Patrick - Age 9

Memorable Moments of the PCS - Humble Beginnings
In 1980 I returned to Idaho after spending three wonderful years working and living in the Galapagos Islands of Charles Darwin fame. I had been asked to go to the islands by the notorious Captain Mike Gordon of Guyaquil, Ecuador. He had advertised for a diesel mechanic to service his tour boats, refurbished rum runners from Belize, and keep them running in the Galapagos Islands. I responded to the request because the Galapagos was a place that I had studied about and always wanted to visit. Now I could not only visit but I could work there. Captain Mike paid for the flight and off I went to another grand adventure in my life. I worked for about half a year as a guide and mechanic and then the National Park of Galapagos insisted that anyone who worked as a guide had to be certified. Not certified, no guide. Sixty of the worlds leading specialists in all disciplines in the world of Natural Science attended a three month course which was followed by a three day, written, examination. When the scores came out only four of us were issued the “licencia para Guia Visitantes Parque Nacional Galapagos” to “Sean Patrick M’Shane” “Cidula de Identidad: F241115” “Fecha 6 Octobra de 1,976” “Velida hasta 6 Octobre 1,979” The group of four decided, for our own protection, to use a nickname when serving as guides because we were also the only law enforcement for the entire archipelago. Returning home I decided to finish my teaching certification. When that was done, and I didn’t know what, or where, I wanted to teach, I decided to work as a substitute in different school districts. I taught everything from first grade to senior high school. I worked in Nampa, Wilder, Meridian, and a few other large and small districts within a fifty mile radius of my home. At that time I was living with my parents, to keep expenses down. When summer rolled around I decided to place an advertisement in the Idaho Free Press Tribune and offer my services to parents who had students that needed some extra help with their studies. Wow! I was swamped

and for a while I was driving all over the area spending an hour or two at the homes of these students. While this was rewarding I knew that there was something better. One of the things that I learned early on during this period of ‘Wandering Tutor’ was that students needed much more than they were being offered. They were bored to death. They had tuned out and were rebelling against everything that smacked of education. Turning heads, parent heads as well, was a daunting task but I felt that I was up for It. I decided to remain in a fixed place and have the parents bring the kids to me. Mom and Dad fixed up a back room in their house and made it into a small school room. I had an Atari 800 computer, a lot of LEGO Technic, school supplies, and a lot of ’interesting gadgets’ scattered all over the place. You should have seen the faces of the students as they entered this refreshing retreat from the adult world. This was their place. They could come and feel accepted for whom and what they were, without reservation. It wasn’t long before we knew that we were rapidly growing out of this small school room. Note: The photos of the computers in this document are not actual photos of the computers that were in our facilities at the time I am writing about. I was much too bust using the computers than making any attempt to document what we were using. I started with Atari, especially the 1040St and 130XE. The Unix came next. I was also fond of the Apple Systems, they have their own special merits and contribution to the industry, as dies most of the others I picture in this document. If I am showing a particular computer and model, then we made heavy use of that system for as long as it survived, and some are still working after 25 years.

Birth of PCS Schools

On one of these sessions I had two junior high boys and one junior high girl in the classroom for a group session. I discovered that they learned much better and much more if they could interact while studying anything. In particular, when there was something of particular difficulty, a group brainstorming session was much more productive. With that in mind I started bringing small groups together and things got much more interesting. The kids loved it, my parents went crazy but supportive, and I knew something had to change or we were in a heap of trouble. The group had just triumphed over a difficult problem and we were just talking, kid talk. This conversation took place and this is as close to the actual words as I can recall: “Hey, Pat.” “Yup.” “Let’s start a school?” “Ah…ok. Does anyone know what that would take to start a school?” “Nope, but I bet we can figure that out if we just talked and put all of our ideas together.” I bet we can do it, for sure.” “Ok, lets talk.” Over the course of several sessions with this group we formatted what we thought was the foundation for the school. Then this conversation took place: “What should we call our school?” Group discussion for about thirty minutes until this: “Let’s call it PCS School.” “What does PCS School stand for.” “It stands for Patrick’s Computer School.” Unanimous decision. That was the birth of what we now know as PCS.


Everyone agreed that ANY CHILD of ANY AGE would be allowed to enter a PCS School if they wanted. By the time we were in our third location in Nampa, it worked like this: 1) Child hears from peers that there is a wonderful place called, PCS School. Ask your mom and dad if you can join and we can go to school together. 2) Child talks the parents into calling for an appointment to tour the school, when in session, and talk about the requirements and cost. 3) Tour takes place and the conference with the prospective student and parents begins. 4) How much does it cost? $25.00 per month. 5) What is the age restrictions? There are no age restrictions. There is no right age to start. When a student says that they want to attend and learn things that they can not learn in their regular schools, then it is time to find a place to go where such things are learned. 6) What do you study? After the tour they have a good idea and, of course, the staff had to sell the parents on the value of LEGO as a teaching tool. You don’t have to convince the kids, they already know how important they are. Parents see Lego as a toy. Children see them as a toy that teaches them how things in the real world works. They don’t know they are learning. Remember play is a function of survival and learning. Remember the play of the animal world. Note: During a tour in the PCS-Third School an eight year old boy, upon entering the huge Lego Engineering Lab shouted, “I think I’ve died and gone to Lego heaven.” 7) What will be their class schedule? After school and in the summers and for 1 ¾ hour periods, once a week.

8) Is there some test that they have to take to get into the school? NO TEST. Ask, get permission, Welcome to the PCS Family. Respect yourself and others and you will be with us for as long as you wish.

Birth of a Lego Dream
On another of these sessions I had two junior high boys together for a combined experience with the computer. We were talking about computers and Lego when this conversation took place: “Pat?” “yea.” “You know what would be neat?” “No, what?” “Wouldn’t it be neat to control a 4WD Lego car with the computer?” LIGHTBULB MOMENT “You know, I think you’ve got an idea there.” “Let’s do it!” “Ya, lets.” That is how the idea of CAMLU (Computer Activated Motorized Lego Unit) was born. It would be three years before James Clough won the National Duracell Electronics competition with CAMLU. More about that later, we still don’t know about PCS.

PCS-First School

There is a third rate used car lot located on Garrity Boulevard in Nampa, Idaho. It is about one mile north of the airport and about the same distance from the I84 exit to Boise or Caldwell, depending on where you were going to or coming from. A two room shack served as the office for the wrecks being sold on the dirt parking lot. The south room, about twenty by twenty feet in size, served as the very first PCS School. When the wind blew, and it blew all of the time we thought, the room filled with dust. The computers just loved it and we humans worried that we would succumb to some horrible illness. Do not misunderstand me when I talk about the first location. It was free! The owners told me, one day, that they felt if they had a ‘respectable school’ attached to their business people might think more kindly towards them. You see, they had a very poor reputation and this would make them more respectable. In a way, it worked for them and it worked for us. We were out of my parents home and on our own. We all felt and reacted like young kids coming out from under the parents and into the world. There was a remarkable change, more maturity among the kids, that I realized. It wasn’t until we moved on to the next location that everyone realized what had happened to us as a group. We were thinking of ourselves as a family, by now, and that was a great feeling. At this time a young college student, whom I had met as a student teacher, came around looking for a position. I told him that I could offer little money and he was in agreement. He wanted the experience more than the money, thank goodness. By this time we had two Atari computers and one IBM 386 which he brought with him. We used the IBM as the Word Processor. I knew that all students had to have experience with the word processor and that became one of those mandatory requirements. It just had to happen. At this time there was no Graphic Interface for the IBM, so we were stuck with the boring green screen and text only. Everyone, including me, hated it. I am firmly convinced, and was known for saying so, that man (children) is a graphic animal and responds to that graphic environment better than a text oriented environment. We used the Atari computers for the Typing Tutor program and other programming sessions. There was a little gaming, but for the most part there was a lot of programming, graphics, and other programs of an educational nature. Math programs were very popular. Then there was the Lego Lab or Engineering Lab as it was being called. A lot of time was spent in engineering and socializing. I thought that I had died and gone to heaven every time a group interacted while building. The time went so quickly and I even hated the periods to end. Everyone, myself included, always looked forward to the following week’s session. I decided that when we reached the magic number of twenty students, I would seek new digs. When that happened off I went shopping. It wasn’t long before I found a location that was central and with easy access for the out of town families who were now coming to PCS. It was located off the Nampa-Caldwell Boulevard on a diagonal live northwest from the Idaho Press Tribune newspaper. It was the western most office suite in the Keener Business Park. It consisted of four rooms. The rent was acceptable and one weekend I made the move to the next location.

PCS-Second School

On one Friday I boxed up everything at the used car lot and went to the Keener location and began cleaning. It took all of Saturday to clean, polish, and otherwise give the place a cleaning like it should have had for many years. It was a mess. The finishing touch was the Rug Doctoring of all of the carpets. It was only then that I discovered that they were really green instead of the dark brown-black that I thought they were colored. When Saturday came to a close, the place was ready for the equipment. On Sunday, after Mass and breakfast with my parents, I moved and installed all of the computers and Legos. At this time there wasn’t much to move but I was in the midst of building my inventory of Legos and adding a couple of computers and a lot of software. On Monday morning I made sure everything was ready for the day’s classes and that all of the computers were in good working order. All was ready and when the first students arrived we all felt like a new day had dawned for the PCS Family. At this point I want to make something perfectly clear. This is an element of the existence for PCS that I can not deny. All of the money that I received from the tuition I put back into PCS. New computers and software. Hundreds of Lego kits and spare parts by the thousands. My money went to the students. I am forever indebted to my parents who were wise enough to see that unless I used the money in this manner, PCS would not survive. They never once asked for money from me for room and board. When we talked about PCS, and we did talk almost daily, they never discussed wanting money for room and board. My father, in particular, stood beside me through the good, as well as, the bad times. His advice was wonderful and PCS could never have developed as it did without the help and advise of my father. It was a great loss when dad died and mom died 100 days later. They are missed. Throughout my association with PCS I did not take money and use it for myself. It all went to the school and the students. Money has never been important to me as a source of creature comfort. No fancy cars, lavish living quarters, no new clothes. That’s the way I want it. I will go out just as naked as the day I was born and feel great about it. Kathy Hamlet came into the PCS family at this time. Kathy was a remarkable woman whom I met through my parents who were associated with her in the Historical Society. Kathy was the curator of the Nampa Museum and an amateur archaeologist. Married to Brian Hamlet, Kathy was an educated, child loving, smooth talking, fun loving, full of life person. When she came to the school, upon invitation, I was immediately taken by her and decided that I would do anything in my power to get her to join me in the building of PCS. Kathy’s skills and knowledge were responsible for the creation of programs for PCS that would have never happened without her expertise. The time that Kathy spent at the Keener site was spent in learning about my philosophy of education and in particular the PCS Philosophy. She

