Students combine art, gaming culture and engineering by fabricating light-up patches to increase youngsters’ visibility at night. The open-ended project is presented as a hypothetical design challenge: Students are engineers who have been asked by a group of parents whose children go out Pokémon hunting at night to create glowing patches that they adhere to clothing or backpacks to help vehicle drivers see the kids in the dark. Student pairs create Pokémon character stencil designs cut from iron-on fabric patches, adding transparent layers for color. Placed over an EL (electroluminescent) panel that is connected to a battery pack, the stencils create glowing designs. Each team creates a circuit, which includes lengthening the EL panel wiring to make it easier to wear. Then they sew/adhere the patches onto hoodies, messenger bags, hats, pockets or other applications they dream up. The project concludes with team presentations as if to an audience of project clients. Keep the project simple by hand cutting and ironing/sewing, or use cutting machines, laser cutters and sewing machines, if available.
In this activity, participants will build their very own robot companion! They supply the imagination, and we supply the electronic parts, building materials, and mentoring to bring their ideas to life. At the end of the sessions, each participant gets to bring their new robot home!
This event is designed to work best as a 3 hour activity, and is intended for makers of 8 or older. It requires a laser cutter to prepare the cardboard and plywood parts.
In this activity, students learn about creating a design directly from a CAD (computer-aided design) program. They will design a tower in CAD and manufacture the parts with a laser cutter. A competition determines the tower design with the best strength:weight ratio. Students also investigate basic structural truss concepts and stress concentrations. Partnership with a local college or manufacturing center is necessary for the completion of this project.