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

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

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Digital Making at #MakeBelieve

I learnt a lot on Saturday. ¬†With every maker event there are opportunities for collaborations and family learning activities, and this weekend’s #MakeBelieve¬†focus was about young people imagining¬†the tech of the future.

That saw paired projects with peers, intergenerational activities and individual inspirations and inventions at Leeds City Museum Рall part of the awesome programme from the Leeds International Festival, and curated by Playful Leeds.

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We transported Leeds Raspberry Jam to the festival with a range of family-friendly challenges.

Digital making projects using Raspberry Pi included Minecraft hacks with Python, gaming with Scratch and exploring connections with GPIO.

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With imagination as the catalyst for invention, it was great to see how challenges progressed and digital stories changed directions with questions and input from others; not necessarily from a coding perspective.

We also had examples of projects from the group of digital makers¬†at Swallow Hill, who have been making Yorkshire-themed robots and taking inspiration from the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s #Pioneers programme.

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So what did I learn? ¬†On reflection later that evening, and catching up with the day’s news:

I want to bring back my imagination and¬†gawp at the future like a child again. ¬†And then I’ll reflect like an adult. ¬†And then as a child. ¬†And¬†as an inventor. ¬†I’ll reflect on them all¬†as inspiration and insight, thanks.

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Big Tech Vs Big Brother: how do you view technology? FT link 29.04.17

 

Shout out to Playful Anywhere for inviting us along and curating a Maker event in Leeds for, literally, everyone.  Through the eyes of the children and their inventions, I came away with so many ideas.

And to @BloodyNoraDJ for the images taken on the day – every one a unique maker story ūüėÄ

Easter Ninja Hack: Maker ‘Make Do’

That moment when you realise it’s far too late for anything other than¬†make do.

And a late request from Jr for paint for¬†the school’s annual egg paint challenge turns up nothing but black paint. ¬†And it’s electric paint at that.

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But then, every cloud………

And every ninja…….

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Has potential for a Makey Makey hack.

No bananas were injured in this project ūüćĆ ūüćĆūüćĆ

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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 ūüėÄ

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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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā

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 ūüďö

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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 ūüćē.

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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