needed to come to speed with the different uses of the computer. She was used to word processing and the like, but not the graphic application. Kathy is a traditional artist and the computer just gave her another method of applying her talents and sharing them with the students. Kathy is very good with her hands and working with Legos came as naturally to her as it did to the kids. She was a natural at everything that she worked with. Kathy was also one of those rare women whom children were drawn to without hesitation. The students were drawn to her like a magnet. This was extremely important for one of my major principles is that the students must see a pair of mentors, not mentors of only one sex. Male and Female He made them…so it says in the Bible. Children and teens need to see a man and woman working together and when there is a conflict they must observe conflict resolution in progress. They see the exact opposite in their lives, for the most part. Kathy and Patrick were the ideal couple and so it was said many times over the years that Kathy and I were working together at PCS. I was having difficulty with the financial aspect of PCS. I am the first to admit that I do not handle money properly and over the years I have gotten myself into trouble. I soon came to the conclusion that if I didn’t get a business manager and some financial backers, maybe form a small corporation, I would wither up and blow away. I started looking and talking and soon had the group and their manager. One warm afternoon the financial backers came to the Keener site and toured the facility when there were students in house. They asked questions, made comments, and discussed privately among themselves. When we had left the building and were standing on the pavement they told me that they were going to take over the business aspect of PCS and I would no longer have to deal with it. Of course, I was elated, but apprehensive also. We were in a little group and I asked for their attention as I took my right foot and drew an imaginary line on the pavement and told them that they were on that side and that was the business side. I was on my side, alone, and this was my side. I promised them that I would never step over the line onto their side and by the same token I expected that they never cross over onto the education (my) side. We did the old fashioned thing and shaking hands we promised that we would never cross over the line. I will let time and history judge the results of that afternoon. I would never be in any position to offer my opinion on this matter. Early one morning, while Kathy and I were preparing for a heavy student day, I took a telephone call from the frantic mother of one of my 12 year olds from Boise. She informed me that her son had just shot and killed himself with his dad’s shotgun and he was dead. I was crushed! I ran outside, Kathy closely behind, and started walking rapidly back and forth along the pavement to the west end of our school. Nearly running, I covered 30 meters quickly sobbing quite uncontrollably. Kathy tried, several times, to stop me and get me to come inside and rest, but I hardly heard anything she was saying. For three hours I paced and sobbed. After I had run myself into the ground I went inside. Kathy called all of the students who were scheduled for classes that afternoon and classes for the next three days and canceled them. I was asked to make the primary eulogy at the boy’s funeral, something that was extremely difficult to do, but completed because his parents asked. His parents told us that I meant more to their son than any other man that had entered his life and they wanted me to speak on his behalf. After the funeral we learned that he had been dancing around the family room with his father’s 12 gauge shot gun, loaded. The music was “satanic” according to his parents, something about murder or something. The shotgun had gone off, quite by accident I believe, and it destroyed his mother’s antique sewing machine. Despondent the lad put the barrel of the shotgun into his mouth and pulled the trigger blowing his brains and top of his head all over the ceiling. His mother walked into the family room, without warning, and saw her dead son. I blamed myself, for a long time, thinking that I should see any predilection towards suicide but in this case it wasn’t a cry for help because he was part of a very religious and loving family. This was not a dysfunctional family. What happened was a horrible misunderstanding by a young boy who felt that his mother could never forgive him for destroying her favorite antique. His death still bothers me. James Clough. During this time I met and started a friendship with a young and talented junior high school boy. While I was teaching I was also visiting schools that had computer

problems. There was very little money available to them so they were getting into buying cheap Commodore 8 bit computers. These little computers were always going down, breaking, losing memory, and were not reliable. James had a Commodore 64. He loved his little computer but it stopped working because the little red light that came on when it was on would not light. Therefore it was broken. James found out that I had serviced the Commodore 64’s for his school and called for help. I went to his house and was ushered into his bedroom. I opened up the computer, as he watched nervously. I assured him that I would not hurt his computer and that I would fix the problem. Looking over the tiny mother board I immediately saw the problem; the LED wasn’t lit because it had become disconnected. I plugged it back in, looked around a bit, worked at cleaning and other activities to show that I was really giving it the once over. His parents wanted to pay me but I told James that if he would come by PCS and check us out, then maybe he would consider becoming a member. The family came, they saw and discussed, and James became one of the famous students of PCS. More about James Clough later in this document. Within a year Kathy and I started looking for a new location for PCS. We were rapidly outgrowing the Keener location, it was time to move.

PCS Center for Enriched Learning (NNC)
Kathy and I were in meetings with the educational department of Northwest Nazarene College, now Northwest Nazarene University for some time when we struck an equitable agreement. In exchange for rooms on the bottom floor of the old women’s dorm hall, rent free, I would perform the following services: 1) During their school terms we would allow students enrolled in the education department access to PCS during periods when students were in house. The student teachers would come for an introductory tour, participate in all of the student activities, talk with the children, test their own skills at whatever the kids were doing at the time, and ask questions of Kathy and myself. Our students loved the chance to teach the teachers. 2) During the summer sessions I would agree to teach in the master’s in education program and offer the same access to the PCS program as the student teachers did during the regular school semesters. This was a win-win situation and shaking hands, the agreement was struck. PCS-Nampa was composed of five rooms of varying shapes and sizes. Kathy and I spent all of our spare time for a week cleaning, painting, and applying the little touches (curtains that my mother made for all of the windows), and the Lego Loft installed in the Lego Lab. We never had classes composed of students of the same age and sex. It was my belief that we would go back to the days of the one room schoolhouse that my father spoke of so fondly. During the dustbowl days in North Dakota the older kids in his little schoolhouse taught the little kids. Kid-to-Kid Mentoring. PCS is like that no age, gender, or race, or religious discrimination or separation. Mix it up, was what we did and the kids loved it. The wee ones always went to the older kids before they came to either Kathy or myself and that’s the way we wanted it to work

out. Mentoring of that caliber meant that those things learned always stayed longer with the learner than when it came from an adult. Education without the mixing of ages will always fail miserably.

PCS-Grace. When I was walking in the park that was within 50 meters of our front door, I came upon an injured black and white Border Collie. She was limping from what I came to believe was an injury caused when she jumped off the 1 ¼ ton flat bed truck she was riding on, close to the park. This border collie was a catastrophic mess of tangled and matted hair bathed in all of the poop that she could find within a kilometer radius. She smelled like nothing I had ever smelled in all of the animal places in the Galapagos islands, and there were thousands of kilometers of poop of every size, shape, and description. I looked at this dog, smiled, she smiled back, and I walked away. She followed me to the front door. I turned, she smiled, and we fell in love at that moment. We both agreed that I would take her in and go directly into the shower and she was not allowed to complain. After a shower that lasted for over an hour and a swift rub down with all of my personal towels, we went back outside. She ran around like a wild banshee, barking and laughing and feeling like a million dollars until she remembered that she had a painful leg. She halted in her tracks and started limping. She seemed to understand what I was saying to her and we hit it off from the beginning. We agreed that she could come and go as she pleased. If she wanted to leave and never return, well, so be it. I believe in the principles stated in the book, “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” when the author says that it you love something you must let it fly away and if it returns on it’s own, then it is yours, and if it decides to stay away, it never was yours. This border collie was mine on the basis of the fact that she decided to stay with me. I feel that this dog came to me for a purpose. I had been giving serious thought to going to the pound and getting a mutt. In fact, I had made several trips with Kathy to look at what they had. There never seemed to be the breed of dog that we both felt was suited to be around kids of all ages and who would survive the man-handling that kids are famous for putting animals through. We would wait, or so we thought. When this dog adopted me and Kathy agreed that

she was perfect for PCS it was agreed and accepted. When she was introduced to the students we took a week to choose a name for the dog and finally, after a lot of discussion, the name that was given to our Border Collie was Grace. Grace because she came to us as a result of the Grace of God. God brought Grace to PCS-Nampa. Grace loved the students and the students loved Grace. Grace protected the students during classes and while they were on outings. Wherever the students went, Grace went along. PCS Students were inseparable from Grace.

PCS-Nampa (NNC) Tour
I suggest that we take a tour of the facility as though we were the parents of a prospective student. The student is with us, of course. We call, make an appointment and arrive five minutes early. There is a class in session and a few parents and young siblings of the attending students are in the family room. This is what we observe as we enter the front door: 1) Entrance Hallway. We are standing in a narrow hallway that looks directly into an open doorway in front of us by 20 meters. On the left wall is a row of ID Badges hanging from their clips from a long railing. On the right there is an equally long row of coat hooks which contain a few jackets. It is winter. To our immediate left is a room and we enter. 2) Family Room. This room was formerly used to house four college students. It has been converted into the room where parents and students and siblings of students wait while their PCS student takes their class. The room has a round Duplo-Lego table suited for four children between the ages of 3 through 5. In the center is a Duplo base plate and a huge box, nearby, contains a large assortment of Duplo bricks. This table is very popular with the little ones. There is another round table for older kids. It usually has one or two PCS students working on their homework from their public schools while they wait for their class session to begin. There is a “dumb terminal“, or more correctly a Unix Terminal in the room that is connected to the Unix Mainframe located in the Computer Lab. It usually has a student using it to read their Email and sending replies or creating new messages to others. Interconnectivity with others within and without the school is a requirement for membership. It must be remembered that Email, as we know it today, had not been invented yet. It was still three to five years in the distance. PCS students were very proficient in the use of Email many years before the world got it. When we were using the Internet only scientists, educators, and the military were using the precursor to today’s Email. PCS students were communicating with such famous scientists as Rodney Brooks of MIT AI and Robotics Labs and asking questions about robotics long before students were supposed to do such things. Kids were supposed to leave people like Rodney Brooks alone and not bother them. I felt that if a student, of any age, had a legitimate question of any famous, or not so famous, person they had a right to ask that person their question and expect a reply in a timely manner. Most of the time these famous people took the time to reply and even exchanged further communication with some of the students. The best example of what this communication did for one of the students is the case of Chris Gadda. After he graduated from a Boise High School he was accepted into MIT. Because of his membership in PCS-Nampa he was able to obtain a position with Dr. Rodney Brooks at MIT. Chris worked in the lab that developed the official Smart Brick for the Lego Corporation. The work that Chris did at PCS-Nampa in robotics paved the way for him at MIT. See, it does pay to take a chance and talk with the famous people of the world. After all, they are real people too. The Family Room also housed the dishes for Grace, she ate in the family room. This allowed students to become responsible for her feeding and care. It was here that, should a student wish, they could groom Grace. Grace loved the attention and always looked her best, well, most of the time. When she found the poop, it was into the showers. There were a few students who loved to give her a shower, and of course, Grace loved the attention. The Family Room housed a tank that held a tarantula in a terrarium. At first some parents did not like the pet spider, but when they saw how enthralled their children were with the pet, their skepticism waned.

