Shake Your #STEAM Power

  • Looking for a project with a social good theme and to build on resilience?
  • Perhaps signposting girls towards STEAM through inspiring female role models?
  • And support to make classroom connections or resources to develop design thinking skills?

These were some of the reasons that I travelled to BETT2017 in January, with an intention to ask the MakerEd community for inspirations and stories.

And that sparked when I discovered and met the team behind this Shake Your Power project.

You might’ve seen their social enterprise online with a more established Spark project. Or recognise their founder, Sudha, from her accomplishments as the percussionist in the band Faithless.

Find out more from her TED X talk from Mumbai below:

The Spark educational kits offers a brilliant STEAM opportunity to explore magnetic induction and principles of electricity, alongside purpose with renewable energy and sustainability .

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The kit is lovely!  Feedback from children that have helped me to build the project and consider activities has been really positive, particularly with the aesthetics and language used in the magazine.

Inspiring girls?  Yes, and actually inspiring everybody including adults.

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Exploring paper circuits before a live data feed

I’ve got an idea in mind to create a piece of artwork to visualise some live data, and wanted to see how quickly we could create a starter paper circuit.

Ordering Chibi Lights from the good folk at Pimoroni meant a first attempt notebook circuit within 24 hours and a whole lot of ideas to follow up.

A completely different context here, with a Spanish and dance theme explanation to follow 👠

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STEM to STEAM: Coding Art with Sphero

An opportunity to look at drag and drop programming with the Sphero and see how far we could extend initial STEM to STEAM ideas for it.

We’ve been controlling with a phone app and coding with Tynker, so for this project SPRK Lighting Lab was used with an iPad.

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Jackson Pollock style influences, although what we’re really hoping for is progression of programming to aspire to A Bigger Picture by David Hockney.

Yorkshire dreams as next steps. One day  🙂

Robotic Art on the Left Bank of the River Aire?

Since the last Raspberry Jam in Leeds, back in July, it’s been on my mind to try out more activities with the Watercolorbot.

That Summer’s day event was hosted at Digital Garage, with the backdrop of Leeds Dock, and it got me thinking about real-time art applications and projects.

Robotic art possibilities on the Leeds’ Left Bank?

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Wanted: Artist’s brush or input tool

In the last couple of weeks I’ve also been intrigued about AI with art for data visualisations and in particular the AI Painter project.

We’ve been manipulating images and taking art as a medium for data visualisation pieces, alongside further considerations with WaterColorBot as a hackable tool.

And so my fundamental aim shifted and started to centre around opportunities to add a graphics tablet as an input device to manipulate images and create a painted output.

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Painting by Stylus?

‘Painting by Stylus’ and ‘Paint Brushed with Watercolorbot’ were the intended outcomes but drivers were a stumbling block when connecting the different components for the hardware I was seeking.

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Photoshop possibilities?

Until another collaboration with a colleague last week, who was successfully using AstroPad to give graphics tablet functionality through an iPad.

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Tools from the ‘Graphics Tablet’

That’s given me opportunities to explore and manipulate data through Photoshop and AstroPad tools, using the stylus on the iPad, and also with a connected workspace through the Macbook and Watercolorbot.

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Connected tools

It’s early days yet with example activities tested to add layers using Photoshop. That’s given a stimulus to add custom brush strokes to some images or take sections to modify or display with alternative data visualisation examples and manipulated outputs.

 
#GonePainting.  Back soon.