Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Guides and Grants
Bring these innovative computer science, engineering and entrepreneurship projects into your classroom. The DIY Guides were created in collaboration with Allen Distinguished Educators and they include interactive guided tours, detailed project plans, and opportunities for comments and discussion with our active educator community!

The 2016 application period for the Allen Distinguished Educator DIY Guide grants is now open!
We will be taking applications from July 20 - September 5 at 11:59 PM PT.

The purpose of the DIY Grants (up to $1000) is to help us enhance the replicability of the DIY Guides as well as their adaptability to a range of school types, locations, and grade levels. Toward that end we are looking for teachers who work in school environments different from those of the ADEs who created them.

Click on a DIY Guide below to find out more information and to apply for a DIY Grant!

52 Minute Challenge

Educator: Glenn Corey
School: Novato High School
Location: Novato, CA

Summary: Students get 52 minutes to find a real problem on campus, document it, develop a solution, and prepare a market-based presentation to be given the following day.

Go to this DIY Guide >>
Project Plan Materials >> Apply for DIY Guide Grant >>

53 Miles per Burrito

Educator: Mike Wierusz
School: Inglemoor High School
Location: Kenmore, WA

Summary: Students answer the question, “Can I ride 53 miles on a bike from the energy of a single burrito?” They must define their variables, collect their data, analyze their data, and present their results. By the end of the data collection, students should have all the information they need to design a burrito that would provide them with the exact caloric content necessary to ride 53 miles.

Go to this DIY Guide >>
Project Plan Materials >> Apply for DIY Guide Grant >>

Coding Cultural Understanding

Educator: Chris Bartlo and Nick Nohner
School: Wilson High School
Location: Portland, OR

Summary: In this assignment students will create a computer game in Scratch, a game making programming language. The students will use their understanding of loops, conditional statements, variables and events to create a game that tells the story of a hunter or gatherer from an indigenous culture of their own choice.

Go to this DIY Guide >>
Project Plan Materials >> Apply for DIY Guide Grant >>

Circuit Arcade

Educator: Patrick Dempsey and Rob Rambach
School: Hixson Middle School
Location: Webster Groves, MO

Summary: In this project students gain an understanding of the engineering design process by building a cardboard arcade game where winning or losing completes an electrical circuit.  Students will present their arcade game to an audience of middle school or elementary school students.

Go to this DIY Guide >>
Project Plan Materials >> Apply for DIY Guide Grant >>

Design Learning

Educator: Regan Drew
School: Riverpoint Academy
Location: Spokane, WA

Summary: Students identify real-world problems, prototype user-centered design solutions, and implement those solutions according to expert and user feedback. This process is segmented into the Mindset, Challenge, and Implementation phases.

Go to this DIY Guide >>
Project Plan Materials >> Apply for DIY Guide Grant >>

Design Thinking for Gift Giving

Educator: Beth White, Courtney Bryant and Reggie O’Neill
School: Charles R. Drew School
Location: Atlanta, GA

Summary: Students take on the role of an industrial engineer and learn about designing a product for a certain type of customer. The goal is to design a gift that other students would want to buy for one of their adult family members.

Go to this DIY Guide >>
Project Plan Materials >> Apply for DIY Guide Grant >>

Hermit Habitat

Educator: Ashley Greenway
School: Elm Street Elementary
Location: Rome, GA

Summary: Students get one week to design a hermit crab habitat, document it, develop a solution, and prepare a market-based presentation to be peer-reviewed the following week. The main goal of this activity is to highlight the importance of collaboration when working under a tight deadline, a common situation in today’s working world.

Go to this DIY Guide >>
Project Plan Materials >> Apply for DIY Guide Grant >>

Light Up Music Box

Educator: Tracey Winey and Dawn DuPriest
School: Preston Middle School, CO
Location: Fort Collins, CO

Summary: This is an engaging project for students who have never programmed before. Students create a musical light show by designing and programming their own Arduino-based light-up electronic music boxes.Students will learn about: circuit design, get an introduction to computer programming, and play with the fusion of color, sound, art and mathematics. 

Go to this DIY Guide >>
Project Plan Materials >> Apply for DIY Guide Grant >>

Magic of Trade

Educator: Jodie Woodruff
School: The Met
Location: Providence, RI

Summary: In this interactive, experience-based exercise students learn basic economic principles related to trade. The purpose of this activity is to highlight the assumed self-interest in trade, and potential benefits of mutual gain

Go to this DIY Guide >>
Project Plan Materials >> Apply for DIY Guide Grant >>

MAKEShift Poetry

Educator: Scott Swaaley
School: High Tech High
Location: San Diego, CA

Summary: In this project, students work in pairs to write a short poem that demonstrates understanding of figurative language. They then design and fabricate a mechanism that illustrates the meaning, theme, or concept of their poem.

Go to this DIY Guide >>
Project Plan Materials >> Apply for DIY Guide Grant >>

Tissue Engineering

Educator: Alyson Nelson
School: Nikola Tesla STEM High School
Location: Redmond, WA

Summary: In this problem-based learning engineering project, students answer the question: “How can you design low-cost synthetic tissues for low-resource medical schools and research labs?”

Go to this DIY Guide >>
Project Plan Materials >> Apply for DIY Guide Grant >>