The Family Room had four clothes closets that were converted into storage areas for all sorts of logic puzzles and things to challenge any age. Most visiting kids would beat a path to the storage areas and claim their favorite puzzle. The most favorite was a sliding puzzle based on the eight bit mathematical working of a computer. You had to manipulate a sliding plate containing eight spinning dials, within a grey holder, back and forth, according to a mathematical formula. It was difficult, but once mastered, the kids never forgot. Instead of going for another puzzle they would continue working the Bit Puzzle and then wanted to best a previous time. Faster, and faster, and faster. This puzzle played an interesting role for me one day when a child of six asked me, over several weeks, what age he had to be to become a PCS student like his older sister. I kept putting him off and was becoming more and more agitated, to the mother’s joy, at his pestering. Finally, out of desperation, I told him that s soon as he could come to me and show me that he could solve the Bit Puzzle, I would allow him into the school. He picked up the Bit Puzzle and within thirty seconds he had solved the puzzle. I was flabbergasted, to say the least. His mother smiled and asked if her 6 year old could come in at the same time as his sister. The answer was, yes. The last occupants of the Family Room were the Chess sets. Chess has always been an integral part of every PCS School. There seems to be no exceptions. PCS Students love to play Chess. There were regular chess tournaments and the older players mentored younger students who showed interest in learning the game. There were other board games in the Game Closet but they never saw the light of day and eventually disappeared. The last item in the room was a sink with running water and paper cups for anyone who was thirsty. Students begged for me to bring in coke and candy machines. The answer was always, NO, NEVER. That is the Family Room. We are now going to step out into the hallway, turn left, and go into the Lego Lab.

3) Lego Lab - Engineering Lab - Robotics Lab. Upon entering this large room you observe that it once housed six college students with six clothes closets, a wash basin, windows all around, heaters, and lots of space. In the center of the room was a T-shaped table assembly. Towards the north wall is the Lego Lab Loft which was built by my father, Larry McShane. The Lego Loft was built by the loving hands and heart of my dad. He was great with wood. I felt that the Lego Lab had to have a place for the little kids. They needed a place to get under or on top of away from the big kids. The Lego Loft was a sturdy wood platform6’ x 8’ in size and 5’ off the floor. There were sturdy wood steps (5) to the top and the little kids loved to climb up with their project box full of Legos and work on their projects out of the hustle and bustle below. By the very nature of having a platform off the floor there was also a cave-like area of the same dimensions underneath. With a little fence around this area to keep wandering students from entering except through the authorized access, and a carpet on the floor. This was also a sought after spot for the little ones to work. It was interesting to discover which kids chose which place to work. Some like to be up, some like to be in the cave. On the east wall was a long, custom made, by my own design, the Lego Storage Drawers. There were large, flat, shallow pull out drawers. There were kitchen type utility drawers throughout the unit. There were large deep cabinets below the drawers and flat pull outs. All of these different type of storage spaces within the unit were designed for children of all sizes. There wasn’t a storage space in the unit that was not accessible by a child or young adult. On the west wall was a series of six clothes closets. These storage spaces were used for Student Project Boxes. Everyone had their own storage box and place for that box, there were no exceptions. Towards the south wall and extending into the center of the room was an assembly of three large tables. It was configured in a T-shape and allowed the maximum number of students working around the table at any one time. It always seemed crowded, but the students managed for themselves. When things got a bit dicey, the older students took charge and arranged the work areas so that everyone had their own space without disturbing their neighbors. Neither Kathy nor I, nor any visiting PCS Mentor from Boise, in to help, ever had to step in and remedy an undesirable situation. Leave the older students to remedy any conflict that arose. On the south wall were three sinks. There was always a good supply of water in the Lego and Engineering Lab. This was important because there were times when water was a part of a project. Lego made a pneumatic system that all of us loved to build and experiment with design elements. Well, some wondered if they could use water in place of air. They had learned that water was a much better, less compressive, element to use in a pneumatic system. I don’t think Lego ever intended to use water in their air sets, but PCS-Nampa students did, and it worked. The drawback was that we had water all over the lab and a number of students went home completely soaked. Water dries, kids dry, mops work, and we were excited to see water working air systems. Please, don’t try this at home! Scattered upon the work tables were fifteen Lego Models that were made Permanent by using

the secret Lego Glue as the adhesive. To glue Legos together is in absolute disagreement of the principle of build, play, destroy, rebuild better. I chose to develop physical models of the primary mechanical principles that were possible by using the elements furnished with Lego Technic. The glue was secret because they had developed a chemical compound that would plastic weld the two Lego pieces together. In fact, it was welded so strongly that the bricks would break any other place than at the seams. I built a simple model of a pulley system that used a rubber band, and glued it together. I built a gear ratio of; 8:24:40:16 and glued it together. I built the PCS Differential model. Instead of using three spider gears for the internal gearing according to Lego, I used four spider gears, instead. When I tested the new differential I proved that it withstood all of the torque and sped that was thrown at it and did not come apart. I did this because in the real world the differential has to have four spider gears internally in order to keep the gears working tightly and smoothly together. If I need to demonstrate an important mechanical principle, instead of building one every time I nerd one, I built only one, glued it with the Secret Lego Glue, and after 25 years many of those models remain and are being explored by the new students. Then there is another Unix Terminal in this room. This terminal did not get the heavy use that the others did which were located in the other rooms, but it did get its lion’s share of keystrokes. It saw heavy use during those live “chat” sessions where up to four students could communicate on the same screen at the same time and watch the others type in real time. This amazing Unix Chat Program did not come with the Unix when HP donated it to us. James Clough, the Sysop, developed the program all by himself. He had no help. He studied, learned the “C” programming language and wrote a number of applications that were unique to PCS. When PCS-Boise got their Unix system, James ported his software over to them and trained their Sysop administrators. Mainframe by kids, for kids. I don’t know where to put the discussion about the PCS Lego Robot, CAMLU and it’s predecessor, CAMLU Pseudo-4WD, Tethered vehicle. So, I will put it here before I forget all about it. PCS-CAMLU, Pseudo-4WD, Tethered Vehicle. When Craig asked the question about driving his Lego Car with the joystick of his computer, the image was born. Until we moved into this location I did not have the time to spend in the development of such a vehicle. The original student had graduated from high school and was in college learning to be a dentist (he is now a very successful dentist with a flourishing practice) in another state. Once things had settled down in the NNC location I turned my full attention to developing what came to be known, loved, and constantly used, as CAMLU, or the Computer Activated Motorized Lego Unit. What follows is a somewhat detailed description of this unit as I designed, tested, and put it into use from the Lego Lab into the Computer Lab. The general dimensions of the vehicle was: Length - 20 cm. Width: 4 cm. Height: 4 cm. My engineering principle was, “Form follows Function.” By this I meant that I was more concerned with how it worked than what it looked like. Early on, however, I realized that I would have to work the color scheme into the design before I started to construct. Color Scheme: Left side, Red; Right side, Blue. I chose these two colors to reflect the international color lights required on aircraft and ships. Port red, Starboard green. Since Lego does not have green elements for their Technic elements, I used the next best color, blue. The center section was all yellow. The cab of the vehicle had a futuristic clear plastic windscreen which could be raised or lowered at will. The four wheels and tires were the standard Lego tires that are slightly larger than the 40-Gear. The drive train began with two, side-by-side 4.5v electric Lego motors, the original version. Today’s version is square and difficult to work with, or so say those of us who are accustomed to using the older ones. Ask any PCS Edventure student what version he or she preferred and they would say that they like the new ones. The new motors are more powerful because they are better constructed.

The motor studs are directly connected to two sets of two worm gears confined within a gear well. This assembly is contrary to the Lego Technic use for the worm gears. I felt that if I could make it work, without altering the element(s) in any manner, then I would assemble in the manner I felt worthwhile. Note: The exact Greer relationship remains a PCS Secret. We provide only the final OUTPUT. Gear Ratio: 72:1 These Final Drive-Gear drove two independent 8-Axels that were connected through the sides of the vehicle to the tire assembly. The rear tires were free spinning, they were not connected by gearing to the drive train. They were, however, connected to the front drive for each side by being connected to the front drive using the Lego Chain (thin) which caused them to rotate in unison. There was a 8-Beam connecting the front and rear axels to keep them aligned and allow a minimum of slippage. Chain does not slip, it just gives a little. The chain was connected to 24-Gears, front and rear. Thus you have the Pseudo4WD. Once the group of engineers decided that this version of CAMLU was the best, overall, they agreed that the vehicle could be chemically welded together along all of the seams and other points of stress. Lego Corporation didn’t like this but we were able to convince them that the purpose for this CAMLU was to teach Computer I/O operations, programming, experimentation on various I/O aspects of robotics that hitherto had not been explored. Lego agreed and sent another two quarts of their secret pink-opaque welding glue. It lasted for five years. The power to CAMLU was supplied through two grey battery tubes with a switch at their top ends. The tube held three “C” cell Duracell Batteries. Loaded with fresh batteries and a battery controller in each hand, an operator quickly learned in what position the two switches had to be in to achieve the desired results. We were using the Lego grey hook up wire which was two strand, and the longest piece that Lego sold was a 20’ piece. PCS went out and bought two strand wire coated in thin rubber, and was easy to use. It never got tangled. It was perfect, and it was 50’ in length.

CAMLU @ PCS-Nampa by James Clough
One afternoon, James came into my office at PCS and plopped down on my couch ands started asking questions and making some wild declarations. Once I got him off the ceiling, I asked what it is that he wanted to discuss with me. James said that he wants to enter the prestigious National Science Teachers Association / Duracell competition for his Sophomore year, during his freshman year. We both became immediately aware of some major reasons why James could not create a project for the competition because he would have to have a science teacher, not a member of NASTA. I have never been a joiner with groups that feel are working in an educational system that is as dead as the dinosaurs. The next obstacle was his science teacher in the public school that he was attending. This teacher’s qualifications had nothing to do with electronic, computer logic, or ANY OTHER APECT OF Robotics, and thankfully, he stepped back and told NASTA that the advisor that James was working with was well qualified to direct James through all of the steps through completion. James started with our drive train, gear ratio of, Worm:24-Gear. He continued to use the thin Lego chain to maintain proper separation and tension between the front and real drive wheels, same on the other side. However, he soon saw that this gear ratio was not going to serve his purposes as adequately as he had previously imagined. We tested, and tested, and tested, and finally hit on a ratio of 72:1 and another for the ‘Armadillo‘ Robot which sported a gear ratio of 27:1. The main problem was weight. CAMLU weighed in at a whopping: 5.07 kg (2.3 lbs).The overall footprint of this Yellow Vehicle was quite different than the Tethered CAMLU. James needed to enlarge the length and width by 5 times. It was also 2 times taller. It looked top heavy but even with all of its power, no one ever tipped the Yellow CAMLU onto it’s back. Upon the flat yellow plates that covered the surface area was placed the “Mother Board” the circuit board designed, fabricated, and thoroughly tested by James Clough. James etched the circuit lines into, around, and out of, to create an electronic pathway carrying instructions to a variety of components. There was small “Main Brain”, ”Mother Boar” with 1 16 Pin IC chip that

