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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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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Hull Raspberry Jam, September 2016

Another great community learning event when over 80 people registered, and this time planned with more support for a wider array of digital making projects.

We were joined by friends from GPIO and Code Club  who added to the workshop programme and gave more opportunities for hands-on learning, collaborating and networking.

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Highlights above from Trevor’s ‘Introduction to GPIO – Hello World in lights’ workshop and creative inventions from the ‘Wearable wonders with Codebug‘ activity.

Great also to see projects used before the Summer inspiring new challenges away from the Jam, and bringing them back to share with others.

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With that, peer to peer collaborations focused on IOT using the Pimoroni Flotilla packs and MinecraftPi builds continue to inspire our younger members.

The hackspace gives the chance to work on individual robot projects and we also had a couple working on a flight simulation digital making piece using Scratch on the Pi.

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We shared our ‘Do not feed the bears’ project, demonstrating text to speech and an intro to capacitive touch with Bare Conductive’s PiCap using Python on the Raspberry Pi.

So much more code and tools to explore for next time 🙂

Sharing ideas and resources, along with a chance to catch up, are all part of the spirit of the Jams.

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And great to see our Jam library expanding and being used 📚

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Hands-on training from Victoria, our regional Code Club coordinator, for volunteers about to launch a club for 9-11 yr olds and an overview for those planning to offer a club:

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Great to be able to use our Codebug devices (thanks again CPC!) and offer a practical session as a starter to the wonders with wearables.

We’ll continue to develop opportunities to extend digital making activities for everybody coming along to Malet Lambert.

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Look closely and you’ll see some of our younger members helping others to write and download the code onto the device.  We do say we’re all learning together!

Below is a snippet of Anne’s #TedBot8 project that she’s been nurturing with her grand daughter over the Summer.  Inspiration comes from a film and together they’re building the project and creating a guide which we’re looking forward to seeing next.

Big shout out to our friends from Huddersfield Raspberry Jam who came to support and inspire, then set off on a Jam Coast to Coast journey to finish their Saturday in Blackpool.

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Last we heard from them,  they’d arrived in time for the Blackpool Raspberry Jam birthday pizza 🍕.

Also to mention is Jon for his brilliant new logo for Hull Raspberry Jam. With a backdrop of Amy and Jason we’re looking forward to more digital making projects and STEM to STEAM collaborations across the city :

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Leeds Raspberry Jam September ’16

An introduction to IOT or programming with Python?

Our ‘Sensing the Environment’ workshop gave opportunities to explore data logging, RGB values through animations and smart citizen applications using Raspberry Pi.

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Crazy lights:

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Next Raspberry Jam will be at Swallow Hill on Wednesday 5th October.

Registration link here.

 

Hull Raspberry Jam, Saturday 25th June

Great to see the Raspberry Jam community growing in Hull.

This weekend we welcomed over 40 people into Malet Lambert School, on a sunny Saturday morning, to share and learn together using Raspberry Pi.

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New collaborations forming, and family learning challenges extending, as teams expand with added experiences and programming snippets from others.

One of our workshops centred around using the Invent With Python resources to play and hack games together.

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With a community of young digital makers, adult programmers and developers, inventors, teachers and parents, we see exciting projects emerging from our introductory hands-on workshops.

Shared experiences and ideas can quickly develop with those connections and project boxes of kit and gubbins at the jam.

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Examples above from one of our younger members, who has used what she already knows about project possibilities with Python to author interactive fiction stories.

Sharing Lord of the Rings adventures leads her to animation tinkering with one of our Sense Hats.

And as we hear about another group using sensors on the hat to control their hacked squirrel from the first workshop, the snowball effect on ideas continues.

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Personal projects still continue, making use of on-site Q&A and extra kit.  Game making with Scratch and then developing controllers.

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Or exploring Jon’s tweeting selfie cam idea and pledging to start your own build:

Smile 🙂

Connecting sensor modules with Flotilla from Pimoroni led to ideas, inventions and conversations about Raspberry Pi and the internet of things.

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And adventures with Sphero got more interactive as our youngest member quickly got used to the interface and we tried to jump 🙂

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Seems like the idea of robot building, and a day out to see even more robots, is appealing to more than just our members who have highlighted 1st April 2017 on the calendar and started making already.

Look out for Team @HullRaspJam visiting PiWars in Cambridge!

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Check out @HullRaspJam and Eventbrite for upcoming news about a next date in the Hull Raspberry Jam diary.

Hull Raspberry Jam 23 April 2016

Our next event will be in June or July and it’s that commitment from the Raspberry Jam community in Hull that has epitomised an excitement and support through Raspberry Pi and computing.

Look out for a link to the Eventbrite page (or @HullRaspJam) and also for updates on projects and commitments launched today.

We can’t wait to see how ‘Hedgehog Watch’ develops after a lady joined us to find out how those around her get so excited about Pi possibilities, and went on to scope a project herself.

It also seems like there’s lots of interest in setting skyward ambitions from the city after hearing about one particular astro teddy!

Today’s Raspberry Jam was instigated by this family robot project, which we saw in all it’s flashing LED glory during our Pi-share time:

Robotic inspiration from Jon and examples of other digital making projects from the group also led to over 30 of us using those ideas and possibilities during workshop activities.

Getting to grips with Raspberry Pi soon progressed to game making with ScratchMinecraft hacks using Python and then a focus on what we could learn from Tim Peake using our own SenseHats.

With a diverse group including novices to programming, developers, students, game makers, teachers and families, then the expertise within the spaces soon became apparent and shared.

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Minecraft builds

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Sensing colour

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Learning with sensors –  click image for video link

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Next steps with sensors

Back up to Space with Dave sharing his school’s project after attending the Skycademy training, launching their own project and then inspiring others at the Jam:

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Plans, launch and follow up from Queen Margaret’s School Pi in the Sky project

Want to know where teddy landed?  Check here:


With grateful thanks to Malet Lambert School, as such supportive hosts, we also had a Makerspace to share other projects and activities to try.

Super Awesome Sylvia‘s Colorbot brought out a Spring themed robot painted creation for some of our younger members.

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Sakura Season

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Family collaborations

Here are a couple of our younger digital creators who were also our lucky prize winners today.

Check out the next date for a Raspberry Jam in Hull and we’ll see what they’ve been exploring : )

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Coming back with more ideas using Pi

Thanks to everyone who came along today and helped to make this happen.

Amazing teamwork 🙂

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