All for Free

Blender for Kids. Lesson 0

Getting Ready- what you need and setting it up
A project being developed in Blender

These lessons are oriented towards teens and technically oriented pre-teens with an interest in computer animation for illustration, animation, and gaming.

This download will tell you:

  • How to get Blender on your computer for free, yes it is free.
  • What kind of mouse and keyboard work best with Blender.
  • How to set Blender up on a laptop if that's what you'll be using.

Printable PDF - Lesson 0: Getting set up for learning Blender

Posted on 06/30/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Blues Scales for Trumpet

And other instruments with a similar range
Similar layout to the Blues Scale pages.
Link on right.


12 Blues Scales ascending and descending.

Posted on 05/20/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Minor Scales for Trumpet

Harmonic and Melodic Minor scales ascending and descending.
Similar Layout to minor scale printable
PDFs. Links at Right.

Arranged for instruments with a similar range as the trumpet. Impress your Band-geek friends! Each sheet contains 12 minor scales. Please alert me to errors. Printable PDFs links are below.

12 Melodic Minor Scales

12 Harmonic Minor Scales

Posted on 05/20/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Major Scales for Trumpet

A printable PDF of 12 Major scales arranged for trumpet.
The first several scales of the PDF.

Your teacher will love you if you practice these!

12 Major Scales arr. for Trumpet

Posted on 05/20/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________


Resources to make a quick or elaborate sundial

Sundials are a great way to:

  1. Get kids outside: "It's sunny out, go read the sundial."
  2. Learn about the geometric configuration of the Earth's rotation.
  3. Build craft project out of any material ranging from concrete and mosaic to paper.

Sundials can be configured in a number of ways, horizontal, vertical, and even cylindrical. Beyond this, there are different types of  hours that can be indicated by the dial. The 24 even hours in a day is only one system of dividing the day. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that a Google search on sundial or sundial calculator will bring up a host of great instructional sites that are well worth browsing. I'll include links to just a few that I found to be particularly easy to understand or rich in information. Did you know there was a North American Sundial Society? Take a look! They have an amazing link library with sundial resources.

Your Latitude and the Gnomon
True North versus Magnetic NorthIn order to make a basic horizontal sundial, you'll need to know your latitude. Sundials are different depending upon where you are on the surface of the planet. To find your latitude, look at a map, or Google your town's name and the word latitude. Or you can use this simple web application, just drag the red marker to your location and the latitude will show up in a window beneath the map. The latitude will be the angle of the gnomon (the raised element on the dial that casts the shadow.). The Gnomon should point to true north (not magnetic north) when you place your sundial. The offset in the US can be estimated using this map. For the rest of the world and a more accurate number in the US, try this declination tool. You'll need your latitude and longitude. Also note that the zipcode library is not complete, so it may not accept your zipcode. Lat-Long will work though. If you have a GPS or smart phone, try a compass app. Many allow you to choose between true and magnetic north. Make certain that you know which setting you are reading.

Calculate the angles of the hours
I found this page the most straight forward. Link. Enter your latitude rounded to one decimal point and the degrees are calculated for each hour's shadow. Note that this is offset by one hour during daylight savings time.

Here's another calculator, it's a little more complicated (and powerful), but generates an actual diagram of your sundial and you can generate plans for different types of dials, too.

Build your dial
Testing it in paper is a good plan. Masonry materials are cheap, easy to obtain. I recenlly had a young art student make his sundial out of a bag of quickcrete in a round form and mosaic tiles. For the gnomon, we used a piece of heavy  4ga. copper wire that can be bent to the precise angle.


Posted on 04/02/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Options for the Superhero in your kid’s fiction

More creative solutions than slaying the enemy.
Chart of Superhero options

I happen to know a kid that loves to write about super heros and science fiction. Perhaps because of the inevitable media exposure, he has a one track mind in his writing: the superhero slays the supervillain.  I made this chart to help him find other more interesting options for the heros in his fiction. I tried to include options that add depth to characters, can lead the young writer to more interesting plots, and also show weakness in the super-characters.

Superhero Choices

Posted on 03/31/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sturdy Desktop Turntable Plans

Look at it from a different perspective.

One of the most significant challenges to a novice sculptor is looking at the work from different an gles. Beginning students tend to take a lump of material down on the table and work it without appreciating what they are doing from different angles. This simple little turn table is compact, can hold about 300 pounds, and will last for decades. I use one that I made 20 years ago.


  • You'll need 1 1/2-inch or 2-inch straight casters
  • 1 3/8" carriage bolt that is has the length of the casters + between 1" and 1 1/2"
  • nut for the bolt
  • 2 nice flat 12' x 12" pieces of 3/" plywood
  • Shellac or polyurethane sealer
  • 3/8" drill bit.
  • 4 feet of some kind.


  1. Drill a hole 3/8" in the middle of each board. The carriage bold should pass through snugly.
  2. Sand and seal the boards as your time and patience allow.
  3. Pick the bottom face of the bottom board and put the feet on it.
  4. Put the carriage bolt through the hole so it points straight up and tighten the nut on it to secure it.
  5. Put the straight casters on the bottom board as shown in the image.
  6. place the top board on the post and give it a spin.

Posted on 03/23/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________


Free Professsional 3D animation software is a community of artists and software engineers who use and develop one amazing software package. Whether you are interested in digital animation, games, or making 3D models, Blender can help you. It can be complicated to use, but that's because it is so versatile. I recommend the website, too because it is full of helpful tutorials and examples. There is another forum for helping with Blender use, The p.rogram can be downloaded from Make certain that you get the newer version, 2.5 or greater. Blender is as powerful as similar software programs like Z-brush and Maya, but it is entirely free. It also runs on mac and PC. My biggest tip is to learn the keyboard shortcuts. I have made summary sheets of the keyboard and mouse shortcuts that you can download ShortCuts.pdf . Above is a mesh that I built from the ground up using Blender.

Also check out my free Blender Lessons for  kids and teens.

Blender 2.5 Keyboard Shortcuts

Posted on 03/17/11 _________________________________________________________________________________________________

Page 2 of 3 pages  < 1 2 3 >