sent signals through all kinds of gates, passes, transistors, heat sink transistor, several sizes of capacitors, thin connect wire to be soldered onto component and then onto other components. To the uneducated in I/O Board Design and Application James’ I/O Controller was a jungle. To those of who knew and understood what he was doing, we saw a work of absolute genius. The ‘cherry on the top’ was the Radio shack 6-cell battery cube that held the most important power system: Duracell Batteries. James completed the vehicle by building a fence out of Lego 12Axels. Held in reselected positions where stress was anticipated, and creating a safety barrier from hell. Prying fingers were never able to penetrate that security fence and the sensitive parts of the robot were very well protected. The finished version of CAMLU took on the form of a wandering robot which was seeking a darkened area, either within an overhang, or under a low table, bed, boxes, boards, bricks, just anything that looked like it would be dark and likely to provide some secretive shelter. Built into this seek there is the opposite, avoidance factor. Hardwired commands to avoid, at all costs, any and all obstacles that will get into your way based on the unit’s assessment of its present course. Seek Shelter, Avoid Danger, but Keep Moving, Don’t Stop. A number of different types of sensors were hardwired onto the mother board as the Input Service Modules. The Output Service Models were the Motors and Drive Trains. Turn the power toggle on, and let it go. James had sent the vehicle, instructions, and a ton of paperwork well in advance of the deadlines. So, we became worried when we had not been notified about the regional winners. Something was very wrong and we were not able to find out what was going on. Other students in the area who had late notices were eventually sent disqualification notices. This heightened our fears that this prestigious competition was not looking kindly upon a Lego toy robot. A month passed and both James and I were notified that the judges for the competition were due in Nampa on the weekend to review everything involved in the creation of the Self-autonomous Pseudo-4WD. Neither of us were afraid of anything. We knew what part each of us played throughout the project, and we both knew, without saying it to one another, that neither of us ever broke any of the Rules of the Competition, nor the Laws of Ethical Performance within the project. When we finally sat down with the judges we discovered that they were more concerned about the quality of work coming from one so young. They had James demonstrate most of the steps, review the setbacks, and process of resolution. After two hours the judges were completely satisfied, to a man, that CAMLU was developed, assembled, tested, and turned into a robot, unlike none other to date. My role was determined to be as a sounding board for ideas coming from James and these exchanges did not affect any significant aspect of the overall performance of CAMLU. James was the hit of the competition. All of the student competitors loved the Lego Robot, what kid doesn’t love Legos? It had flash and dash and never failed through several full battery sets of continuous movement. James took home the $10,000 scholarship which took him through his first year in college at the University of Idaho. The some of the science teachers attending with their students and entries did not like either James or myself. They could tolerate Jim, he was a kid, but for an ‘outsider’ to be allowed into their prestigious competition, well, some rules would have to change for next year. And change they did. The first rule that came out was than no non-member of NSTA is allowed to sponsor a student in the competition. The second rule that was made did not allow a first place winner to win another first place in the same competition. James could enter next year, but he couldn’t win first place. He could have gone on to win four NSTA/Duracell competitions in a row…but the rules said, NO. Once we returned from the NSTA competition James and I decided to return to the original CAMLU project and provide the Interface required to allow a computer to talk to CAMLU, through an Interface.

Atari 130XE-Interface-Power Supply-CAMLU
Computer. The brains of the 4WD vehicle came in the form of an Atari 130XE, 6502

Processor. This 8-bit system was a perfect match for this application. It was one of the first small computers that had a usable RAM Memory. This meant that when I compiled the CAMLU Controlling Program I could move it into that RAM Memory. Important because the messages did not travel through wires or from one part of memory to another, the few bits of program were crammed into a tiny corner of FREE RAM and it was lightening fast, both directions. I/O at Mach speed. The 130XE had an open architecture and was easy to understand and program. We had five different computer languages with which to write the short controlling software programs. I used a 25’ length of telephone grey cable, four wire (red, yellow, green, black) to connect the motors to the interface, and to the computer. Red-Green controlled the right motor and YellowBlack controlled the left motor. Not complicated at all. Since I had the book describing the Peek & Poke Memory Locations for the 130XE, it was easy to understand how to use the system. It became a matter of Peeking into the memory location for an Input device and using that value to Poke into the second, or Output Memory location. Peek & Poke. We used the keyboard, joystick, touch screen, touch tablet, light pen, sip-n-suck, graphics tablet, and sensors as input devices. The favorite was the joystick. Here is how the computer controlling program worked, in simple terms. Push the joystick forward. The computer sees a specific digital number in a specific memory location, it PEEKED. The computer is told that when it sees that specific number it must POKE another number into another specific memory location. What you have in a computer program starting at line one, down to line one hundred. And back to one, again, never stopping unless someone hit’s the ESC button. Joystick Forward; Left Motor spins CW, Right Motor spins CW. Joystick pulled back: Left Motor spins CCW, Right Motor spins CCW. Snap-Turn-Left (STL): Left Motor spins CCW. Right Motor spins CW. Snap-Turn-Right (STR): Left Motor spins CW. Right Motor spins CCW. Slow, Wide turn Forward Left: Left Motor STOP, Right Motor spins CW. Because the joystick was, overall, the most popular method of controlling aircraft in Flight Simulators, Speed Racing; Arcade Games, etc., I decided to start with the Joystick to drive the vehicle. We were taking the race car off the screen and putting it on the floor, where it belonged anyway, and let ‘er rip. I had a number of computer languages to choose from to create the looping program controller. I selected the Atari Action XE compiled language. When you compile a small program it gets even smaller. When you have a very small compiled computer program working as the simple brain of the vehicle, you also have extreme speed in the execution of the program elements. When we tested controlling programs written in one language against another, the results showed us that some were much faster than others. We went looking for the fastest because the faster execution of the controlling program sent commands to the motor much faster than another. Fast execution of data means quicker responses from the vehicle. It was almost instantaneous. We now had the best drive train and the fastest computer assembled language to control the I/O for the system, The connection between the small computer and the vehicle was that grey four wire telephone line that was 25’ long. We put the computer in one of those computer stands, like you see being used where you need to roll a system around from place to place. Small flat table for the monitor and underneath a pull out drawer for the keyboard. The stand was three feet tall and had four heavy revolving wheels on thin legs. Adding a rolling chair and the CAMLU was mobile. It was taken into every corner of the Lego and Computer labs, and it received a lot of attention for a lot of years. In the Computer Lab I made a vehicle course constructed with an 8’ by 8’ piece of heavy white plastic board. This is the kind of material that was being put on countertops in homes. Onto the white surface I laid down a strip of black electrical tape in the form of a large figure ‘8’. When CAMLU was placed on the white board above a black line and was fitted with four Optosensors by Lego, looking down, the control was exciting. I would use the joystick to drive CAMLU onto a black line and push a button. Button pushed, CAMLU took over its own operation. He needed the computer for his power, The commands that he was following told him to move forward, all of the time and not to stop. The Optosensors set 2mm above the board (white, black) (on board) would be reading the light being reflected off the floor into its eye. It the Optosensor saw black he figured everything was all right and he just kept on truckin’ until he saw white. White, for CAMLU, was a frightful thing

to see. Immediately he went into action and I will give you a couple of examples. First you have to know that there were four of these Optosensors. On the front wheels they were mounted ahead of the wheels, and vice versa for the back. If the right front Optosensor saw Black, the left rear Optosensor also sees black (by their position relative to one another) and this command would be issued; Left Motor spins CW, Right Motor spins CCW. If the Right Rear Optosensor sees Black and the Left Forward Optosensor sees Black the command is issued to: Left Motor spins CW, Right Motor spins CCW. This may sound like a jerky movement, but the opposite is true. The movement was smooth, fast, and exciting for all. No hesitation on responses to the commands. It was only when someone hit the ESC button, that everything came to a screeching halt. The screeching were from the kids, not the vehicle.

The interface box was composed of a Radio Shack electronic grey plastic box. It was10cm long, 5 cm wide, and 8 cm tall. Into both long ends were drilled 1 hole each. Both holes were 1 cm in diameter. The Mother Board Design from CAMLU, the winner, was miniaturized down to the size of a cigarette pack. The copper traces were small, neat, and perfectly aligned in relation to the other elements. James has discovered, while talking far into the nights with other winners, how to apply miniaturization into micro circuits and gain speed of execution and a loss of heat, which is a major problem in designing heat sink responses to hear build up due to controlling motors. By the time James had come home from the competition, he knew exactly what he need to do. James worked for another week and announced that he was about to fabricate the first PCS-Interface. James was a fanatic when it came to the security of something he had invented. He would allow others to use the interface, but not take it off property. I went out to schools for demonstrations and discussions, but having the interface exposed to the elements made even my nervous. So, James and I agreed on the solution. Heat Sink is an issue, we can’t cover the top of the plastic project box with anything that would restrict the flow of air across the elements. Then James had another of his Light bulb Moments. He would make certain that all of the elements were solidly in place, soldered properly. I/C pins completely seated, transistors of all of their three legs and those legs into the correct pin hope, the LED glow red when the power switch is turned to the ON position and black when it is off. Another hole of the same size was drilled just below the LDE. This is the female electrical receptor for the socket wire of a Power Supply (like you get with your Cell Phone, or most other small appliances that require electricity to operate. Batteries are nice, but use them all of the time and you end up in the poor house. This was the best solution for passing power from the wall outlet into CAMLY.Once he was satisfied that everything was right with the world he mixed up a quart batch resin, adding a bottle of reagent. Stir like hell for thirty minutes, let the bubbles settle out, and pour the clear thickening liquid into the project box over the mother board, components, wires, cables, LED, clear up to the top edge…Flat across. No leaking from the two cable insertions and no damage to the toggle switch, or the I/O power port for the power supply. Testing went on for years and years. It was a stroke of genius when James decided to use solid resin for protection. While he was worried about another student seeing and copying his mother board, it could not happen because the block of resin was yellow-white in color. You could see the tops of some of the components, but never get an identifying look at any of them. The most important result of immersing the motherboard and components in the hard plastic is that it provided the best heat sink method possible. Instead of heat sinking each individual unit, the entire box and every component became heat sinked. Testing MMU non-heat sunk units always resulted in over heating and eventual destruction of the interface, or worse. The PCS-CAMLU NEVER BROKEDOWN OR FAILED ONCE! No one ever saw enough of the components to discover what they were or how they worked, just a milky image through a yellow haze. The interface weighed about 500 kilograms, because of the lump of plastic that the elements were embedded into. It wa ‘Mystery Grey Box’ as visiting students were told by our students. It was invented by James

Interface Unit for CAMLU

Clough and he is famous. His robot was made before Lego made their robot, isn’t that exciting?

(4) PCS-Restrooms, Wash Room, Shower Rooms

Stepping out of the Lego Lab into the hallway and turn left you see four doors at various distances from where you are standing. Lets look at the right door and walk through the door and find ourselves in the Family Bathroom. There are four cubicles with flourishing flushing toilets. Behind these stalls is a row of four sinks, complete with hot and cold running water. On the north wall there are two very nicely appointed showers. I can testify that had it not been for these facilities, I would have been in a great deal of trouble. When Kathy and I got the school running I told my parents that I was moving out and would be living in my office until I had enough money to get a small apartment. I couldn’t wait for the day to arrive and I could take the pressure off the backs of my wonderful parents. In the wall, before we leave the bathroom is a rolling paper towel rack and one of those warm air blower dryer machines from hell. Ya might know, the kids loved it.

