We are about half way through with our semester right now and we are in full swing with the making of our instruments. We are all drawing, cutting, hammering, and it is truly a wonderful site to see the sweat, saw dust and energy going into the projects.
WOW!! Look at the intensity and focus on his face, really impressive!
Precision sanding is not an easy skill and it looks as though it is all under control here. These kids are INTENSE!!!
My favorite part of all of this is, well I have so many favorite parts but when I see collaboration and caring happening organically because the projects are all so cool and everyone is almost as excited for everyone else’s project as they are for their own. It brings an enormous smile to my face.
LOOK… AT… THAT! Collaboration at its best.
or wait… is that the best?!? I can’t decide, see how hard it is being me having to decide what my favorite thing is. :-)
SOme of the kids are further along in their process and have already started to test out the “vibration-ability” of their instrument. They use contact microphones to test out various locations on their instrument that sound the best. The one place that maximizes the volume of the vibrations and that is where they will place their contact microphone Illiumiringer they made last week. It is quite a process
It is a pretty cool process, experimenting with different areas of your instrument to see how it sounds. Certain areas emit different sounds because the vibrations create louder sounds.
Everyone is working at a good pace and I feel positive that we will finish these instruments in time.
Wish us luck and we’ll see you next week!
The kids were mesmerized by his audio trickery! This effect is amazing, unique and really fun to mess around with… I highly recommend it.
Dr Bankenstein facilitated the workshop, introduced everyone to soldering and we quickly got to work. We were all very engaged and interested in this process, we soldered peizo elements tot he circuit board as well as optical sensors.
It was so much fun! Not to mention that we were making a very cool addition to our personal, one of a kind instruments. When we approached the soldering guns we made sure to focus on the proper way to use the tool and what to be careful of. We set up the soldering stations and exhaust systems and spent a good amount of time piecing together the components and testing our solder points to make sure they were secure.
Battery properly attached and secure… CHECK!
Optical sensor, reacting to the flashlight and making a super cool weird sound… CHECK! Everyone was excited and the Dr aka Drew was impressed that everyone was able to solder correctly and make them work. ALL OF THEM WORKED!
Now it was time to Get back to designing and building our unique sound maker!!
We had so many different approaches and materials being used that the Maker Space was buzzing with questions, tools, sounds, and an energy inspiring all of us. It was an incredibly productive day and everyone was happy!
Come back soon Drew!!
Tools! Materials! Hurrah!!The wonders & capabilities of sandpaper never cease to amaze me! Here the kids worked with wood and sandpaper to shape and smooth out rough wood.
Saws and Hammers were next, real wood, real tools… I am beside myself with excitement! The kids were AMAZING with the tools, they followed the proper tool use “laws” I have instituted in the Maker Space to a T.
Such care and focus on the proper way to use these tools is impressive and necessary if we want to avoid any issues. The #1 rule to using a tool in Maker Space is, “Never use a tool when you are in a hurry.”
If you are in a hurry, put the tool down and hurry away :-) Using tools when you are pressed for time could mean injury.
Once we mastered the art of woodworking, well maybe nopt mastered yet but we did enter the wonderful world of woodworking. We had a discussion about instrument design. Everyone decided on ideas for their instruments and researched materials and designs that people had already made. No reason to reinvent the wheel right? Plus it serves as wonderful inspiration!
Then we start conceiving the design of our instrument, what do we want it to look like/sound like? What materials will we use?
Wow!! What is this design all about? AMAZING blend of different instruments, stringed instrument mixed with a tube/wind instrument and of course it has percussive elements as well. I have a feeling this is going to be SUPER COOL!!
Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! We are kicking off the Make Academy semester with investigations focused on sound, materials and simplification of design! It was a banner day at the NYSCI Maker Space…We started out making our own, very simple Ear String Guitar. This is a fan favorite and never ceases to BLOW EVERYONE’S MIND!! As a matter of a fact that is how I introduce it, “Is everyone prepared to have their MIND BLOWN!” Of course everyone is skeptical and laughs until they try it. It is easy if you want to try it at home. Take a string and cut it to the length of your body. Make a loop on one end and place it around your index finger and place the other end under your foot. Create tension in the string while keeping it away from your body so it can vibrate freely. Next, insert your finger into your ear and play! IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!
After our minds were blown we had to bring it down a notch and think about why design is important when making instruments. The chalenge was to take a 2 x 4 with 3 nails in it and create as many playable sides as possible. By stretching the rubber band around the nails how many strands could you pluck.We had a constraint of 10 minutes and ten we tested our playable strands by connecting it a contact microphone and amplifying it to confirm that the rubber band could freely vibrate and make sound. AWESOME! The kids had so much fun with this that we spent much more time on this activity then anticipated. It became a very friendly competition of one upping the other teams.Once that was over we started learning how to use the tools we would need to construct our instruments. We start with Hammers and saws with thick foam. This allows the kids to concentrate solely on the form and use of the tool as apposed to having to focus on the proper tool use and driving a nail or cutting the wood precisely.
