This is 'Iolani School

This is 'Iolani School

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Girls Week at Summer School...We've Just Begun

This is our first auxiliary week of summer school this year at 'Iolani. For these 6.5 hrs over five days, 8 girls will come to the Lab to learn and make. Here's what they've done in the first two days...

Our first activity was to do the paper chain challenge. With good planning and teamwork, the longest paper chains came when the girls couldn't say a word.

Next we introduced them to simple circuits...LEDs, coin cell batteries and copper tape. Next we got out the computers and learned to program with Scratch. After that, we brought out the MakeyMakeys and started "Changing how the world works" (Eric Rosenbaum).

The next day we taught the ladies how to use the vinyl cutter and the laser cutter. With some basic design challenges (make a name tag, put a picture on wood) it didn't take this group long to get creative.

Next up, they will learn how to make a box and then on to 3D printing. By the middle of Wednesday, they will have all the knowledge and tools to start their own projects. Can't wait to see what they will create...check back and see.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Summer School Open House in the Lab

Towards the end of class on Wednesday, we finished our making for the day and starting setting up for our open house. Parents were invited to come and visit from 5:30-6:30 and see what their children have made this summer. The students were in charge of the evening...explaining what they made and how they made them. It was exciting for the students to show and tell their parents what they had been up to the past 6 weeks. It was equally exciting for the parents to see what their child learned and created.
Open House Setup

Each student had their own table to display what they made.

Open House

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Summer School 2016 - Session One / Week 5 and 6 of 6

Our last two weeks of summer school session have finished and here are some of the things that happened.

First, we went over some of the finer points of using Inkscape, mainly how to "trace" an image to be cut out. Each students had to make or find a picture they wanted to cut-out. Then, using Inkscape, they traced it and sent it to the cutter.

Next, we had some free making time at different times, giving the students a chance to make things they wanted.

After that came a design challenge. In groups of two, the kids had to imagine, plan and create a Scratch game that would "teach" kindergarten/first grade students something. It could be math, language, science or anything else they wanted. When everyone was finished and had tested their games out on their classmates, we headed over to the kindergarten and first grade classes to see how the games did with our target audience. We asked the younger ones to give the older ones some feedback on the game they played so that we could make improvements. Back to the Lab we went, made some changes and the next day, visited some other classes to see what they thought of the games we made. What was cool, is that a few of these classes, they were making carnival games out of recycled material and invited us back the next week to play their games.

Our last week started out with visits to kindergarten and first grade classes so that we could play the carnival games they designed and created. The big kids had a blast and the little ones loved having us there.

The rest of the week was spent getting ready for our Open House/Mini-Mini MakerFaire. Our students were putting the finishing touches to their final projects so they could be on display Wednesday night.

One of those projects was to finish the lamps we laser cut earlier in the summer. We first "wired" them with copper tape, but now it was time to turn it up a notch. We introduced soldering. Because of time, the Lab created and machined a circuit board that would house a battery holder and a switch. The students were taught "Soldering 101", put the board together and connected it to their lamp.

A couple of the students wanted to make stands for their's an example of one.

Open House was on our last Wednesday in the evening and it was a great time of the kids sharing their projects and explaining to their parents, how they made them. (There are more pictures on the Open House post)

Our last two days started with a low-tech design challenges. This idea came from Agency by Design and Project Zero (both out of Harvard)...Given a collection of materials, make a system where a marble will take the longest time to go from start to finish. This took the better part of these two days.


Brainstorming and Planning

Create, Test and Improve

Final Competition...

Two groups used glue to slow down their marble

Three groups extended the distance the marble had to travel

With the time that was left, we reviewed circuits and had the students try to recreate a circuit on a breadboard using buttons, resistors, a battery, jumper wires and a RGB LED. They were put in groups of 3 and given all the parts they would need to complete the circuit. They were also given a completed circuit as an example that they could look at. There was one catch...only one person could look at the completed circuit at a time and they had to return to the group an tell them what piece went where. Not only an activity dealing with electricity and circuits, but communication and teamwork.

What now? Summer school is not over...our next session will be similar to this one, but it will be from 8-2:30, for a whole week and just for girls. The following week, will be the same but just for boys. Check back to see what this next group of makers will create.