As part of Maker Camp last week, we ran a workshop building an electronic steady hand game.We thought it might be fun this time to try building the circuit using wood, hammer and nails instead of using breadboards or printed circuit boards. We designed a circuit template which could be placed on top of the wooden block to help the young people build their circuit.
We began the workshop by exploring the circuit diagram, identifying the circuit components and investigating its operation. Even though we were building a steady hand game, the young people identified other games you could make with the circuit such as the classic operation game.
Next each young person was given a block of soft wood, a hammer, nails and circuit template. It didn’t take long to hammer in the nails to make the connection points. They then wired up the circuit using the template as a guide. When they were all satisfied with their work, we moved onto the soldering.
The soldering of the wiring and the components took a little longer to complete, and after a little bit of fault finding we finally got there. Now we reached the point where they designed the wire track that the loop would travel along. We got some very interesting and crazy designs!!
Of course, when you design and build a game, you have to play it!!
As part of Maker Camp, last week we had a workshop designing and building Solar Cars.
Firstly, the young people sat around in a group and discussed solar energy. What are the pros and cons of using the sun to provide energy? How do solar cells work and where are they used in everyday life? We talked about using them at home, in cars, boats and airplanes.
The young people then experimented with a 2v solar cell and LEDs, to see solar energy in action. Then they tried out the solar motors with the solar cells and boy did they spin! Lights and spinning motors for free!! Can we charge our phones and tablets from solar energy they asked…..Yes you can with the right solar cells.
Time to start building and designing the cars. Lots of materials, such as bottle tops, CDs, cardboard and straws were used to build the body of the car. They had great fun thinking up some crazy and whacky designs.
They also got a chance to practice using the soldering iron to connect the DC motor to the solar cell. Very tricky work as the wires were very thin and delicate and it was very easy to lose wire using the wire stripper!! No expense was spared with the glue gun either….. some people like using lots and lots of glue….just to be sure!!
The young people also learnt a little about gears, motors and axles. So much has to be considered when building a car.
After a lot of creative thinking, sweat and not to many burnt fingers…the finished cars were ready for action. Now where was the sun gone….it’s a nice Irish summer’s rainy day.
The Computer Clubhouse will be running Maker Camp in partnership with Make. Maker Camp is a 6-week virtual summer camp for anyone interested in DIY, making, creating, crafting, hacking, tinkering, and discovery. We will be posting more details about our workshops soon!!
The Clubhouse team had a very successful and fun day at the St. Patrick’s Festival “Science Foundation Ireland Discover Science” on Sunday 15th March. The team was Boxy, Abdul, Kerryn, Des, Luke, Angel and Bianca. We all met at the clubhouse at 9:30am and after packing all our gear into the bus we made our way over to Merrion Street. We were assigned a really nice big space in one of the tents which we set up for our demonstrations and workshop.
We brought along a number of projects to showcase. Angel and Bianca demonstrated many of the projects to the visitors. Everyone loved the guitar that Angel and Emma made with MakeyMakey and Scratch.
We ran a workshop building Drawbots which was an amazing success. We unfortunately ran out of Drawbots during the day and will need to bring tons more for next time!!
Angel also had an opportunity to try out some science.
Thanks to all the team for a great show and a special extra Thank You to Angel, Bianca and Luke for running a great event for the Clubhouse.
Today in Break it, Make it, Niki helped us make felt ropes using many different colors. We used wool to make our rope. First we got a piece of wool, and laid it out on bubble wrap. Then, we picked different colors of wool to lay on top. When we picked the colors, we put soapy water on the wool, and began rolling it to combine the colors to make felt. When we were finished rolling, we used a washing board to get rid of the excess soap, and then left the strand of wool to dry. What we have to look forward to after its dry, is another project of making the wool into jewelry. We had a great time and cant wait to see the finished product.
Arianne, Alex, and Rachel
“First we got a bunch of cardboard and then we measured it to make four triangles that would then make one big 3D triangle. First we made the top part of the big triangle by measuring, marking and cutting. After making all triangles, we drew shapes on the cardboard and cut them out so the light could go through it. After all the parts of the triangle were cut and the shapes were cut out we glued the parts together to make one big 3D triangle. Next week we are going to put four big triangles together to look like a tree and make it light up with LEDs. I hope you enjoyed reading this and try it yourself! Merry Christmas!”
– Rachel, Bianca & Kaitlyn