(5) PCS-Nampa Computer Lab

Stepping out of the Restrooms into the hallway and looking diagonally across the hall you will see the heavy, large door to the Computer Lab. The room was originally used for the college women’s recreation room and held four ping pong tables quite easily. Upon entering the room you find yourself standing on a platform two steps above the regular floor. Originally I believe the raised platform was used as a performance stage for musical or artistic productions. Then there was room for several tables and chairs, and even a few recliners. Kathy and I scrubbed and washed everything and put up mom’s wonderful yellow curtains. Then we filled all of that empty space with PCS things. I don’t want to bore the reader with the progression of receiving this piece, or that, and the constant rescheduling of equipment. Rather, I will present to you the view of the Computer Lab as I saw it on the day that I took my leave of PCS. The platform had three steps down to the main floor. These steps were along the west wall and a couple of steps from the door. Step down onto the main floor and look around. On the west wall you will see four wood computer tables with Atari 140ST on top of the desks. IN the various drawers of these desks were a variety of computer disks, course curriculum, and a flip box holding more than one hundred computer programs of a wide variety of subjects. There is also the required support tools and items needed for someone working at a computer. All four of these Atari 1040ST’s were connected to the Mainframe. On the south wall you will see several large computer components. The assortment of CPU, Drum Drives, Line Printers, Sysop Workstation, several dumb terminals, and other assorted cables, I/O units, etc. I managed to get HP to donate an HP 3000 Unix System to PCS-Nampa. When it was delivered in a huge delivery truck, I asked them to help us bring it into the lab but not help us to assemble the system. I told the HP crew, in front of my junior high school boys who had been begging for a Unix, that they would have to study the parts, learn how to assemble everything, how to make it work and keep working, and write the software that we needed. You see, this Unix came with NO PROGRAMS. If we wanted a ‘Chat’ program then someone would have to write, compile, and administer that program. The HP adults told me, to

my face, in front of the boys, that it would never happen. Four weeks later I had the HP team back to watch James Clough, PCS-Sysop, demonstrate several applications that are being used today. Precursor to the modern day version of ‘Chat Rooms’, Four different students on four different Unix terminals could type simultaneously. We had our own Email system running long before it was being used on the Internet. Oh, PCS students were using the Unix to communicate with famous scientists and people all over the world before there ever was an Internet. The Unix opened so many doors for PCS. One of my founding dream principles when that original group decided on creating PCS was that every child in the entire world must have access to the entire world by being linked computer to computer to computer, forever. I think we are getting closer with the passing of each day, We are becoming a connected society and connectivity must start with the youngest of our species. I saw it then, and I see it now. On the east wall are another set of two computer desks, like their counterparts across the room. 1040ST, software box, etc. They are also connected into the Unix System. Farther north, towards the risen platform, is a mobile computer stand with an IBM PS2. There was also another mobile stand that housed a Macintosh system. Educational and productivity software was abundant for both systems. At that point I felt that we had a few of the leading systems and software available and that exposure and use by PCS students would put them years ahead of their peers. On the north wall, actually the platform, stand four sawhorses which support a large (8’x8’) white thick plastic board. On this board I had laid down a ribbon of black electrical tape in a large figure ‘8’ with a few other black strips in suspicious positions. With the PCCS-CAMLU Pseudo4WD, Tethered vehicle on top of this platform and the Atari 130XA rolled into close proximity to the roadway, all was set for running the new and improved PCS-CAMLU. The Joystick Control Method was, by far, the most popular. The operators weren’t satisfied with trying to stay on the track, they wanted to throw a big pile of Legos into the middle of the track and attempt to drive their CAMLU up and over the mess. King of the Hill and other games came into vogue. When the second PCS-CAMLU was created students started to play soccer using a bright yellow tennis ball. There was no limit to how many different ways they could invent for using CAMLU. This system will always be my favorite. I wish I knew where that vehicle went off to, I am hoping that someone has it and hears that I am looking for it and may return it to me.

(6) PCS-Nampa Headmaster’s Office

Stepping out into the hallway and turning left and walking ten meters you arrive at the Headmaster’s Office. Turn right, step in, and take a seat. Entering and looking to the right you will see a wood table upon which sits a Unix Terminal. Beyond that is my beautiful old mahogany desk. On top of my desk is a bookcase with glass doors. The books I preserve here are my favorite books. These are the ones I refer to many, many times over the years. These are the books that I drag around with me as I travel from country to country in search of my purpose. On the south wall is my personal computer desk, it is exactly like the ones we found in the computer lab. On my desk I have my personal copy of the Atari 1040ST. On a lower level I have my personal copy of the Atari 130XE. Throughout the computer desk and the special software cabinet I keep software masters for all of the systems in the PCS-Nampa facility. On the west wall is a row of windows covered with mom’s wonderful curtains. Below the curtains is a long, soft, and luxurious davenport. Here I slept for a number of years while serving as Founder and first Headmaster of PCS-Nampa. Yes, I was asked, several times, to stop living in the school, It was against some rule that I chose to disobey. I know that what I did was wrong, but I didn’t know what to do. It was at that time that the person running the business part of PCS informed me that he was not going to be able to pay me even the $500.00 per month as he

had been doing. I would have to figure something else out, survive somehow. What was I to do? I felt that if I made a row then Robert and Heidi and their boy might loose income. Or maybe Kathy Hamlet would lose enough to force herself to resign. When I was hit with this realization, the prospect of eviction, or worse the closure of PCS-Nampa, I knew there was nothing I could do. I was also having major medical issues, which I will discuss shortly. On the south wall are two clothes closets. Into these I put all of my worldly possessions. Clothes have never played an important part in my life. If I am neat and clean and wearing nice clothes I feel that I am fine and no one should put up a row. The last item to mention is the three drawer filing cabinet at the southern end of the couch and on top of this cabinet sits a large color television. Lying down on the couch with my feet towards the TV and Grace beside me on the floor, we two relaxed and slept, but not for long. Leaving the Headmaster’s Office and turning right, make a sharp right and go into the Electronics Lab.

(7) PCS-Nampa Electronics Lab

Stepping out into the hallway from the Headmaster’s Office and turning right and making another sharp right you are inside of the PCS-Electronics Lab. It is a long, narrow room, and I don’t have a clue as to what it had been used for. This I gave completely to James, it was James’s Electronics Lab and no one was allowed into his room without first asking for his permission. James was careful to whom he granted access, he wanted to know if they were really serious about electronics. If James thought that you had the right stuff, you could come and go at will. The rule wa that you respected the tools just as you respected other students and adults. The walls on both west and east lengths were covered with pegboards for tools. Long narrow work benches lined these walls as well. There were tables, of all sizes and shapes that held testing equipment of every kind. I made the mistake of asking James one day where all of these things were coming from. James answered that I really didn’t want to know. After that I knew nothing and everything worked smoothly and a host of electronic and electrical items were invented and implemented. What wonderful kids!. Stepping into the hallway and looking right you will see the end of the hallway. If you listen carefully you can hear the laughter of young college women as behind our hallway is part of their sitting room.


Among the many talents and gifts that Kathy brought to our PCS Family was a love for things ancient, beyond old, into the mythical but possible pasts of those who lived in the same places that were now visiting. I had much the same dream, but I was more founded in the technological workings of the world, During hours of conversations between the two of us, and some older, interested students we decided that Kathy was the perfect person to write the curriculum, muster the troops, select proper sites, obtain the correct permissions and papers, then perform the Archaeological Digs on Authorized Sites alongside certified archaeologists and help in the preservation of everything discovered for preservation. This project alone was very important

PCS-Native American, Archaeological, Paleontology, Experimental Archaeology, Hunter-Gatherer Studies at Celebration Park beside the famous Snake River basin of Guffey Butte, Idaho directed by: Kathy Hamlet, PCS-Mentor

and lasted for many years. After I had to withdraw, I did not follow the progress of this or any other ongoing projects. Now I want to hear what has been accomplished in this particular field of study so that I may pay proper tribute to Kathy because, without her inspiration, it would never have happened. I wish to share the impact her program had on me and how it changed my life forever. Celebration Park; Canyon County; Snake River east shore of the famous Snake River Kathy was discussing Guffey Butte and the Snake River one summer afternoon at the PCSNampa site. She asked if anyone would like to spend the weekend sleeping down by the river, playing, swimming, cooking some food, telling ghost stories before bedding in a sleeping bag. Any takers? It was a shouted unanimous decision. Cell phone calls for permissions, cars going to local stores for food, others collecting sleeping bags and personal bags, gathered back in two hours. It was wonderful, it worked and we were away for an adventure that would last for twenty years and cover several western states, with most dangerous opportunities to become permanently injured. Thanks to the Lord God Almighty, everyone of us survived, lived long, and prospered as better and stronger people serving the less fortunate. Archaeology - Petroglyph - Lifestyles - Hunter & Gatherer Bands Kathy brought those of us that were interested in learning about how the ‘Indians” lived, hunted, and survived in a place as harsh as this place. Hot, dusty, void of most larger animals, etc. Kathy brought in one of my best friends, Willy Lamere, a Shoshone Native who was living on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation near Blackfoot in Southeastern Idaho. I had met Willy at the Sho-Pai (Paiute) Reservation at Duck Valley, Nevada. Invitations to visit with one another passed between us and, lo and behold, we actually met and formed a friendship that made me the man that I am today. Willy, Kathy, and myself would hold week long Summer Camps over several summers. The kids would bring all that they would need for a week in the hot desert and the money they paid a week in advance paid for the food that we would eat for that week. WoW, kids eat a lot of grub! I think I finished owing the local store a couple of hundred dollars for food, but thanks to a kind soul I have since heard that these bills were always paid. On one summer Archaeological trip into the mountains of Eastern Idaho I was bitten by a rattlesnake. I has three junior high boys and a younger brother of one of the older boys with me. The three of then talked me into allowing then into walking about a mile down the stream that I had parked the pickup and camper beside a small stream and felt comfortable staying inside of the camper out of the sun and with plenty of drinking water and fresh food. The boys said that they would leave Grace with me. I told them that they should go on, sleep the night where they had planned on sleeping. I was quite tired from a day of exploring so I told then to gather anything they would need for the hike, camp, dinner, and sleep, and return around eight in the morning. Grace was insisting on staying with me. Graces’ reaction did not sit well with me from the moment that she refused to leave my side. Given the choice, Grace always chose the kids. Now what? I went about collecting sage brush to make a small fire to broil the two rabbits that I had caught with my Paiute Deadfall, cleaned, season with herbs & spices, and once the coals would become hot coals, I would have roast rabbit in ten minutes. One last trip up a steep incline for backup sage and down to the fire pit and we’d start. Then, all of a sudden, the sharpest strike on the front bonny side of my lower right leg. Instant pain driving right up my leg. Falling over, I grabbed my leg at the strike and felt the head of the rattlesnake pinned under my hand and against my leg. I screamed as loud as I could, but won’t repeat what I screamed. Looking at the snake I knew immediately that it was the largest of the largest, old, experiences, alive for so long because it had all that it needed to stay alive and prosper. “Don’t Panic, Patrick” went through my head just at the same time I began to feel the first numbing pain of the venom rushing through my body. Grace was at my side through all of this. She was whimpering and must have been thinking

