First Light: Electric Paint Lamp Kit

Perfect timing to build on the ‘Dynamic Circuits’ workshop we’ve just delivered with The Ada Show, and continue that exploration through creative tech.

If it weren’t for watching paint dry (literally, that’s not an opinion!), the instructions and boxed kit were so intuitive that it could’ve been ‘open to first light’ in under 10 minutes.

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A quick starter with the twist board and templates saw us up and running with the touch lamp, and origami themes soon emerging.

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Next to tinker with the dimmer and proximity variations before we embark on a personalised project.

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3D Festive Pi Hack

Told the kids they could crack open the selection box if they cracked the Python code.

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10 minutes later and I was left with the leftovers.  Next challenge is to change the colour, sequence and I get to keep the Curlywurly 😍

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Best festive accessory available for the Raspberry Pi from The Pi Hut.

Foldscope: Unlocking the wonders of STEM with more origami.

Grasping the opportunity to attend Fablearn ’15 offered me THE best CPD for MakerED. It also introduced me to another network and through that came an awareness and excitement surrounding this Foldscope project.

More details on the link about the inspiring work by Manu Prakash and Jim Cybulski at Stanford University.  If you’re not aware of Foldscope as ‘the pencil of microscopy’, then take a couple of minutes to view the TED talk below:

 

Fast forward to today and my set of Foldscope packs from the Kickstarter campaign has arrived. They’ll be built at a later date as a collaborative project.

But first to build and test our own pocket microscope for family adventures.

Definitely the origami microscope, no glue required and the only tech we needed was to recap with video tutorials!

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Fifteen minutes later and we’ve added a leaf to the first slide for closer inspection, heard the first ‘wow’ and ideas are starting to emerge.

What you do and don’t want to see in your own the kitchen 😫

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Next steps are further explorations and then we’ll consider curriculum tie in.

For the time being, though, we’re concentrating on more ‘wow’ moments through STEM.  And enjoying them.

Just as a side note, how funny to witness the younger investigators realising that putting a lens over your eye doesn’t automatically take you into a VR world.  Real world Science in your own surroundings, at that exact time, is definitely wow 🙌

Research published: A year’s #MakerEd in Leeds’ schools

So proud to have worked on this project with the team at Leeds University.

Research centred around interviews and workshops with Y8 & Y9 students, teachers, heads and community makers in Leeds.  Final paper is published here:

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MakerEd Leeds project blog here.

Next steps: Building a Digital Foundation (Spin turns confined to 💃)

Exciting times ahead!

The start of this new academic year has seen us launching The Foundation for Digital Creativity.

I’ve been blown away by the messages of support and encouragement received as I’ve ‘regenerated’ from my previous role over the Summer and new plans and collaborations emerge.

We’re on a mission to advance the education of adults and children, particularly in the fields of electronics, computing, engineering and digital literacy and inspire future generations to create, invent and learn through digital making.

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Want to know more about our upcoming activities, or chat through community and education programmes?  Get in touch, it’d be great to hear from you!

claire@digitalcreativity.foundation

Tech to Tango: Another data-informed personal dance ambition 💃

Mission accomplished?

Well, yes for the simple answer. And hopefully a bit more of an insight through this post to explain:

  • A determination to explore any impact on dance performance using data, an armoury of ‘blinged up’ tech tools and the influence of role models.
  • The eventual learning gains from stepping out of a dance comfort zone, into the unknown, to accelerate progress.
  • The 1980’s inspired gel hairstyling on the profile photo!

I took the opportunity to dance in Blackpool again earlier this year, and to qualify had to up the ante to reach a higher standard.

Hard work but also a chance to learn more through a data route and experience a new discipline along the way.

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Back to ‘core values’ to strengthen my core has become my biggest priority and that’s seen me stepping into the Thai kick-boxing arena.  Why? Because it feels like learning to dance felt right at the beginning – completely out of my comfort zone! It’s helping to build up stamina and confidence, but more than anything it’s introduced me to another world class role model, and she’s made a huge difference.

We’ve taken data from wearables and IOT projects to allow me to measure my own progress.  That’s always been important, alongside exams and belts, and I should add that I was always insistent about about the focus being on fitness and not contact.  In the past we’ve looked at sleep data in parallel to activity, and now recovery has a greater significance than physical exertion.

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Of course the data trail still includes a dance programme, although that took a tricky spin turn in the Spring when Things Hull  became connected in a somewhat accidental way.  I hadn’t intended to publish openly, but GPS gave too many clues to unusual logging of one of our data sets and questions were asked!

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Next steps see me taking a break between work projects to concentrate on dance, and that’s got tango written all over it.

From that, data will lead me to a next challenge and a September launch.  More to follow then 😀

Soldering on to connect #MakerEd plans

Preparing for the unknown:

Next week I’ll be facilitating an Ada Day with a group of students who’s activities will be centred around student voice and digital making.

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They’ll be challenged to creatively visualise and solve real world problems, which are linked to their school’s global citizenship curriculum.

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Following this first session, the students will be able to use their code with sensor nodes and link their environmental data and findings to the Connected Hull dashboard and coverage through The Things Network.

First things first, though.

  • Discover
  • Interpret
  • Design
  • Code
  • Test
  • Debug
  • Test again
  • Share

Soldering On

Through this approach we’ll explore the benefits, applications and considerations of big data, GPS metadata and privacy of personal data to add to future project builds.

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Planning for the unknown?

We’ve collated the start of a resource bank to equip the students to visualise their data and solutions.

Final outputs will only be discovered next week.

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