn 10 once.

The Arduino Mega (above)