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tomheck
Interests: HOBBIES: inventing, lacrosse, sailing, catapults, banjo, percussive dance, motorcylces, macintosh computers, hair-brained ideas FAVORITE AUTHORS/TEACHERS: Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Robert Kiyosaki, Marianne Williamson, Jack Canfield, Tony Robbins, David R. Hawkins, Paul Pearsall, Ken Blanchard
Recent Activity
CLICK HERE to download directions on how to build your very own "stomp" rocket launcher. I created this for my friends at Asheville Makers. Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2016 at Tom Heck
Posted Jan 12, 2016 at Tom Heck
Download Sketch it play it handout Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2016 at Tom Heck
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I built this giant vortex air cannon to “bring the boom” to Maker Faire Atlanta 2015. I first built an air cannon out of a 32 gallon round plastic trash can. I followed one of the many tutorials on YouTube to figure out how to do this. It worked great but it just wasn’t big enough (the “boom” was lacking) so I went back to YouTube looking for giant vortex air cannons and I found the “Candle Cannon” (https://youtu.be/ayaiArVkpA4). The Candle Cannon is amazing but it’s expensive to build and requires a trailer to transport and a team to assemble.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2015 at Tom Heck
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I built a giant robot costume for Maker Faire Atlanta 2015. In the video below I'm using the costume on Vermont Ave in Asheville, NC during Halloween. My wife Anne is walking beside me and she's playing the part of the wacky inventor. Anne's holding a shoe box prop made to look like it's a robot controller (she fooled a lot of people with that!). The robot is built upon a two wheeled human powered vehicle that I remember from my childhood which was called a "Krazy Kar". The original Krazy Kar was built out of plastic similar to the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2015 at Tom Heck
I occasionally play music at the Saluda Grade Cafe in Saluda, NC (near Asheville, NC). The video below was shot on June 27, 2014. The tune is called "Big Scioto" (sigh-oh-tee). The musicians: Alan Dillman - fiddle Breccia Leigh - fiddle Rebecca Osteen - bass Todd Neel - guitar Tom Heck - banjo Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2014 at Tom Heck
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Workshop on Wind Energy. Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2014 at LEADk12
Tom Heck won the 2013 "IGNITE Asheville" competition with his 5 minute talk "Adventures of a Geek Dad". This talk has now been developed into a 30-45 minute talk. Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2014 at LEADk12
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Launch water balloons 75 yards with this portable kid-powered trebuchet invented by Tom Heck. A workshop can entail a demonstration or allowing everyone a chance to "hurl" water balloons. We can even provide a workshop where everyone builds there own trebuchet. Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2014 at LEADk12
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Learn how to solder! Fun hands-on “Learn to Solder” workshop for anyone interested in learning an important “Maker” skill. You’ll learn how to use a soldering iron to create a robot “badge” that has two blinking LED lights and is powered by a watch battery. You keep the robot badge... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2014 at LEADk12
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Learn about hovercrafts first hand by building small hovercrafts out of an old CD and balloons. Continue on with other experiments related to hovercrafts then ride a homemade hovercraft that is powered by an electric leaf blower. Here's the story of how we (my daughter, a friend, and me) built... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2014 at LEADk12
Build your own paper rocket launcher out of a 2 liter plastic soda bottle, an old bicycle innertube, and a few pieces of PVC pipe. Total cost is less than $5. Click on the link below to download the plans (PDF) Download Diy_stomp_launcher_from_leadk12 The DIY Stomp Rocket launcher plans include... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2014 at LEADk12
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Make rockets out of paper and launch them 300 feet in the air with our compressed air launcher! Learn the principles of "ROCKET" leadership. Using a two stage building system, explore goal setting. Time aloft challenge (add parachutes) - design parachutes, deploy, what materials? Build your own compressed air launcher.... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2014 at LEADk12
Posted May 6, 2014 at LEADk12