what she had to do to save me. She knew that I was in very serious danger and I know that she had seen deaths as a result of snake bites on the ranches where she has served. I knew that I could count on Grace to pull through. Grace would not let me die. I couldn’t stay on the hill side, but the camper was twenty meters down the hill, over a rough road, and into a group of Cottonwood trees surrounding a small babbling brook. The inside of the camper became our target refuge. Through a lot crawling, crying, cursing, Grace slurpies, and prayers, we made it within an hour and were inside. Grace jumped in after me and together we made our bed. I have watched dogs make their beds because I find the activity extremely educational. They know exactly what they are doing. Seldom any wasted movements. Everything has it’s place, and everyplace requires certain things. I tried like hell to discover how it all works but in the end Grace must have given up, pushed me aside at bed making time, and did it herself. It always looked much better when Grace made our bed without my help, and she knew it. I don’t remember much about that night. I went into and out of consciousness. Pain came and went. My leg swelled to an ugly black, and throughout the hours of agony Grace knew what she had to do to save my life. She started licking the wound, all over, and seldom stopped. She would jump down from the tail gate to go to the stream and drink long draughts of cold mountain water. When she touched her cool tongue on my burning leg the cool of her flesh was a touch of an angle. Grace saved my life that night. The boys didn’t return until noon on the following day and by that tie I was hobbling around on one leg. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kathy teamed up with active archaeologists to work on digs within the park grounds. The PSArchaeologists performed their duties exactly like their professional counterparts did, with very few mishaps. Their reports, drawings, and overall work was accepted by the Archaeologist in charge, without reservation, and then entered into the permanent report, unaltered. Kids, given the best in directions from professionals, are professionals. Experimental Archaeology was my favorite field of discovery. The use of my hands in forming cordage straps, flint knapping a point, making and sharpening an obsidian knife, weaving a fish trap, carving a fish hook out of fish bone, making fire with a fire bow, making a sagebrush robe for winter, carving a cup or spoon of wood…it wasn’t any better. There were two things that I knew I must do before I could go on to any other investigation. They are:

I asked Willy, after a couple of summer sessions dedicated to important aspects of surviving as a member of a small Hunter-Gatherer Group wandering throughout the general area that we now found ourselves in, so I asked Willy if it would be possible for him to mentor me as I went through my Vision Quest. Willy hesitated for a moment and forcefully replied that this was not something a White Mam could do. I asked what my race had to do with knowing about patience, please tell me. Willy replied that he has never met a white man who knew what True Patience was all about. He said that, in his mind, no white man has never learned the Fine Art of Patience, and further, he didn’t think any white man alive now, could come to know True Patience. I told Willy that I wanted to come to Know True Patience, and furthermore, I knew I could Know True Patience. Willy thought for a few hours and said. “Tomorrow when the sun begins to rise, come to me with the things I now tell you, and prepare for a full day of Teaching Yourself Patience”. Published under a separate document at [] you will find the detailed description of how I taught myself Patience, Thanks to Willy, I went on to perform my first Vision Quest on the following summer at Fort Hall, Idaho surrounded by many of my Native American families and friends.

Vision Quest

Patience Stone


Four Cornerstones of the PCS Philosophy
Self-Esteem Everyone has a need to love and be loved. There is the love found within the family unit and of necessity that love comes into PCS by the very nature that students can’t check their love at the door when they come to class. As interaction with fellow students takes place the first form of love is turned into the Love of Friend. This is a special form of love, and may not be recognized as love by the kids. All that they know is that that person is one of their very best friends. They draw into small groups and socialize and work together. This is an example of redirected love.


Every child is gifted and talented, there is no special group for the GT students. All PCS Students are gifted ant talented, and it is the task of the mentors to help the student discover, for himself or herself, what those talents and gifts are, and how to use them.


Every child must realize that the other child that they are working with is just as gifted and talented as they are and together, by sharing their individual talents towards solving a common task, results in a better understanding of the tasks at hand, and how better to arrive at the best solution. This builds team cohesion.


Everyone has a need to feel worthwhile first to themselves, and second to another(s). If you do not sincerely believe that lat east one, hopefully more, person(s) really need you, then your suffering will be acute and possibly irreparable. This is one of those ‘flash points’ in our lives that a majority of us do not survive, permanent psychological, and physical damages will show through all of our attempts at hiding them. I find that when I try to hide these scars of battle with evil, they brighten. I quickly decided to use them as badges of honor, show them all off to anyone who happened to pass. It wasn’t long and people also began to show off their battle scars. The Badge of Honor had been born out of Battles of Disgrace.


Knowledge gained through Self-Discovery is a Google bit more valuable than Spooned-Discovery. It is mandated that all mentors must gently guide the student towards the person, place, or thing that the mentor believes will be the ignition point for a Moment of Discovery. Light bulb comes on over his head. The index finger of his right hand is stubbed into his right cheek. His mouth opens wide in an expression of wonderment and absolute joy. A single ‘YES’ bursts from his mouth. That moment was the exact moment that boy discovered something for himself, by himself, and realizes that what I believed would not work, in fact, did work, and work well. For every twenty Spooned-Discoveries that happen there are five of the Self-Discovery methods experienced. The truth, in the test, comes when you compare how long these discoveries stayed with the students. For twenty five years I had a chance to test my theory and can now say that knowledge gained through Self-Discovery is 1000 times more certain to remember that knowledge 25 years later than those who gained knowledge through Spoon-Discovery. In fact, Spoon-Discovery seems to fall from the memories of those exposed to that method less than a

year after it had been gained.

Gifted & Talented

Every child is Gifted & Talented, each in their own right. No one has the right to deny this fact from any child, they must be shown what talents and gifts are within them. They have the right, by birth, to the knowledge that they are Unique in all of the universe. They must know and understand that there has never been another person like them, with the same gifts and talents, anywhere throughout history. Then they must come to know and understand that there is not now, another person with the same gifts and talents as they have. Finally, they must know and understand that there will never be another person with the exact same gifts and talents as they have at this very moment. They are Unique in all of the Universe. Once that fact has begun to sink in, the child needs to be mentored through the maze of complications that assail a child once he has had that Light bulb Moment about his Gifts and Talents. Stewardship becomes the next, and most important, factor to consider. The very nature of taking Ownership of our Gifts and Talents require that we become serious Stewards of them. We are not allowed to throw them away, and replace them with frivolous activities. Stewardship requires that you nurture your Gifts and Talents, put them to work, expand them, find and nurture new talents and gifts. Above all, Protect your first Gifts and Talents to the death. Should you squander your Gifts and Talents, you squander your very life.

Performance-based Portfolio Tracking System of Report Carding
When I started PCS I created a Report Card system. It was divided into several different groups of tasks and studies that the student had selected for themselves to accomplish. There were a few ‘required’ elements, like Typing Tutor and Word Processing, and Engineering, but there were others. I put these report cards out three times a year and hopefully both parents would participate in the PCS Parent-Teacher Conference. I used the numbers 1-5, where 5 was the very best possible in that particular study. We also had the colored triangles on their badges as a visual report card. The parents seemed to understand and felt like they were getting their ‘bang for the buck’ at PCS. The students, however, hated it absolutely and completely. During one report card afternoon a nine year old boy dragged me into my office and showed me his report card that I had just given to him. With tears in his eyes, sobbing, and choking on his words, he told me that I was not fair with him and that he demanded that I give him the mark that he deserved. WoW! When I regained my composure I told him to tear his report card into tiny pieces. I told him that when he had finished that task and thrown the trash into the trash basket, he was to go through the school and tell everyone in attendance to do what he had just done to their report cards. Tell them that from this day on there will be no report cards in any PCS Center. That change impacted the system like being hit by a tsunami. Repercussions were felt for years thereafter. Once the adults understood what I meant by a Performance-based Portfolio System of tracking the educational progress of a child, they could see the value in it over the report card system. Now these adults would like to see our system used in the public school system, and I know that it would work. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PCS-Nampa (NNC) Sexual Education and Protection against Predators
Discussions of this nature should not have to happen, but they must.

When my father and I were discussing my dream about starting a school, especially a school that was not going to be a part of the official governmental or religious school systems that are already established, some for thousands of years, throughout the world; Dad warned me that there would be hundreds of people set on destroying me in any way they could. They would be so jealous of your new and unconventional ideas. They would never attempt to see the world of education as you see that world, They would spread rumors and rumors upon rumors, and no one would come to your side to defend you. They would attack your family, your background, your marital status, the friends you associate with when you were not teaching, anything that they believe flies in the face of your principles. They will slander you, and slander you again. There will be no escape from their evil voices and houndings. You will have no true friends, in the end, no one. I can proudly say that that which I feared, because I saw it destroy a number of teachers in the Boise valley, never took place with me nor against any other PCS Mentors that I have known. There were, however, two cases that I wish to reveal here now simply because I think there may have been individuals with some knowledge of these incidents and if this is true, I want the truth to be told and the doors shut on them forever. We had been running the Nampa location for three, or so, years when out of the blue a mother rushed into my office, grabbed her son’s arm, and jerked him off my knee and dragged him screaming and shouting out of the school. Kathy, two other students, a student who had been sitting to my left, and I stared after the fleeing mother and son, mouths wide open, saying nothing, and wondering what we had just been witness to. Kathy looked at me just about the same time I looked at her, and together we told the students remaining in the room that we thought that it was time to head for the Family Room as we were seeing parents driving up. Students ordered themselves out and Kathy closed the door. “What the hell just happened?” Neither of us had a clue about what could be wrong. The boy, age 7, was a good student. His mother had been “hitting” on me over several months, and I had just recently told her that my life was PCS and there was no room for a family of my own. I could not see any woman wanting to be married to a man who had dedicated his entire llife to children and their education, and to their lives after school was out. I felt that such a relationship would not work for any of the participants. This mother refused to believe that I was that kind of man and she kept saying that she would change me. At our last meeting I firmly told her that no one would ever change me. Classes ended for the day, Kathy went home to her husband, and I had spaghetti with Grace. Around 2100 hours the phone rang and it was “the mother” still screaming and shouting. I got her calmed down enough to hear her say that she was forced to take her son out of PCS because he had told her that he had made his “peepee” hard when he was bouncing on Patrick’s knee. I was hit with a ton of stones! How crazy did that sound? She didn’t know the physiology of the male organ being smashed like that. In the first place my knees are in such a poor condition that I have not been able to “bounce a babe” on my knee since I was 12. As a child I hated to be bounced on anyone’s knee. I would run away from any invitation to do so. Sexually exciting her son with another adult 3 feet away, with another student snuggled into my left side so I couldn’t move? How absolutely absurd, to say the least. Once I had had a chance to climb down off the roof, and listened to Kathy’s logic, and listening to other parents who knew about that particular mother, I realized that it was nothing but her way of getting back at me for rejecting her advances. The unrequited love. Everyone else who knew what was going on knew the truth and shook it off. I was the one with the problem. The worst accusation that can be leveled at a teacher is the accusation of Child Abuse, Sexual Abuse, any crime against a child, and it had just happened to ME. Just the Accusation alone is enough to destroy a man or woman in the teaching profession. I feared that every day of my professional life. I watched everything I did and said, and I was afraid. It took a few months for me to get over this incident. The following summer our financial manager was visiting the Nampa site and we met coming in through the front door. I was rushing inside after taking a fast bike ride and I was still in my bike pants. Our manager grabbed my arm and took me down to my office, closed the door, and

