017 – Firewood Physics with Judy Houser

017 – Firewood Physics with Judy Houser



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[In This Episode][Guest Bio][Additional Notes][Text Transcript]

In This Episode

houser_htea_logoDo you have to be a techno-geek to start a makerspace? Why are school makerspaces a great social equalizer? How large a log can a small SUV pull? What is Steve’s favorite kind of chainsaw? Tune in to today’s podcast to find out the answers to these and other questions. On today’s show, we are featuring Judy Houser.  Judy started a Makerspace this last fall, and we decided to share her story because many teachers want to know how REAL PEOPLE start a makerspace.  I suppose that’s no offense to mad scientists like me, but we do want to spread the word that Makerspaces can be started by anyone with a big idea.  Tune in to today’s podcast to meet Judy and find out the answers to these and other questions.

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Judy’s Favorite Quote 


[Tweet “Imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” – Albert Einstein]

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About Teachers

Can you briefly tell us about a teacher that made an impact on your education and why they are important to you?

Yes, Dr. Philip M. Turner was head of the School of Library & Information Studies at the University of Alabama.  I was fortunate to have him for two classes and as an adviser. He wrote the book, Helping Teachers Teach.  He was using an early type of “Skype” to remotely teach classes back in the 1980s.  He understood the importance technology would play in education. From him, I learned that the role of the school librarian is to promote a love of reading, help students learn information retrieval skills and to support the work of the classroom teachers.    This has become my manta for my role as a school librarian.

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About Making

What was the last thing you made?

I made a Kahoot,it quiz for my fifth-graders on the book Among the Hidden.  I think it is really cool that several of the students asked if they could make quizzes on other books.  Next week, we are going to take a student created quiz on A Wrinkle in Time.  I have also made several things to print with our 3D printer.  I used Tinkercad to create a backpack tag and keyfobs for employees of Harris Corporation–the company that gave a generous grant to fund our Makerspace.

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About Learning

What is the most recent new thing you have learned?

I learned about Squishy Circuits.  I look forward to using them with students at our summer camp.  I have also been experimenting with various 3D designing programs. I think Cookie Caster will be a big hit with my students.

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About Judy

Judy is the Lower School Librarian at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Melbourne, Florida. She love sharing great books with her students and learning about new technologies. Her school, Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy in Melbourne, Florida, recently created a Makerspace in their library. Judy says “Being a School Librarian is the best job in the world!”

Judy’s experience includes ten years of teaching kindergarten, three years as a proposal specialist for a library software company, and fourteen years as school librarian. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Tennessee and a Master’s Degree in Library Service from the University of Alabama, as well as endorsements in Gifted Education and Early Childhood Education.

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Additional Notes

Connect with Judy:
email: judy.houser@htes.org
Twitter: @JHouser1

TTI’s New Stitcher On-demand Radio page:

Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy website:

What is a Raspberry Pi?

5 Cool Pi projects:

Cool Makey Makey musical instruments:

Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt:

Cool chainsaw video (and a cool chainsaw project, don’t try this at home–unless you’re a certified chainsaw wielder!):

Wood densities:

Bronco II:

Ford 302 we had in it (slightly different plenum than we had):

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Text Transcript

 Coming Soon!


[Tweet “The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” –George Bernard Shaw”]

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