Maker aspirations and inspirations

PiParty was brilliant and another reminder of the strength of community in supporting and inspiring digital makers; experienced makers or those dipping a toe into projects.

Got me reflecting on my own motivations for learning, and learning from others, and took me back to the first ‘YESSSSSSSSS’ traffic light moment as I prepped a course for teachers the following week.

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And of course a chance to see new lights and hats for project inspirations, and a bag of Blink! to take back home to bling something up!


Quite often new ideas emerge from working with young makers and their teachers in schools, or at community Jam events.

It’s always 2-way, and hearing 6 year olds talking about ‘amazing’ Raspberry Pi and realising some of it’s potential makes the future of digital making look very bright indeed 😀

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Wondered about the wonders of Pi? STEM to STEAM just got large scale in Hull!

Raspberry Jams are community events organised to support knowledge share, learning new skills, gleaning new ideas and meeting other like-minded digital makers using Raspberry Pi.

In Raspberry Jam group in Hull continues to grow and expand with new ideas and new projects.  This month we held our first event in the city centre.

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The first Raspberry Jam in Hull was hosted at Kingswood Academy in November 2014. Since then, Malet Lambert became hosts in April 2016 and the most recent event was held at Central Library on Albion Street.

This city centre location has allowed us to test out a new low power network being installed across Hull, as part of the Connected Hull project, and to launch some additional exciting STEM challenges.

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More details to follow soon…watch this space.

 

Details of the next Raspberry Jam event?

Join us in Hull to make, learn, share, tinker and invent together at the next Raspberry Jam on Saturday 22 April 2017.

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Everybody’s welcome, with or without your own mini computer, and it’ll be a great way to find out more about the wonders of Raspberry Pi.

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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Sharing learning through digital signage

I’ve been tinkering with this signage project, using Screenly, after a primary school asked for support to extend opportunities to communicate learning and news.

Their fundamental requirement is to share more brilliant learning around the buildings, with a limited budget, and that means using existing screens without adding further network points.

 

Images, links and video work brilliantly with the Raspberry Pi cabled in…..

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Next step to explore wireless capabilities in more detail and boot up again with school proxy settings  – the latter will be fine 🙂

Alexa’s Untold Stories: Voice commands with Raspberry Pi

Intrigued by the opportunities for voice activated reading projects in school, we set to with an Echo hack using Raspberry Pi.

 

Speaker, microphone and Amazon Developer account at the ready, the first tests with ‘rock, paper, scissor’ challenges against Alexa proved insightful.

Multiple terminal windows using Terminator made the set up so much easier for one, and more than a bit of tinkering was needed with the wake word support.

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Terminator to organise multiple terminal windows

Weekend sports scores, mental maths checks and recipe requests all worked fine although Christmas themed questions were a bit more tricky.

Fact and opinion conversations ensued 🙂

Back to the fundamental aim of getting Alexa reading an Alan Bennett book, then. Many possibilities but not quite with the same diction as my favourite audio book!

What’s next?  Will Alexa have the capacity to become more of an intelligent learning partner in 2017?

More literary projects to develop and general ideas to explore from this great list.

Big thanks to @heeedt and the @HuddRaspJam crowd for supporting and help with original questions!

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Image courtesy of Lifehacker

Leeds Raspberry Jam: First birthday at Swallow Hill

Wow – a year since we started to put our monthly meet up into the calendar at Swallow Hill !

This month’s Raspberry Jam had the usual mix of shared projects to make and individual projects to share.

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And with birthday projects came cake 🙂

We’re continuing to extend projects with a digital making focus.

That saw Anne sharing wearables projects this month using microbit and  Codebug, alongside other creators building and hacking games.

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Clear skies on a Wednesday evening also gave us the fantastic opportunity to track the ISS with Mark’s build from this original project.

Using the SenseHat gave more visuals on the matrix in the form of country flags as the space station passed over each country.

Quick video link below as we tracked it over Ukraine, and speed over distances surprised many of us as the ISS clocked up Vietnam to Armley in 20 minutes.


If you’re interested to see when the ISS is next over your neighbourhood, then this alert link from NASA is an excellent reminder.

Next Raspberry Jam in Leeds is Wednesday 2nd November.  Link for free registration is here.

‘Quality’ decision making without peer pressure using Picap

Christmas came early last week.  Got to admit that we became embroiled in Quality Street-gate with forceful opinions expressed about which choc should have been replaced.

The trouble was that peer pressure swayed some, and anecdotes through rose tinted spectacles blurred others, into thinking that another choc should’ve been booted first.

Out came the first choc box of the season with a bit of tinkering with the Picap.

Soon we had a set up to give a truly anonymous and representative taste test and decision.

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Must be noted that we’d started with a healthier option for a blind taste test of tomatoes from a plant grown and sold by Ganton School in Hull, and another from a well known supermarket chain. The data confirmed our hunch – the school tomatoes were far more tasty 🙂

For both trials we used the simple touch Python script that allowed us to collect data showing which electrodes had been touched and released.

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And the verdict?

The data suggests that the orange creme should’ve been ditched before the toffee choc.  In our humble opinion of course.

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