said that he felt I was not appropriately attired for teaching children. I was struck by a rock, again. I always came into the school dressed like that after riding. Riding between classes was a good way to relax and exercise. I would run in and go directly to the bathroom and change into my teaching clothes which I had left there after changing for the ride. I felt that such was perfectly normal and not offensive at all. I don’t know if a parent(s) complained or if it was the manager’s thing, but I agreed that I would be extremely careful about what I wear when I am around my students. In retrospect, I can recall no time when I got disapproving looks from parents or kids for the things I was wearing. The most serious accusation of child abuse came towards the end of our last summer at Celebration Park. A young man from central Idaho had arrived one week, along with his girlfriend in what the students called a “Hippie Van”, all painted in psychedelic patterns and filled with a lot of “stuff” They wanted to camp out at the Park and asked if that could be arranged. We were just starting our last session of PCS-Archaeology and invited them to join us in the celebration. For a while they fit in. They knew a great deal about the Native American Old Ways, he could tell a good story, and the girl was a good cook and dishwasher. Come the second day when some students came to either Kathy or me with tales of pot smoking and seeing our guests taking things that were ours. I watched and soon saw that what the students were reporting was correct. I confronted the pair and told them to stay away from all PCS students, property, food, everything not theirs. I could not kick them out of the park, because it was public, but we would keep our eyes on them. The one point of contention for us was the main Ranger Station/Observatory. It had been given to us to use during these archaeology weeks for meetings, cooking when it was raining, and for sleeping of the staff. Our only luxury was the bathroom, complete with shower/tub, and heaters. Occasionally I used this bathroom as a sanctuary to treat wounds on a student in a place where public treatment would be very embarrassing. On this particular occasion a young lad had gotten into a huge patch of poison ivy, lots of poison ivy. He got it on both of his hands and then had to take a piss. I don’t think that I need to describe the mess any farther. This poor boy waited two days before he told me. Since his parents didn’t live far away I called them and they came down. I took the lad, his parents, and myself into our large bathroom and down came the shorts. It wasn’t pretty. My student refused to go home or to a doctor. He demanded to stay here and keep doing what he was doing. This farm family knew poison ivy, quite well, and had all of the proper remedies. Mama went home and returned in a few minutes. She told her son that he would have to let someone put the cream on the spots as she was not going to drive down four times a day to do it. The boy said that Patrick would be happy to do it for him. Yea, right. Nightmare time acumen’. The first time that I took the boy into the bathroom, carrying a tube of cream, and closed the door, and stayed for nearly twenty minutes, whom do you think was standing at the bathroom door as we exited? Yep, the dude! He gave me such an evil eye that I knew this wasn’t going away and sometime soon I would be visited by a team of investigators. I expected to hear a swat team roll up in the middle of the night within a fortnight, but it didn’t happen. The hippie van had roared off the night of the revelation and no one had heard from or of them since. Maybe it was just an empty threat, after all. Bright one Saturday morning a group of three county governmental cars, Deputy Sheriff types, rolled into my parking lot. Boot thumping to my door and loud knocking that announced that they were Deputy Sheriffs and we must open the door or they were going to break it down. Mama, just like in the movies. I told them not to get excited, I would open up right away. Three husky overstuffed deputies and a female deputy entered. I introduced myself, stuck out my hand in friendship expecting that they would take it and introduce themselves. Didn’t happen! I was ordered to sit in a specific chair and keep my mouth shut. They asked me where a specific student of mine was at that moment. I indicated where I thought he had gone after leaving the building twenty minutes earlier. The female deputy left the building and went in the direction indicated. By now I was frightened and insisted on knowing why they were here and what they wanted

with me and the student. I will spare you of all of the sordid details and leave you with the bare bones of the issue. The deputy in charge told me that an anonymous citizen had reported that he and his female companion had observed me sexually molesting a young boy in the bathroom on (date, time) and gave graphic details. What did I have to say to these accusations? How could they see anything through a closed door? Describe exactly how I touched toe boy. What did I do to the boy? What was the boy doing? I asked a lot of questions to which, obviously, there were no answers. Can you prove that you did not molest that boy? Sure I can, go ask him if I molested him in any way. I’ll take a polygraph test to prove that I have never molested him or any other child, male or female. I could never do such a thing to any child. Within 45 minutes the female deputy returned to the little office with the boy with her. The lad and I exchanged smiles, but we both knew that we were very angry and we both knew who had said such a horrible thing. Fortunately the investigation was thorough and exonerated me of any and all accusations. There have been no more accusations and PCS Centers has moved on to PCS Edventure. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A Death in the PCS Family ?
IN 1993, while driving back from a weekend with PCS Students at Celebration Park, the atmosphere inside my van was excited, joyful, and full of expectations for the coming school week. The trip usually takes about twenty minutes, give or take a few, but when I pulled up at the front door of PCS-Nampa a student was trying to ask me a question. In fact, he was saying that he had been asking the same question for the last ten minutes and I was acting like I was off on another planet. He asked if there might be something wrong with me. I shook it off and said that I must be tired and we could talk later. However, this wasn’t the first time that a student had asked me the same question. What is wrong with me? It wasn’t long before Kathy was making comments about being “spacey” and wondered if I shouldn’t see a doctor. After a month of being hounded by Kathy, students, and parents, I went in for a complete checkup. What became perfectly clear was that I had a rare, incurable form of cancer and would die within a year. I made a quick decision to abandon everything and everyone that was my life and seek out an old classmate from my seminary days. He had become a well known oncologist practicing in Mexico in his own hospital and clinic. Honoring his request, I will not reveal anything about my friend or do or say anything to jeopardize his fabulous work in cancer research. I will say that I was scheduled for 6 treatments. After the third injection I experienced excessive sweating from under both arm pits, but the sweat was blood. I was sweating blood. I stopped the remainder of injections and returned home. As the days, weeks, and finally months went by and I was not dead, I dared to hope that I might not die, after all. Three years after the diagnosis I had a complete scan and they could find absolutely no evidence of the melanoma. It had gone into spontaneous remission. It was gone, gone, gone, and I was not going to look back or wonder why. I looked at the rest of my life, picked up my backpack, and walked towards Boise, Idaho. With a background in law enforcement and all kinds of technical equipment used in covert and overt surveillance I sought employment with a national corporation as a Security Manager. Within two years I had risen to the position of the Regional Security Manager and looked forward to retiring with that nationally renowned corporation. I would have earned a large sum of money and a great retirement package, to boot. I was respected and generally loved my work and most of the people that I worked with. IN 2000 I started having trouble with my feet and legs. Pain was a constant companion and

soon I discovered that I could only walk about 20 meters before I had to stop, sit, and rest. I had to go to the doctor and again I was informed, after a week of intensive tests and scans, that I had a rare arterial disease that was restricting the flow of blood to my legs and feet. Unless they stripped all of my arteries out of my body from between my kidneys, down both legs, and down both lower legs, and feet and replace them with PVC plastic, I would die immediately. The odds were not good. Only 5% of these who elected this surgery, survived the operation. I decided to take the chance, took the knife, and was told afterwards that I had only 6 months to live. I got that word on 09-10-2001. Today is 03-15-2009. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Patrick McSha ne

Digitally signed by Patrick McShane DN: cn=Patrick McShane, o=PCS Centers for Enhanced Learning, ou=Headmaster, email=mcshane.patrick9, c=US Date: 2009.03.19 22:08:05 -06'00'

PCS Humble Beginnings Photo Album-1

PCS Humble Beginnings Photo Album-2

LEGO® Teaching Revised by Patrick McShane 03-15-2009 Note: The Unix had no spell checker. LEGO® Teaching! I will count this as "Lesson Zero" because I want to emphasize the "constructive nature" of LEGO bricks! I was going through some old files and found the following document written by Pat McShane, the grizzled founder of the school. I agree wholeheartedly with these notes, and in the years I have been teaching and playing in the PCS Engineering Lab I can add to of the goals of this web site! I reprint it here as a record to the vision of the school's founder and to the power of our teaching and enjoy!

LEGO® bricks as a FUNCTION of...
by Pat McShane
Printed May 9 1991, all spelling and grammatical errors are his! Note: Some minor alterations to the original text have taken place to protect the LEGO® trademark.

LEGO® products are a marvelous method of enriching an interdisciplinary curriculum. When LEGO® products are introduced into an educational environment one or more of the following functions will always be present and active. I maintain that there isn't a single field of study that LEGO® products can't be used to enhance the Learning Process. LEGO® products as a Function of Anthropology... (a) Homo Faber ( Man the Designer ) ( Man the Maker ) (b) The Irresistible Invitation to Create. It is impossible to keep your hands off a pile of LEGO® products. (c) Play is the WORK of Children...All higher-level animal young develop life skills through PLAY. He who plays best, survives longest! Yet man-the-adult denigrates Child-Play. Man is the only animal that tries to teach its young by LECTURE...The man-child who can learn by PLAY ( hands-on experiences ) becomes a better adult. LEGO® products as a Function of Art... (a) Abstract Designs (b) Kinetic Artwork (c) Use of color, shape, size, proportion, symmetry. (d) When a Model 'speaks' to the designer it is completed.

