Self-Driving car kit for under $1000

Watch this video about this hacker turned young business man who has created a self-driving car kit for under $1000,

And watch this video where he talks about how it fits onto the rearview mirror of your car,


Bad Luck Photo assignment

If you look on the internet you will most likely have come across a picture showing some kind of pending disaster, a cat about to get hit by a ball, or a family photo with an animal about to pounce, etc… The majority of these pictures are FAKE, and have been photoshopped.

Your assignment is to create one of these photoshopped pictures, but ONLY SCHOOL APPROPRIATE PHOTOS please.

Step1: choose a new file with 1600×1200 pixels canvas size with 72dpi.

Step2: find a good large (bigger than 1600×1200) background picture to work from. Maybe a beach background, or a school background, nothing too busy.

Step3: Add a minimum of 4 extra picture elements. A family. An animal. A ball. Etc… Remember to try to keep your picture as realistic as possible.

When done, hand in your a .PSD and a .JPG version of your final file, along with all the original pictures you used in a folder, into the dropbox.

The assignment is due end of class Thu Oct 27.


PS Lesson 2, Composting, Magic Wand

Today, we will doing more composting, and we will introduce the most tool in PS, the magic wand. We will be going over:

  • Layers
  • History
  • Lasso tool, Magic Wand, selection tool
  • Eraser tool
  • Text tool

You will need the following picture files:




12th man

As usual, please submit your assignment to the dropbox:

  1. Open finder
  2. click on “GO” menu
  3. click on “connect to server”
  4. type in “smb://”
  5. click on the “+” to save it in the list
  6. double click on it to open it up
  7. Choose ICT Block H
  8. Copy your folder into the window
  9. Your Done!

Starting Photoshop, the basics

Today we will be starting graphic design using photoshop.

You will need to download the following 3 files for the mini-lesson:

Planet Earth picture

Spaceship in PNG format

Spaceship in JPEG format

Today we will be talking about:

  • canvas size
  • file types

There will also be a new way to hand in your work (no longer through email). Follow the steps below to submit your finished .PSD file:


  1. Open finder
  2. click on “GO” menu
  3. click on “connect to server”
  4. type in “smb://”
  5. click on the “+” to save it in the list
  6. double click on it to open it up
  7. Choose ICT Block H
  8. Copy your folder into the window
  9. Your Done!

Google Code-In Contest

Those of you who are interested in coding and computer science, please take a look at the following presentation on the Google Code-in contest. It is available to any student 13-17 years old. It is an excellent way to get real-world experience in programming and working with industry experts in open-source software.

If interested, I will hold weekly lunch meetings starting in November, to help out students who have signed up. We may also have FLEX time available for those who may wish to work during that time.

Scratch Reflection Paragraph

As you are close to finishing your final projects, please complete a reflection paragraph about your project and your experience in Scratch. You can write in point form using the following questions to guide you:

  • What was the most rewarding part of doing your project?
  • What did you learn the most about doing your project?
  • Describe one problem that you encountered in doing your project and how you solved it?
  • After completing this project in Scratch, is there a particular topic that you really want to learn more about?

You can write your reflection directly in an email and send it to

Reminder that your final projects are due on Fri Oct 14.

Computer Around the House

So, we talked about what is a computer. Powerpoint below:

What is a computer

Recall that we defined a computer as a device that accepts input, and processes it in some way to produce a result automatically. Your assignment is to find something other than a computer, smartphone, tablet, or video game console that adheres to that definition but isn’t something that before now you would have readily called a computer. If you can’t think of any such device in your home, feel free to venture beyond those four walls and pick any device with which you may be familiar.

In no more than 1 paragraph of 10 sentences, describe this device in detail. You may wish to consider questions such as:

  • What does the device look like?
  • What kind of data does it accept?
  • How does it process that data?
  • What is the result of that processing?

Conduct a little bit of research (formal or informal), and if you suspect others may be skeptical of your assertion that the device you chose is a computer, write persuasively so as to do your best to convince such individuals that you aren’t crazy and that you know what you’re talking about.

When you are done, please email me your submission to This assignment is due by end of class Thu Oct 6.