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Our makers selected the challenge of creating an art bot. See this video link for the project. This project required a lot of persistence for many of our makers. Several students persisted over the course of two days but the project also taught our makers the importance of asking questions and working together.
Below you can see how the final art bots vary and the troubleshooting involved with even the final design.
Last week our makers chose which areas they wanted to focus on for this week. On Monday, we focused on circuits. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we learned about stop motion animation and dived deeper into circuitry too. Stop Motion always seems to draw our students together into a very collaborative environment of creation.
Introduction of Stop Motion Animation
We used Day 4 of Week 1 Fantasy in MakerCamp to introduce the idea of animation. Next we shared some cool examples to inspire our makers.
Teams of 3 makers were formed and given a large piece of white paper to start their storyboards. The ideas immediately started to flow and the excitement in the room was a good sign of the hours to come.
Below is an example of one of the finished movies.
Today with the support of materials from Maker Camp, we learned about circuits.
We started by creating an LED bookmark so that learners could understand how to build the simplest of circuits.
Next our makers had the opportunity to do 5 different activities - Snap Circuits, LED ping pong ball, LED cards, Little Bits, or a Maker T-shirt. Check out the video below to see what our learning looked like today.
The Strawbees were donated by Strawbees directly to DENSI 2015 and several educators were able to take the kits home to use with their students. Our program also received some Strawbees from participating in Google Maker Camp.
I first learned about Strawbees when SP Design Lab was selected for an Instructable Build Night. It gave my students and me an opportunity to create and learn with Strawbees and Straws. Student creations were extremely clever and the activity made me realize how much I wanted to share this open ended creative product with other educators.
The perfect opportunity to share came with DENSI 2015 (Discovery Educators Network Summer Institute) which I was fortunate to be selected for. Kristy Vincent had brought the DENovator Faire to DENSI the previous year which was a big hit. I reached out to Strawbees to see if they would consider donating a kit to be used for exploration at DENovator Faire and below is the response that I received.
Can you say.... AMAZING? Erik responded the same day that I emailed him. I already loved Strawbees but knowing that the company itself is as amazing as the product was a wonderful discovery. Check out some of the creations from DENSI 2015 below.
App smashing has become more and more prevalent as we realize that integrating different apps can produce amazing finished products. What about tech smashing? Have you ever wondered what you could create? At DENSI (Discovery Educator Network Summer Institute) 2015, we had the opportunity to tech smash using Discovery Education clip art, the Osmo, and a 3D Doodler.
Step 1: Find Clip Art from Discovery Education
Step 2: Use the Osmo to Draw the Clip Art
Step 3: Use the 3D Doodler Pen to Bring Your Drawing to Life
LeaAnne Daughrity Showing How It's Done
This past week I had the opportunity to attend the Constructing Modern Knowledge Institute in Manchester, New Hampshire where a team of educators (Sarah Rolle, Aimee Defoe, Liane Beier, Nicole Jakubowsi) and I created a musical loom using a Makey Makey, conductive thread, buttons, foil, fabric, a cardboard box, and teamwork.
The Institute started with different people proposing a project which were displayed on large post its around the room. Next we wrote our names on which projects we were interested in. Finally a person created a banner for the project and if you were interested in that project, you joined the group. Was it a little scary to join a group of people you had never met? Absolutely. I struggled to decide if I should try something that I knew very little knowing that I would probably not be as useful of a group member or choose a project that I had some expertise.
I choose the Musical Loom. I'm a weaver so I knew about weaving. I had used a Makey Makey.... but that was where the fun got started.
Step 1 - Creating a Prototype
Step 2 - Creating the Loom
Our group wanted to use low cost materials. Cardboard was at a premium because all of the groups were using cardboard but we found the perfect box. First we removed the top flaps and cut notches to hold the warp threads. We chose to use buttons to make it easier to remove the finished weaving while maintaining pressure on the edges of the threads.
Step 3 - Connecting the Loom (First Try)
As you can see from the picture, our loom had multiple warp threads... way beyond the 6 controls on the side of the Makey Makey that I was familiar with. It was here where our group spent the majority of our time and problem solving.
How does the Makey Makey work?
We started at the Makey Makey website because some of us were familiar with the device but not everyone in our team was. We played with some of the different sites.
My personal favorite MK-1 was created by Eric Rosenbaum. It allows you to do a quick recording and then play that sound in different notes. The challenge became that this website didn't have enough controls to match our loom.
Step 3 - Connecting the Loom (Try 2)
How do I use the back of the Makey Makey?
The connections on the back of the Makey Makey are what's called "female header." They're rows of little sockets, designed for wires to stick into. One easy way to use them is with connector wires (a.k.a. jumper wires), which are wires with little pins on either end that stick nicely into the header. These come in the kit. You can also buy them separately, but be sure to get the male/male ones, like these: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/11026 Jumpers are convenient, but you can also plug regular wire into the header. Solid core wire is best, and you will need wire strippers to remove the insulation from the ends of the wire. You can also find clever ways to use stuff you already have- for example, we've found that both paper clips and safety pins work great for this purpose!
How do I remap the keys?
With a Makey Makey version 1.2 you can easily remap keys directly in your browser at this website: www.makeymakey.com/remap
Step 4 - Programming the Loom
Step 5 - Playing the Loom
The Finished Musical Loom
Using Scratch and the program we created, we could do even more....
If you haven't had the time or the opportunity to visit Maker Camp, camp has started and it is even better then last year. This year each day contains 3 short videos that introduce projects and inspire any maker to try something new. I love the format with the under 5 minute videos that I can watch when I am able.
Next week starts
WEEK 2: FUNKYTOWN, JULY 13–17 Make some instruments, then make some noise in the Maker Camp Battle of the Bands.
It is free and worth every minute. Inspire yourself... share it with someone else... find your maker!