LEGO® products as a Function of Biology... (a) Form Follows Function ( Rule of 'Mother Nature' ) (b) Six-Legged Walker ( Study of Insect Movement ) (c) Arachnid Walker ( Study of Spider Movement ) (d) The Paranoid Robot Insect Project ( Insect Brain ) (e) DNA Modeling LEGO® products as a Function of Challenge... (a) Build a Machine, entirely of LEGO® Elements, that can pull a 2000 pound vehicle. (b) Build a model of an ancient Chinese roof that will support the total body weight of the builder and then calculate the weight distribution throughout the model. LEGO® products as a Function of Communications... (a) Verbal Communication. Note: Verbal descriptions of a LEGO® element by type ( brick, beam, plate, etc ), dimensions ( size....2x4 brick etc ), color, function ( what it DOES ), assembly Q & A (b) Written Communication. With LEGO®-LOGO applications ( spelling, punctuation, grammar, syntax )...if it isn't absolutely correct it won't run! (c) Giving and getting information and instructions. (d) Deaf Building ( Signing with the American Manual Alphabet ). (e) Share your respect for accuracy and the clear and concise use of the English Language! LEGO® products as a Function of Death... Yes there is a life after disassembly! Students who cling tenaciously to "No Disassemble" need to be handled with generous doses of TLC. Why disassemble? Disassembly is a NEGATIVE ACT...It must be made a positive activity! (a) Recycle Parts (b) Share parts with another student who may need a part that is in your project. (c) Build something different, something new, something better. LEGO® products as a Function of Design...( Building ) (a) Structure (b) Symmetry (c) Scale (d) Stress LEGO® products as a Function of Applied History... (a) Modeling Ancient Structures ( History of Architecture ) (b) Modeling Ancient Machines (History of Machines ) (c) Modeling Leonardo's Inventions ( Or maybe Buckminster Fuller's???-R ) (d) Modeling Stonehenge (e) Modeling the Inventions of al-Jazari ( See Scientific American May 1991, National Geographic May 1991 ) Note...this use of LEGO® products is a very rich and exciting way to study History. Start with the machines of an era/nation and then research into the reasons for such

inventions. LEGO® products as a Function of Idea ware... (a) Professional Idea ware---With LEGO® Kits come plans and plans provide a rich source for insight and new ideas. (b) Shareware or Freeware Ideas---Someone builds and is willing to share his ideas with others. (c) Cripple ware Ideas---Someone shares only certain parts of his project and jealously guards other. (d) Deamware Ideas---Someone makes something and you are expected to figure it out for yourself. (e) Crudware Ideas---Someone makes something and you decide that it is not something you can use. Note--- Idea Shoppers can be recognized quite easily by the questions they ask: How did you do that? How does this work? What does this do? Why did you put that there? LEGO® products as a Function of Infinity... There is an infinite number of possible combinations when building with LEGO® products because the primary ingredient, a child's creative imagination is infinite... LEGO® products as a Function of Learning... Reflecting on the world about them... 'How things work' 'How things look' 'How I fit into the picture' LEGO® products as a Function of Applied Mathematics... (a) Gear Ratios ( + - * / ) Gear Relationships (b) Building to Scale (c) Geometry ( Euclid's Cube ) (d) Young Children: LEGO® Number & Math Function Bricks (e) Algebraic Expressions ( Effort Formula for Levers ) (f) Number Systems: Base Two, Base Eight, Base Ten ) (g) Differential Adding Machine ( +/- Integers ) LEGO® products as a Function of Measurement... (a) Fabricated to Metric Standards. (b) Weights ( Mass ) 54 grams Note: Scientists around the world use the Metric System and so should we. PCS also uses 24 hour clocks instead of the A.M. and P.M. Standard. LEGO® products as a Function of Need...( MacGivorism ) (a) Holographic Table (b) Acid-bath Shaker (c) Accurate Computer Plotter (d) Laser Mirror Spinner

(e) Doorstop Wedges LEGO® products as a Function of Organizational Skills... (a) Sorting ( Classifications ) (b) Organization of Elements (c) Data Base Management ( DBM ) LEGO® products as a Function of Applied Physics... (a) Levers (b) "Bopping' Bob" (c) Mechanical Advantage (d) Pulleys (e) Scales---Roberval Enigma (f) States of Energy----potential & Kinetic----Flywheel LEGO® products as a Function of Child Psychology... (a) Reality Therapy ( See Dr William Glasser ) (b) Play Therapy (c) Control Therapy LEGO® products as a Function of Interpersonal Relationships... (a) Teamwork (b) Sharing (c) Communications (d) Caring (e) Brainstorming (f) Feelings ( Self and Others ) Note: ADULT-CHILD RELATIONSHIPS.... Too often we deal with children in a manner that makes light of their world. We try to bring/drag kids into the Adult World..."Grow up, quit acting like a child." When we treat with disrespect the very world that a child cherishes we negate the child. True teaching requires that we 'ask' to become a part of THEIR WORLD. LEGO® products make this asking/granting activity quite easy...When a child sees a 'significant adult' loving the act of 'playing with LEGO® products,' the child readily accepts that adult into their world. That adult has DEMONSTRATED that he/she sees value in a part of their world and in fact, takes a part of the child's world into their adult world! It becomes very easy thereafter, for that adult to relate a part of the Adult World THROUGH the understandings of the Child World. Both parties to this activity come away winners. The child has been respected and valued by that 'significant adult.' The adult has been able to share something of his/her world with the child, thus perpetuating the educational/learning process. For this reason, my Unix email signature reads: Patrick McShane...LEGO® Maniac I'm NOT Old...I'm Just a Recycled Kid! LEGO® products as a Function of Self Affirmation... Observe a child's YES ( gesture ) as a project just completed...Nothing more needs to be said except that in such situations a child will build his own Self-Esteem as long as

he has affirmation from at least one 'significant other.' Teachers should not praise the child directly but rather praise the child's project. It is through the project that the child is affirmed. LEGO® products as a Function of Sodium Pentathlon ( Truth Serum )... When two or more students are building with LEGO® products, a flood of conversation is released. Sometimes it is idle chatter but for the most part a careful listener can learn more about their lives in one hour than a counselor can learn in several probing sessions. Listen to what the children are REALLY saying. LEGO® products as a Function of System Integration... (a) Mechanical Engineering (b) Computer Programming ( Logo ) (c) Micro-Robotics (d) Micro-Robotics + Personal Science Lab or AcuLab (e) Technology Education LEGO® products as a Function of Thigmotactics... 'Personal Space' barriers come down. This is a natural response to sharing on a deeper level. LEGO® products are the Great Equalizer. LEGO® products as a Function of Symbolic Logic... (a) Conversion of binary numbers to gray numbers to solve the Chinese Rings Puzzle or the 'spinout' puzzle. (b) Teaching the following LOGIC GATES: AND, OR, NOR, NOT NAND and the creation of the related TRUTH TABLES. LEGO® products as a Function of Effecting Change... Dare a man to say "I'm too young!" PCS discoveries include the PCS Differential and the Exploding Space Shuttle. LEGO® products as a Function of Dreaming... When kids are building, especially 'out of their minds,' they are dreaming dreams and making them 'real' and alive through their LEGO® models. LEGO® products as a Function of Geology... (a) Plate Tectonics (b) Topology and Land Formations LEGO® products as a Function of Chemistry Molecular Modeling

I understand that this philosophy remains at the very heart of the PCS Manipulation and Engineering Labs and Robotic Programs. After 25 years it is just as true today as it was then and I believe that it will remain unchanged for many more years. I do hope that someone, more intelligent than I am, will take this philosophy and expand upon what I have started. I invite someone to take that challenge and run with it…Patrick McShane

Patrick McSha ne

Digitally signed by Patrick McShane DN: cn=Patrick McShane, o=PCS Centers for Enhanced Learning, ou=Headmaster, email=mcshane.patrick9, c=US Date: 2009.03.19 22:06:39 -06'00'

PCS Edventures! Announces Promotions

[January 16, 2009]

(Marketwire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) BOISE, ID, January 16/MARKET WIRE/) PCS Edventures! (OTCBB: PCSV) today announced That Corey Wong gas been promoted to Senior Vice President-Sales & Marketing. Mr. Wong joined PCS in August 2008 and was most recently in charge of the Marketing Group and has assumed larger responsibilities effective January 2, 2009. Additionally, the company reported that Bill Albert was named Vice President Western Region Sales; Suzy Haislip was named Vice President Eastern Region Sales; and Joe Egusquiza has been named Vice President International Sales. About PCS Edventures! PCS Edventures is the recognized leader in the design, development, and delivery of products and services rich in technological, imagination, innovation, and creativity that make learning easier, more engaging, and more effective at all levels. Our product lines range from hands-on learning labs in technology-rich subjects like engineer, science, math, robotics, IT, and electronics. PCS programs operate in over 5,000 sites in all 50 United States as well as in 17 countries Internationally. Additional information is at ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Additional information from the Founder, Patrick McShane, may be obtained by contacting him at: Or on (Patrick McShane) Or on (Patrick McShane) I am somewhat of a ‘mystery man’ which, if my health will work with me, I will start traveling throughout the world in an effort to spread the founding principles that are still in use today. Extremely poor health forced me to withdraw, but the Power, far greater than I, has seen fit to keep me alive all of these years for a reason. I do believe that the compelling reason is to serve the ever expanding PCS Edventures! Family. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934. Those forward-looking statements are based largely on the expectations of forecasts of future events, can be affected by inaccurate assumptions, and are subject to various business risks and known inaccurate uncertainties, a number of which are beyond the control of management. Therefore, actual results could differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. A wide variety of factors that may cause actual results to differ from the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the following: whether or not the Company’s expectations regarding its participation in the King Abdullah Education Initiative are realized; the Company’s ability to have its new product offerings perform as planned or advertised; whether the Company will continue to expand its share of the market in the domestic and international educational communities; whether there will be a viable commercial market, domestically and internationally, for one or more of its new products; its ability to commercialize its products and production progresses. Including increasing its capabilities to satisfy orders in a coast-effective manner; whether the Company will be able to adapt its technology to new and different uses, including being able to introduce new products, competition from larger, more established companies with far greater economic and human resources; its ability to attract and retain customers and quality employees; its ability to obtain patent protection on any of its products and, if obtained, to defend such intellectual property rights; the effect of changing economic conditions; changes in government regulations, tax and similar matters; and other risks discussed in the Company’s periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These cautionary statements should not be construed as exhaustive or as any admission as to the adequacy of the Company’s disclosure. The Company cannot predict or determine after the fact

what factors would cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forwardlooking statements or other statements. The reader should consider statements that include the words “believers,” “experts,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “estimates,” “plans,” “projects,” “should,” or other expressions that are forward-looking. The Company does not undertake to publicly update or revise forward-looking statements, whether or not as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional information respecting factors that could materially affect the Company and its operations in its annual report on Form 10-KSB for the year ended March 31, 2008 and Form Securities and Exchange Commission. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------[March 15, 2009] I received two pages, which I have faithfully reproduced here, in this document with the intent to redistribute it, along with a few messages of my own. When poor health took me away from the ‘love on my life’ I thought that the sky had truly fallen. On 09-10-2001, while recovering from an operation that I was not supposed to have survived, I prayed for guidance. I felt that all that I had done in life, was a miserable failure. Five strokes later and years trying to survive in a nursing home, has brought me to this point and knowledge that the PCS that I founded in 1983, is alive and well and expanded. The words of the press release is a daunting cource to travel, but I have been there many, many times, in my life and found my way, always. Remember the words of a 9 year old boy who, looking into my eyes, we were in the Lego Lab working on an undaunted problem that he was experiencing, he said, “It’s True, isn’t it Pat?” “What is true, Sean?,” I replied. “Oh, If you can think it you can do it.,” Sean said, and then continued, “I just thought of something and then did it, and WOW, it works! I did it!” When you get depressed and down think of those 9 year old words and apply them to your life.

It you can Think It, You can Do It!

Patrick McSha ne

Digitally signed by Patrick McShane DN: cn=Patrick McShane, o=PCS Centers for Enhanced Learning, ou=Headmaster, email=mcshane.patrick9, c=US Date: 2009.03.19 22:06:09 -06'00'

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