Monthly Archives: August 2016

Fall 2016 – Week 2 Class Notes

We had a great time in class this week! Everyone was attentive, cooperative, and kept going when technology didn’t work perfectly. We have had a few issues with the Wifi at the location where we are holding class. I am looking to fix it, but a big thank-you to the students for being patient when there are a few glitches during class!

I forgot to mention this, but this Saturday is the Tulsa Maker Faire at Expo Square. I will have a booth there – so come by, see what is going on, and drop by the booth and say “hi”!


This week we looked a bit more into how computers communicate over the network. You don’t have to do the process on pages 29-30, as that is what we did in class (though you should read those pages), and it is sometimes hard to get that done on your home computers. You may also skip #4 on “Apply What You Have Learned” on Chapter 3.

Starting on Chapter 4, there are “Practice Questions”. These will help you out if you do them, but I am not considering Practice Questions or Activities part of the required homework. I am only checking for the “Apply” section at the end. They will definitely help your understanding if you do them (and, if you get stuck on “Apply”, you should go back and do them), but I am not checking for them.

The Apply section on chapter 4 depends on you having a text editor. On Windows you can use Notepad and on the Mac you can use TextEdit, though TextEdit sometimes tries to be more than a text editor and may or may not work. You might also try to install Adobe Brackets (it is free at for your text editor. You will use a text editor for the rest of the class, however, the exercises in this chapter are very setup-dependent, so there may be some issues. Email me if you have issues and we can work them out, and most importantly I just want you to try them out.

Next week we will not be on computers, but will be doing a hands-on computer simulation (where you are the computer).


We did our first circuit this week – yay! I put breadboards in the boxes, but we won’t learn to use them until next week, though many students who took the summer class were already familiar with them.

We covered Ohm’s law in class, which will be chapter 4 in your book. It is a short chapter, but very important. The homework in this chapter is foundational for the rest of the class.


The reading assignment for Calculus is to cover chapter 3, 4, and 5. Since chapter 4 is non-existent, you have the assignment of reading this article instead. Chapter 3 is the only chapter with homework. We started talking about derivatives and integrals this week – next week we will talk about them a little more in-depth.

Fall 2016 – Week 1 Class Notes

I enjoyed meeting you all this week! I am still learning your names, and I imagine that will continue. As it says in the syllabus, please feel free to email me at any time if you have questions.

Here are the notes for each of the classes:


We covered a lot of the material in chapter 2, and a little from chapter 3. Read chapters 1 and 2 this week, and do the exercises at the end of chapter 2 and bring them to class with you next week. I will be taking homework with attendance. You can bring your homework printed out or on a flash drive (which you will get back). For the essay, just write a short paragraph or two. The goal is to start thinking about technology and its role in history.


Remember to bring your box with you next week! This is a class requirement, and will be part of your homework grade. You need to download the current version of the book, and read chapters 1 & 3, and do the exercises at the end of chapter 3. Next week we will start making actual electricity move. Bring your homework with you – I will check your homework and your box during attendance next week.


Don’t forget to download the current version of the book, and read chapters 1 & 2. We actually covered more than that in class today, but I want to make sure you think through these things slowly and methodically. Lines may not seem important, but they are! Don’t forget to do the exercises at the end of the chapter and bring them with you for class next week.

I can’t wait to see you all again next week!

Classes Start Today (Wednesday)!

I’m looking forward to meeting all of you! Class updates will be posted to this blog. Stay tuned for announcements.

2016 Fall Classes: Official Schedule and Location

It has taken us a while to finalize a schedule and a location, but we have finally worked out what we think will be a great location and a great schedule for our fall classes.

The classes will be held at Joy Lutheran Church at 99th and Yale. The following classes will be held on Wednesdays starting on August 17th:

  • Computer Programming at 8:30 AM
  • Electronics at 9:35 AM
  • Calculus at 10:40 AM

We moved the computer programming class to the early slot so that more dads will be able to bring their students to class on the way to work and moms only have to make one trip out to pick their students up.

Classes will be for 15 weeks. We are meeting on the following days: August 17, 24, and 31; September 7, 14, 21, and 28; October 5, 12, and 26; November 2, 9, 16, and 30; and December 7. This has two breaks – October 19th and November 23rd.

The classes are intended to be year-long, but the fall and spring terms are contracted separately so that we can make adjustments as needed between the fall and spring terms.

Here are the details for each course:

  • Programming and Web Development with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. This course follows the book New Programmers Start Here and introduces the basics of programming, HTML, and networking to students. Students should have some basic typing skills before starting class. Class is limited to Junior-high and high-school aged students (12 years old and up). This class will meet at 8:30 AM.
  • Introduction to Electronics. This course will introduce students to the basics of electronics, and focus on learning to build basic circuits. All circuits built will be low-power, DC-only circuits, which means that they will be safe. Students will learn the basics of circuit analysis, circuit design, and microcontroller programming. Class is limited to Junior-high and high-school aged students (12 years old and up). This class will meet at 9:35 AM.
  • Calculus for the Curious. This course is an introduction to Calculus. While most mathematics courses are about applying formulas that the book tells you, Calculus is about building formulas from basic principles. If you are curious about what makes mathematics and the sciences tick, this Calculus course will show you how to think about problems in new ways, and teaches you to apply basic principles to transform problems into solutions. Class is limited to high-school aged students who have taken some amount of trigonometry and are proficient in algebra skills. This class will meet at 10:40 AM.

All classes will involve homework for the students to do between classes, probably between 1-3 hours for programming and electronics, and probably 4-6 hours for Calculus.

Classes cost $150 per student per semester per class. If you enroll in multiple classes, or have multiple students in a class, the classes are discounted down to $125.

Additionally, students in the programming class need to purchase the book New Programmers Start Here. Students will also need to pay a computer lab fee of $20. Computers will be provided during class, but students are expected to have a computer at home to do assignments on (any computer built in the last decade should work, though students will need to be able to install software programs needed for the class – all software will be free downloads). Computers can be purchased from BP Learning capable of doing the assignments for $60.

Students in the electronics class will need to pay an additional $35 for an electronics kit which will be added to throughout the semester. Students will be responsible for bringing their kit to class each week.

Email if you are interested in taking these classes or have any questions. Minimum class size is 5 students; maximum class size is 15 students.