Extreme By Design is the story of three Stanford University Design School students who take a course on designing very low-cost products that meet basic needs of the world's poorest people. During the 6-month course, they travel to Bangladesh and Indonesia and race to design life-saving breathing devices, IV medicine infusion pumps, and fresh water storage systems. PBSLearningMedia (a curriculum portal for teachers) created a series of interactive videos designed to help students learn how to think and act like innovators. It is designed for 4th through 12th grade students, to be completed after watching the Extreme By Design documentary.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2014 at Tom Heck
What is good design? Dr. Gary Hamel says great design evokes an almost visceral reaction because it is: Utterly unexpected Amazingly competent Aesthetically exquisite Conspicuously conscientious CLICK HERE to read Dr. Hamel's article in FORBES. Design Thinking is a proven and repeatable problem-solving protocol that any business or profession can employ to achieve extraordinary results. Read the article in Fast Company Magazine HERE. Stanford University's d-School has developed a process for Design Thinking. CLICK HERE to read the d-School's "Bootcamp Bootleg". Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO, offers 3 steps to a more open, innovative mind. Be curious Have empathy Beginner's... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2014 at Tom Heck
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PROJECT OVERVIEW High school students design appropriate Assistive Technology solutions for elementary students with physical and cognitive disabilities. WHO Ten high school students enrolled in a year-long Computer Science course taught by Joe Speier at the Asheville School , a college preparatory school located in West Asheville. These ten students participated in a special project-based Engineering Design class taught by Tom Heck during the month of May 2014. Working in teams, the Asheville School students designed and and built prototypes of appropriate Assistive Technology solutions for exceptional students enrolled at Hall Fletcher Elementary School (HFE) located in Asheville, NC. The... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2014 at Tom Heck
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On March 20, 2014 Asheville Makers led a "Learn To Solder" event at the West Asheville Library. It was the first free and open to the public learn how to solder event ever held in Asheville and it was a huge success. We had students age 8 to 80 learning how to solder a blinking "robot badge" found at the Maker Shed. Because of generous donations from area businesses, this event was free! Big thank you goes out to Efficiency Lab and On Haywood. Thank you to all of our great soldering teachers. Without you this would not have been... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2014 at Tom Heck
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On March 12, 2014 I visited A.J. Whittenberg Elementary School of Engineering in Greenville, SC and led three 90 minute hovercraft workshops (one for each of the three 5th grade classes). Read an article about this amazing school in The Atlantic CLICK HERE Here's the 2 minute highlight video: The workshop starts with a discussion comparing Engineering and Science. We then discuss the Engineering Design Process and compare it to the Scientific Method. Then we discuss friction and determine if it is good or bad. This leads to a discussion about hovercrafts, friction, and "lift". Then we start building mini... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2014 at Tom Heck
Our father-son group gathers once a year for a massive Nerf dart battle in a gym. One year I build this Nerf Assault Vechicle (NAV) using a Krazy Kar and a cardboard box. The only problem was it was too small for adults to ride! Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2013 at Tom Heck
Complete free online curriculum for teaching Computer Science to K-8. Filled with fun activities. learn.code.org Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2013 at Tom Heck
Great resource for teaching coding skills to kids: CSisFun.com Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2013 at Tom Heck
. Engineering is Elementary http://www.eie.org/ . The Engineering Place http://www.engr.ncsu.edu/theengineeringplace/ . International Technology & Engineering Educators Association http://www.iteea.org/Resources/resources.htm . SAGE Design Challenges http://www.ciese.org/sage/curriculum.html . Engineering go for it! http://teachers.egfi-k12.org/ . INcreasing Student Participation, Interest and Recruitment in Engineering and Science http://inspires.umbc.edu/imd/ . Exploratorium Snacks http://www.exploratorium.edu/snacks/ . Math and science activities http://www.howtosmile.org/ . Mathematics Modeling http://www.comap.com/mmow/ Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2013 at Tom Heck