Jim McMillan, Dallas, special classes, use hands-on projects, to teach, problem solving skills, electronics, and divergent thinking abilities
Learn to see
problems as
opportunities
for solutions!

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Jim McMillan, Dallas, Home School Teacher, uses hands-on projects, teaching, Robotics, Electonics, Science, and Technology. Learn electrical & mechanical problem solving skills, creative techiniques, simplified engieering principles and divergent thinking abilities
What & Why I Teach, My qualifications - Get A Head Start, Jim McMillan, Dallas, special classes, use hands-on projects, to teach, problem solving skills, electronics, and divergent thinking abilitiesKLC development page for html, gif's & new projects - Jim McMillan, Dallas, special classes, use hands-on projects, to teach, problem solving skills, electronics, and divergent thinking abilitiesCollection of class and camp pictures plus some submitted by my students, see electronic art, warbots, individual, group and project pics, Jim McMillan, Kinetic Learning Center, DallasFree downloads - Get A Head Start, Jim McMillan, Dallas, special classes, use hands-on projects, to teach, problem solving skills, electronics, and divergent thinking abilities


 


Jim McMillan, Robotics, Creative Design, Problem Solving, home school materials -  Registered Trademark

®




Developing creative problem solving skills
& abilities through practical application of
Math, Science and Engineering principles!
Jim McMillan teaching Robotics class at Providience Christian School. Hands-on projects develop creative problem solving skills.

Jim McMillan teaching a
class at Providience School






WHY I TEACH




Problem solving is fun and exciting. I have developed a system using fun hands-on projects to explain and help understand scientific and math principles. We develop creative problem solving skills through logical thought, divergent thinking and practical application.

One of my first problems to solve as a kid was how to crack the lock on my father's tool shed. Later on, it was what to do after my father discovered and pulled out all my bugging equipment in the attic.

Many incidents (and "inventions") later , I wound up with an honorable discharge from the Air Force, a Degree in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University, a Top Secret Security Clearance and gainful employment as a Product Development, Research & Design Engineer. I designed the 'Brain' for the orig. TI calculator. My father was relieved!

With my own son
came many years (18) as an Assistant Scoutmaster, T35 Highland Park and a growing interest in sharing my "stuff" with kids. With my daughter came time in Indian Princess and the need to supplement her lifestyle as a foreign exchange and international college student.

But it was my wife and friends who talked me into teaching in 1993 for the Richardson Home School Association (RHSA) and now into offering my projects and ideas to a wider group of parents and kids or anyone who wants to learn.

I still like toys and projects - especially inventing them and using their appeal to demonstrate scientific principles. It's exciting to see a student get turned on to the fun and joy of learning.

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Get A Head Start,Go to Jim McMillan, Dallas, special classes, using hands-on projects, to teach, problem solving skills, electronics, and divergent thinking abilities




Engineering Skills


Jim's a very successful Product Design Engineer and a Teacher. His goal is to mentor, challenge and inspire his students to reach their full potential. Jim knows what it takes and what you need to know to accomplish your goals, see
Jim's Background. He has designed and selected projects that demonstrate his unique divergent problem solving techniques and design methods. He uses projects to test your knowledge an teach application skills and understanding. You must always keep developing your skills, abilities and techniques, without these you will be a modifier, not a designer. Jim's students are taught to analyze a situation and use a divergent thought process to quickly find solutions to any problem.

This knowledge will help you in whatever career or situation you are in!


Basic Rules:
Learn from your failures! Develop a positive attitude, common sense, a willingness to work hard and that giving up is not an option! Think positive - if you don't think you can do it you're defeated before you start.


This class teaches
design and problem solving skills that Jim has perfected over the last 50 yrs. Students fix, build, modify and keep special projects most of which he designs. His methods teach the skills and abilities you need to make quick decisions and apply what you've learned to successfully complete any task. This method can be used in many situations and will make you better in everything you do. Learn to believe in yourself and work as hard as necessary to accomplish what you want to.


Past projects
include a Robot that's computer, radio and sensor controlled - see picture of 'Max' on Jim's website, Virtual Lie Detector & Surround Sound Sys, FM SuperBug, Stereo Ear, the famous "It's Not-a-bomb", the "Gotcha Ckt.", the "Apple Breather" and over 60 other projects. Most projects are new each year but the repetition of basic skills is a key element in developing the technical skills and abilities needed to ultimately initiate original designs. This class is geared for brighter students but is fun and Jim makes it very understandable without using advanced math (overrated). Younger, smart (MS) students have done well in this class.


Take this class
two or more times to develop a good understanding of the skills you've been taught. Talented, gifted or returning students, may select higher level projects if they show they can do the work. Almost no homework but I highly suggest you take notes to refresh your memory later on. Test, if any, will be open notes (yours only). I'm available to talk during lunch or after classes. Jim teaches to help his students succeed in an environment they aren't being prepared for. He knows and wants to share how to do it with you. Jim still enjoys creating, designing and having fun.

Before you waste four years and lots of money getting a degree you can't use let Jim teach you what you need to know now so you can survive when you graduate. Colleges today are not preparing you for what's ahead, give Jim a chance it could/should change your life!


