On Monday 1 August, the third maker space session was held in room 335 at Collingwood College.
The session was attended by parents, a student teacher completing his Master’s and interested in Maker Spaces for his research, and primary school students.
Dismantling of electronic toys and computers is an activity that all new comers to the space immediately gravitate towards. Perhaps it’s the opportunity to delve into the innards of much of the technology that we are familiar with that is the attraction, given that the inner workings is not something we normally are privy to. The students seem to take great joy in the simple challenge of opening the various pieces of hardware. Thus far we have dismantled remote control cars and helicopters and many computers. The materials salvaged are being carefully sorted and stored for future use, thanks to the parents that have been regularly attending. I am hoping that we have the opportunity to dismantle some other technologies such as mobile phones, wii remotes, kinect and other gaming devices.
More resources are arriving for the space. We now have a full set of safety glasses, new soldering irons with a base, a multimeter and an electric screwdriver with a cardboard cutting attachment. More second-hand toys and computers are also being supplied. Small screwdrivers have proven to be very well used so any donations would be great. Our new multimeter has also been found to be very useful as it is used to check the status of batteries. (Why isn’t it lighting up the LED? Are they dead? What voltage should it have?)
We attempted to make the beginnings of a compressible tensegrity robot but discovered that we needed better materials to work with.
It is a simple project (straws and rubber bands for the initial part) but requires materials that will be strong enough to cope with the tension that the object relies upon to function. The elastic bands were too short and the straws buckled under the tension.
More info here: http://makezine.com/projects/compressible-tensegrity-robot/
Students made use of the old laptops that have been supplied by IT to continue working on their personal scratch project; a significant production!
Testing of the laptops continues with most refusing to turn on. Any old laptops out there in the community? Old ones are good enough for our needs as long as they are able to turn on. As mentioned last week, we will be using them for learning coding (scratch, processing, minecraft modding, gamemaker etc), and working with external programmable hardware devices like the arduino. Old laptops are perfect for our needs because we will not be running anything that requires high processing power or the latest operating system. It is also good to give these old laptops another lease of life.
I am interested in any suggestions, ideas, projects, resources, donations and funding possibilities from students, parents and teachers. I will be manning the space every Monday 3:30 – 5:30pm, unless I have other commitments to attend to.