All in all this week was packed with many different experiences one leading to the next.
Big events make me nervous. Actually, the time just before a big event makes me nervous. Will anybody show up? Should I have done this instead of that? Many questions race through my mind and then, BAM! it all happens.
On Saturday February 16th NYSCI Maker Space hosted the first Learning Labs Pop-up event for teens.
For me the day began on the subway, thinking about what the day would bring, focusing on what needed to be done and finalizing the flow. When I arrived at NYSCI I began rearranging the Maker Space, organizing materials according to the plan Anthony (NYSCI’s Manager of Digital Programming) & I had devised. The other members of the NYSCI education team arrived, followed by our teen cohort a.k.a. the Digital Maker Squad. This is where my memory seems to play in fast-forward.
Everyone was frantically putting things in place, a lot of talking, energy and excitement, filled the air as the pieces to the puzzle began to fall into place. The Maker Space was broken up into six Creativity Stations:
the Hang Out Zone, Mozilla Webmaker with Chris Lawrence,
Mike Wilson & the Explainer TV crew set up just outside of Maker Space and served as a link and stop over for the teens wandering from Maker Space to Lab 2 and back again.
Lab 2 was split into four Creativity Stations, Design Labs Stick Pics, 3D animation, multi-track recording,
This room also housed the ever important pizza/snack table, a project share out area, and a tell all video blogging area called SPEAK UP! Space. This is where the teens were encouraged to speak about the experience at the Learning Labs Pop-up, what they made, liked and disliked.
By 1:30 both rooms were full of noise, teens, pizza, adults, creative exploration and discovery. Everything began to unfold- the amazing team of NYSCI educators, explainers, and adult advisors hosting the various activities at the Creativity Stations, as well as the collaboration and interaction between people meeting for the first time.
It was inspiring to see this symbiosis and the resulting AWESOMENESS
as I ran around with the graceful undertones of Mr. Magoo in a construction site. Everything fell into place and revealed how comfortable and productive controlled chaos can be.
The first project share out began at 2:30 with a spoken word performance from Art Is, a.k.a. Johnna Artis- a member of our Digital Maker Squad. She fearlessly stood among her fellow makers and relative strangers to share her poetry, emotion and heart. The performance ended with a roar of applause and was followed by other teens sharing projects from Popcorn Maker and the audio recording station.
The day continued to galvanize chatter, laughter, technology and the sharing of ideas into a new experience for everyone involved. The nervousness I had felt earlier had been transformed into a streak of energy; reminiscent of the feeling I had as a kid uncontrollably “skidding” out on my bike at the end of the street and watching the subsequent spray of gravel into the air.
The Digital Maker Squad and Learning Labs team was elated at the outcome and we are planning our next EXPLOSION on Saturday April 13th, from 1-4 p.m. The teens will be facilitating Creativity Stations centered on their interests and digital making projects; we look forward to see what they come up with!
Hi there! I’m Benjamin Kasavan, though those who haven’t met me, yet know through the internet might know me as Schumi23. I’m here at NYSCI learning, making, and having fun!
First I designed myself a box, with numbers on it, and my initials. A series of primes with a personal meaning. I also put some handles, and legs, and stuff. It was the first time I actually got something 3D printed!
I also ate some pizza, and drank some soda - of course. Food is always a nice addition to a place. Sausage or pepperoni or veggies and cheese and tomatoes on bread. I wonder who thought of it? It would have taken a maker to think of it. Even the food is makerific.
I also played around with Popcorn a bit, and showed it to others. I already had some experience with popcorn. You should try it out at popcorn.webmaker.org ! It lets you render videos interactive, dragging in elements from areas of the Web: Twitter, wikipedia, images. Lots of stuff.
I’m also going to go build a thereamin soon - aren’t they awesome? I think these are made with 555 ICs (Integrated Circuit), from the sound of em :)
What does being a Maker mean to me? Well, lets see what I wrote!
Being a Maker is to seek to learn through doing. Mark Surman’s words aren’t appropriate to write here, but they work perfectly. You might not do it perfectly. It won’t be perfect. It might be ugly. Yeah, but, if you don’t try because of that, it won’t be existent. A maker will try something out, something the maker wouldn’t know for sure it will work. This creator, innovator, will try it out, because the fabricator is also a learner, and will make to learn. Make to know. A maker is a creator, or real, digital, or virtual stuff, a learner, a teacher. A maker is the glue which holds modern society together. Pizza, computers, wheels, the Internet, and even your shoes. They all exist because one day, somewhere, a Maker tried something. The innovator didn’t know if it would work, but still tried. Because learning and acquiring knowledge is worth it.
This post by:
Benjamin Kasavan, who goes by the moniker Schumi23 in many places, is a half French, half American, New York teen. He loves making stuff, and learning. Anything. All stuff is worse learning, or so he says. He has an awesome blog at www.teenmakerramblings.wordpress.com - you should check it out!