So you love Adobe Voice? Then Check This Out!

Whoah. I just read this article about Adobe Spark, which consist of these three tools:

  • Spark Post (to make posters and graphics, like Canva)
  • Spark Page (to make web stories – think digital magazines)
  • Spark video (the old Adobe Voice)

and had to share IMMEDIATELY.

The best part is, these tools are now cross-platform! You can use your iPad or your laptop! I have downloaded all three and plan to try them in the next week. Stay tuned!

Makerspace @ Traf in the Caf: Week 4, Paper Circuits

Paper circuits was by far the most popular activity of the month. Indeed, it was so popular I still am getting students asking me if they can make a card!

Materials Needed:

  • Craft supplies (paper, glue, scissors, tracing paper and tape)
  • 3v lithium coin batteries
  • Circuit sticker LEDs (Chibitronics makes them)
  • Copper tape

To begin with I made a prototype using a guide created by the Exploratorium in San Francisco:

Papercircuitstemplate

I used a simple parallel circuit:

images

Lessons learned:

  • Make sure to not rip the tape, which is finicky. TIP: take the backing off gradually as you go.
  • Also make sure the tape is as smooth as possible and the LEDS are properly glued to both tracks.
  • LEDS also have to be facing the same direction (+ side all on one track, – side on the other)
  • If it doesn’t seem to work at first, try flipping the batter over. Not sure why this is. It feels a little like magic.

Once I had an idea of what I was doing, I brought it to the students (and Staff got into it as well!)

Here was the result:

 

There were some happy mothers on Mother’s day!

Conclusion:

Paper circuits was a great introduction to the concept of Makerspace. It combines a simple technology that the girls can simply copy or take farther (circuits) with the fun of crafts to produce a magical result. The girls were thrilled with their cards and want to do more.

Personally- I want to make more too! I have some ideas about how to use it with silhouettes…

Makerspace @ Traf in the Caf: Week 3, Little Bits

LittleBits is a set of easy-to-use electronic building blocks. They are a fun, practical way for students to understand how circuits work:

Our lunchtime forays into Littlebits did not, alas, gender a whole lot of enthusiasm among the students. The teachers however, had a great time!

I am not sure if there were simply too many things going on that week, or if the littlest were not that exciting, or if the activity I had planned – a simple, colour some wings and tape them to the servo with a buzzer to make it buzz like an insect – was just too you and unexciting:

Littlebits.JPG

Here is a link to a five second video that gives you an idea of how annoying the buzzer is.

It’s true that Littlebits are geared towards more of a younger crowd, but as you can see from the video above, there are some pretty sophisticated things you can do with it.