Wednesday, June 4, 2014

AREF Showcase

Last night I participated in the Alum Rock Educational Foundation showcase at San Antonio Elementary School in the Mayfair, San Jose. It was a blast sharing summer camp projects with youth at this event.
Mariachi performers test out Audio Line project.
It was inspiring to listen to local youth performers from the Alum Rock Jazz Band and from the Mariachi Tradicional de Alum Rock. Other groups and projects supported by the Alum Rock Educational Foundation also showcased their projects at tables ringing the auditorium. The Art & Design Thinking Camp had a table at which I displayed projects for children to explore.
Younger sibling of mariachi player explores paper circuitry.

Younger siblings of mariachi performers play with bots.

Sewing circuitry
Mariachi Band
Students explore 3D printed objects, stop motion animation on the computer, low resolution prototype model of a bus stop shelter (with working solar light with sensor), conductive paint project and maker journal.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Designing a Mobile Makerspace

This summer I will be conducting a six week Art & Design Thinking camp in Alum Rock, San Jose. Besides the curriculum, I have begun to design the mobile structures needed for this makerspace. The goal is to be able to pop-up this makerspace in classes and informal learning spaces throughout the school year. I need to set the stage with items that can move about, break down and store easily.

Mobile pegboards made from Ikea rolling garment racks, Home Depot pegboards, and bungee cords. We will use one board for tinkering projects (such as marble runs and collaborative circuitry projects). We will use the second board for hanging tools. 
Materials list: 
Ikea Rigga Clothes Rack:$12.99 
Pegboard 2' x 4' (Home Depot): $7.97 
Canopy tarp bungee (12" bin of 8): $5.47 
Total unit cost for one rolling system: $26.43 

Pegboard hooks and recycled water bottles for display containers. 

Next step is to add info tags regarding projects

Above: An assortment of projects: 3D printing, toy hacking, pipe cleaner circuitry, paper circuitry, draw bots, and art projects with recycled materials.

Materials list:  FLYNNEN Laundry basket 7.99
IKEA laundry hampers to be used as materials storage bins.

I also see storage of student ongoing work as an issue to address. Counter space needs to be used as active workspace. I envision creating a system of ceiling suspended storage bins that can be pulled up and down via a pulley system. After looking about a bit in the web, I think plant pulleys might work best for storage of lightweigh prototyping models. Fabric bins could be suspended from the metal ceiling tile cross bars. To the bottom of each basket I will sew a pull cord. Each pulley costs around $6.00.

Materials list:  
plant pulleys  $6.00 (11.99 for 2 pack)
mesh basket $3.00 
pull cord; scrap rope and metal washer .50
unit cost $9.50 x 20 campers=$190.00 if students are not sharing baskets.

plant pulley

As a project to begin this fall, I want to make a few benches like this for pop up makerspaces. I would also like to make a few work bench tables in this manner as well.
I have not costed this out yet. 
Photo taken by Lisa Whitsitt in Amsterdam.