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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
Hi Quincy - I just updated the post so you can access the audio file immediately on the post (logging in not required). You should also be able to easily download the audio file from this blog post. Let me know if this works for you. ~ Tom
I designed this Industrial Grade Human Powered Paper Rocket Launcher (aka "stomp rocket launcher") for the Lake Eden Arts Festival held twice each year in Black Mountain, NC. more coming soon... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2019 at Tom Heck
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In 2012 I volunteered with the TEDx Asheville event (www.tedxasheville.com). That year the theme was "The Edge". The conference explored all things relating to "the EDGE" and I decided this would be a great opportunity to explore near space ballooning. I volunteered at my kid's middle school where I worked with one of the science and math teachers and his students. Over the course of several weeks the students designed and built a "near space balloon" that carried a GO Pro video camera and two GPS devices along with small personal items from each student up to near space. The... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2019 at Tom Heck
A few years ago I met Al Stahler in San Francisco at a Maker Faire like event. Al is the creative genius behind the "Fire Ball Gallery" (https://fireballgallery.com/). Al told me about one of his earlier projects called an "Airzooka Arcade" and the moment he described it I knew I had to make one myself. The Airzooka is one of my favorite toys. It requires no batteries and is tons of fun. It shoots a vortex of air a long distance. The arcade has a supply of theater fog that the user can suck up into the Airzooka and once... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2019 at Tom Heck
In May 2014 I volunteered to design and lead a short Project Based Learning (PBL) experience for students at a school located in Asheville, North Carolina. Details about the project are HERE. That project was briefly featured on WLOS, a local ABC news affiliate TV station. That appearance resulted in my being invited to speak at TEDx Greenville. That speaking appearance resulted in Makey Makey inviting me to join their team as their first VP for Education Initiatives. When I joined the Makey Makey team in November 2015 I was asked to design a one day Professional Development workshop for... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2019 at Tom Heck
Resources will be posted here Books & Magazines Websites YouTube Continue reading
Posted Sep 27, 2017 at Tom Heck
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
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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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One of my favorite toys as a kid was a Krazy Kar. When my own kids were little they also enjoyed the Krazy Kar. Unfortunately, an adult sized Krazy Kar isn't sold so I decided to build my own (photo below). The frame is made of wood and the wheels are "garden cart" wheels that have bearings built in. Here's my daughter racing around the nearby North Carolina Arboretum drop off area at the end of a "science fair" where we helped exhibit with the gang from Asheville Makers. Not long after building this adult sized Krazy Kar I started... 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
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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 so I built my own adult sized Krazy Kar which you can see HERE. Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2013 at Tom Heck
Educator Robert Pronovost describes how he is working to create Makerspaces in schools. Making a Makerspace in Schools Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2013 at Tom Heck
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Rockets made from paper and powered by compressed air are one of my favorite projects to lead with kids. A quick google search will point you to several launcher designs and I've included the design I most like below. Click on the link below to download the PDF. Download Rocket_launcher_plans Although the above plans do work, I've made some improvements to the pressurization valve and the air release system. Click on the photo below to view larger version of the pressurization valve (different than what is shown in the plans above). I've replaced the 3/4 inch "ball valve" (item #... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2013 at Tom Heck
Marshmallow Challenge Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2013 at Tom Heck