Jim's Background           


* Age 9:   Bugged his house, mothers Beauty Shop & the Gas Station Restroom next door.
* Age 10: Figured out & built a working mechanical elevator, went 12 ft up to his tree house.
* Age 11: Designed an electromagnetic acceleration device that could shoot needles.
* Age 14-18: Won his High School Science Fair 5 yrs in a row. Jim's HS was 8th-12th grade.
* Age 15-17: All-State Band (10th-12th). Could play almost every Instrument in the Band.
* Age 18: Won Sci Fair with listening device, similar to those used at current NFL games
* Age 23: Designed original system to visually display stereo sound and volume. It's used in
                 nightclubs all over the world (could've made big bucks). He still has it.

* Jim has taught 25+ yrs in Dallas area Home-School Co-Ops and Private Schools.
* For 23 yrs, Jim's KLC: Creative Technology Summer Camps taught thousands to use his
                special unique hands-on how-to-do-it methods of divergent creative problem
                solving and special design techniques.
* Served in Air Force: used the 'GI bill' and TI Summer Development program to attend SMU.
* Jim was top of his class in a 53 week Air Force Electronics school and got the best possible
               assignment: the 745th AC&W Squadron in downtown Duncanville, Texas.

* '63 First job out of Air Force, was a technician on the 'Shrike Missile' guidance system at TI.
* '64 (invented) 'Stereo Color Organ' where colors represent Bass, Mid Range and Treble
               frequencies for each channel. It's used in nightclubs all over the world.
* '63-67 worked his way up to become a TI Engineer. Texas Instruments then put Jim in their
               'Summer Development Program', which gave him enough money to go to college.
* '67-71 Went to SMU, Graduated class of '71, BSEE (electrical Engr.), went on to become   
             a 'Product Development Research & Design Engineer' who invented and created
            products for many Texas companies. Jim now teaches Engineering Classes.
* '71 Bubble memory for $25 million computer, '73 designed the TI Calculator Chip.

* Original Product Designs: including 'Brain' of the original hand held calculator and the
        First Wide-Angle (130') No-Glasses 3D system, (now called 4K) while a teacher.
       Note: Took over 5 yrs before the Top International Companies figured it out!
* After calculator designed color matching system for the graphics Arts Industry.
* Was a Science-Fair Judge for several years & 1 yr at 'Future City' competition.
* Created projects specifically designed to teach skills, develop &/or hone abilities.
* Built & drove modified sports car to series championship. Won 'Most Popular car'
       Award at '91 FW Autorama and set record at Austin Travis-Dam Hill Climb.

* Was Assistant SM & Eagle Coordinator at Troop 35, Highland Park,18 yrs. & Co-
       Started Troop 125 at Northwest Bible Church, Dallas (200+ reached Eagle Rank)
* Antelope Patrol WOODBADGE #45 (1991) Scouts highest level of adult training.
* BSA isn't what it used to be, it sold it's soul and in the process lost my support.

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Get A Head Start,Go to Jim McMillan, Dallas, special classes, using hands-on projects, to teach, problem solving skills, electronics, and divergent thinking abilities







CLASS GOALS



To teach students how to apply mathematical & scientific theory and facts to solving real life problems. A step beyond the 'ought & should' to the developing of how-to abilities needed to accomplish goals. To encourage them not to be intimidated by mistakes or failures but to see them as part of the discovery process and learning curve. Students learn to see 'problems' as opportunities for solutions or a challenge to overcome! They use divergent thinking & creative problem solving skills to find quick solutions & learn giving up isn't an option!

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TEACHING METHODS


This school year program uses kinetic (hands-on) methods to develop critical & divergent thinking. The specially designed projects reinforce application and problem solving skills while building confidence and self esteem. I will teach a basic foundation of mechanical and electronics theory. The students will use tools and soldering irons to build electrical, mechanical and/or electronic devices.

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Class Projects



The projects are fun. Most are my original, copyrighted designs, developed and/or chosen for kid appeal. These classes are about seeing problems as opportunities for solutions. With a wide range of ages (8-17) and skill levels, there are many variables. As in all classroom instruction, the students will have different degrees of success. Success is measured by what is learned, not what is made. The projects are designed to teach, apply and practice specific skills. Although I can't guarantee that a student's project will be successful, most usually are.

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Covered Subjects

The class is a combination of math, science, physics, and engineering principles. The projects help hone those skills. Two former students were given pre-engineering credit (at A&M) for my courses, Five have been accepted at MIT. The order of subjects and projects is adjusted throughout the year, so as to challenge but not overwhelm the students. The following is what I plan to cover:


(a) Mechanical theory and tool use. We will learn to safely use basic tools and build projects that apply and develop those skills.

(b) Electronics principals, basic theory and application. We will build several fun projects from beginner to more advanced.

(c) Practical methods of design and problem solving techniques. How to plan, organize, develop and carry out an idea from the original, initial concept to an out-the-door finished product.

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This video was produced by my #1 helper Ethan at one of our Summer Camps - he did a great job!








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How to apply critical & divergent thinking skills and develop creative problem solving abilities   What I Teach
WHAT I TEACH


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Get A Head Start,Go to Jim McMillan, Dallas, special classes, using hands-on projects, to teach, problem solving skills, electronics, and divergent thinking abilities


Organizational
Skills:


Steps to follow in the problem solving process that are applicable to almost any circumstance.

Divergent
Thinking:

how to "think outside the box" to enlarge your perspective and develop original solutions.

Creativity:



Learn how to "take-it-to-the-next-level" through sequential development and application of practical skills. Build hands-on projects that demonstrate and reinforce what you learn!

Confidence
...via...
Competence:
By gaining hands-on experience and developing a trial and error "I can do this" mindset. Builds self esteem and confidence!