How You Can Help My Students... and they are Awesome Students!!!

Hey, Hey, it's Mr. Burnham here....

It was really great to meet many of you last night at Silicon Valley Beer and Bots.  Thanks for the chance to introduce myself.

As Many of you know, I recently left Xilinx, last Aug. 1st, after 20+ years and became a High School teacher.  I’m teaching over at Silicon Valley Career Technical Education (SVCTE).  This is a Career Technical school where students come from about 40 public High schools and take a 3-hour class in the morning or afternoon.  Yes, I get the Students for 3 hours every day.  Crazy… but it also means we get to really dig deep into our hands-on projects.

Yes, We TOTALLY are going to build stuff like this

This school year of teaching is almost over. I'm having a blast... And I'm already thinking about next year. It's going to be EPIC. We are starting a Mechatronics program, which means I get to teach High School students electronic and mechanical engineering, which really means FIRE Breathing Robots.  (

So… How can you help my Students? Well, you are all Roboticists… so I know you have access or know someone who may have stuff we could use in class.  Nerds Unite!!!  I know, if you are like me, you have a garage or closet filled with odd electronic project that you may never get to... let me help you clean up that garage or closet... I promise to try to integrate it into a FIRE Breathing Robot...

If it helps, I can provide a donation receipt with a school tax ID number you could use for tax purposes next year.

Items that you might have that I could use in my Mechatronics class.
  1. Any Robots – Home Brew, commercial, industrial… Any Robot... 
  2. Any stepper, servo, or DC motors.
  3.  Any remote-control cars. trucks, robots or other toys 
  4. Any old printers and copiers. 
  5.  Any old electronic/mechanical toys 
  6. Old electric scooters

How to get this stuff to me?
  1. If you are local (Bay Area), you can collect them in a box outside your office, and I’ll stop by and pick it up 
  2. Local? Want to check out my class? You are welcome to come by my class.  If you stop by between 12:30 and 3:30, you could even see my current students. Let me know, I can arrange that… 
  3. Not local?  If it’s cool stuff, and fits, a large USPS Shipping box (12 1/4" x 12 1/4" x 6") is only $16.35
Here is a taste of what and how I'm planning to use these items:

  • Obviously mechanical systems need motors, and I want to have a lot of different motors available to my students to build stuff.
  • Interestingly enough, old Printers and Copiers have lots of motors and gears, plus its really fun to take a big printer/copier apart.  My students love doing this.. heck I love doing this... And we will recycle everything we don't use.
  • Another project I want to do, is called "Toy Hack", where we take any electronic/mechanical toy and make it do something different and cool... In this project my students will apply what they have learned about AC/DC circuits & digital logic and Hack a toy.. maybe in time for Halloween... Ha HA...
If you want to keep track of what I'm doing, follow me on one or all of the following methods:  <-- work on progress
-- Jim

Jim Burnham
Silicon Valley CTE
760 Hillsdale, San Jose, CA 95136

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