The Wire

Summer MicroProject: The Wheels of Spinvention


Keep your creativity & innovation skills sharp this summer! Step right up and spin the Wheels of Spinvention. It’s a machine that generates ideas for MicroProject challenges. It has all kinds of challenges. Make a 3D Design of a baby animal, or a video about wizards, or maybe an animated GIF of a giant squid! Spin the Wheels to find out your challenge!

Click here to get started!

MOUSE Squad of the Year 2015! And the Winners Are...

MOUSE Squad of the Year:

Christopher STEM Leadership Academy

in San Jose, California

Best New MOUSE Squad:

Nellie N. Coffman Middle School

in Cathedral City, California

Let's Hear about Our Winners!

About Christopher STEM Leadership Academy’s MOUSE Squad:
This year’s MOUSE Squad of the Year winner goes to a special Squad in San Jose, CA. The Squad was made up of 16 girls, most of whom are learning to speak English at the same time as providing support to their whole school! Despite some challenging barriers, the Squad participated in all kinds of amazing projects at their school, while helping support teachers, mentor younger students, and complete all their usual classwork!

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 1.03.56 PM.pngWhat kinds of things did this AMAZING Squad get up to this year? They provided tech support for the entire school, including one-on-one sessions with teachers and school staff. They also made tutorials for their school’s website that show others how to use Google Drive, Chromebooks, and other programs and hardware that are important for learning.

As if that wasn’t enough work, the Squad later assisted with their school district's first ever Tech conference, by providing support with green-screen presentations AND they worked on their GreenTECH Specialist badges. Here is a turbine they made while learning how electricity is created and how to make it greener:


Ana Karina, an 8th grader in the Squad, talks about how much her Squad coordinator has helped her this year. She says “In the beginning of Mouse Squad I never wanted to take risks because I thought I would mess it up, and thought I couldn’t do it, so I wasn’t confident. But my instructor, Mr. Inda, taught me that I should always take those risks and have a positive mindset...and I was able to become more confident with what I was doing.”

It is this combination of trying new things, learning about themselves, and supporting their entire school community that made Christopher STEM Leadership Academy our pick for MOUSE Squad of the Year! CONGRATS!

About Nellie N. Coffman Middle School:
2015’s Best New MOUSE Squad of the Year also comes to us from California! This middle school in Southern California may only have been in action a short time, but they’ve already accomplished an amazing amount!

To start the Squad off with some team spirit, each member created their own avatar, then tie-dyed their uniform shirts together. This team identity obviously paid off, because the Squad went on to complete so many awesome projects during the year.

One of their biggest accomplishments was the creation of an online database of the user manuals and support sites for every peripheral used by teachers at their school. They also created their own help request tickets, customer service feedback cards and rules of operation! This new Squad was so impressive that they even sent a few members to present at the Computer Using Educators Conference. While working on all of those things, all 17 members of the Squad also earned their MOUSE Squad Certification badge AND Serious Games Specialist badge!

Check out some of the games they created in Scratch on their way to earning their badges! These games deal with the effect of pollution on our oceans.

To celebrate all this hard work, they threw themselves a well-deserved celebration in which each member received a laminated badge to wear!

Congratulations, NNC MOUSE Squad. With all of your hard work and awesome projects, it’s easy to see why you earned our vote for Best New MOUSE Squad of the Year!

Thank you MOUSE Squads!

It’s amazing to see MOUSE Squad students doing such awesome things in their schools, communities and in their own lives. We wish we had more prizes to give out, but remember that, really, everyone in MOUSE Squad is a winner for all the great things you do every day!

We can’t wait to see what all of our MOUSE Squads will accomplish in the coming year. Until then, keep being awesome, MOUSE Squad Nation!

Congratulations to the DIY Winners for 2015!

Thank you so much to everyone who submitted something to the DIY Project. Thank you for your hard work and effort, we couldn't do this competition without you. Now without further ado, this year's winners are...

Grand Prize

The winning project was submitted by Anthony from the MOUSE Squad of P256Q in Far Rockaway, Queens for his project iCover All You Wanted to Know About Apple. This project was so big he couldn't upload it to He had to send it to us on a USB stick, but it was worth the wait.

Available as both a PDF and in the interactive iBook format, iCover teaches everything you need to know about using Apple products. The interactive version has built in video and is fully accessible to people with disabilities. We think iCover All You Wanted to Know About Apple is incredible, and an embodiment of what the DIY Project is all about. Congratulations Anthony, great job!

Check out the PDF or the interactive iBook
iCover Everything You Want to Know About Apple 2

Also available in Spanish

iCover Everything You Want to Know About Apple Spanish

Runners Up

This year we have 2 runners up:

Our first runner up is the Bulldogs Squad at Achieve Charter Academy in Canton, Michigan. They submitted many D.I.Y. Projects including a detailed prezi on how to travel and a PDF on how to use chopsticks with step by step illustrations. We liked their projects because they cover lots of topics, show good design and have awesome attention to detail.

Check out Travelling Tips and How to Use Chopsticks

Travelling Tips.png
How to Use Chopsticks

Our next runner up

Our next runner up is the squad from Badger Springs Middle School in Moreno Valley, California. They submitted a ton of awesome projects including in-depth screencasts and instructional videos. One of their projects was a continuation of their plan from the Planet Plan-it microproject last month, which is radical. Here are a few of our favorites: How to do a Rainbow Flick, How to Make a Battle Royale Map in Minecraft, and How to do a Javascript Takeover.

How to Rainbow Flick
How to Do a Rainbow Flick.png
How to Make a Minecraft Battle Royale Map
Battle Royale Map_0.png
How to do a Javascript Takeover
Hey French Toast_0.png

Shout out for Wins!

It's not too late to give out wins to your favorite DIY entries! Give wins for creativity, technical know-how or inspiration. We want to give a special shout out to some of our favorite wins. Thanks to 17GalitBolo from UMS MOUSE Squad in San Jose, California who gave an awesome win to one of last month's winners.

Great Peer to Peer Win!

Thanks again to everyone who created D.I.Y. projects!

It was incredible to see the many skills and interests of MOUSE Squads across the nation, so thank you for sharing with us! MOUSE Squads of America, we salute your amazing maker-bility!

Stay tuned to find out who will win MOUSE Squad of the Year very soon!