Scratch Paper Sound Experiments

Over the past couple of weeks, Nicole and I have been preparing for a workshop for the upcoming Scratch Conference at MIT Media Lab around programming paper circuits. We started to experiment with these ideas a few months ago when we hosted a BAME meetup for a half-baked smorgasbord of programming provocations.


LEGO Pen Holder Evolution

As we explore LEGO art machines, we've been trying to figure out the best way to connect markers to the technic pieces in a strong yet flexible way. While we recently learned about a set of LEGO markers that connect to the bricks, for the activity on the floor, we wanted to use standard markers. Over the past few weeks, we've been experimenting with bringing in outside materials and creating custom 3D printed parts for that purpose.


Scratch Storytelling

Last week we hosted Ricarose Roque from the Scratch team at the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab. She visited last January and we spent some time trying out programming, incorporating scratch into chain reactions, and working on a monster mash activity with visitors.


ECSITE 2015 Makerspace Highlights

Last month, I joined a group of collaborators from various institutions around the world to host a space for making and tinkering at the ECSITE conference in Trento, Italy, where people could experience activities, discuss best practices, and share ideas.


Biomimicry and Mimosas with Juanita Schlaepfer

We've been interested in biohacking and biomimicry as possible ways to foster collaboration between us and the life sciences group here at the Explo and to expand the range of topics covered in tinkering studio. Over the summer, we collaborated with an artist-in-residence, Juanita Schlaepfer, who wanted to share some workshops that she has been experimenting with that coincidentally made use of one of the most popular residents of the exploratorium's east gallery.


New Explainer Trainings

This past week, we hosted two workshops for new explainers this will soon be facilitating activities with us in the tinkering studio. The high school explainers built cardboard automata which is the current activity in our workshop on the weekends. The field trip explainers worked together to create a large scale chain reaction, something that we hope to start prototyping on the floor in the next month or so.


Electric Automata

Earlier this week, Gautham and Navanya from the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology visited the learning studio for a mini-residency. They have an amazing aftershool and summer program as well as undergraduate classes related to making and tinkering. Our group was inspired by many of the workshop themes that they shared including interactive mapmaking, order and chaos, and patterns.


Taking Things Apart

We had a really exciting and fun week at the Tinkering Studio taking appliances apart and using the pieces to make accessories. I was amazed at the commitment visitors displayed- with some folks spending hours at a time and even returning to multiple sessions to continue their projects. I was also struck by the high level of creativity of repurposing and accessory building.


MaKey MaKey workshops - the "little things"

For the past couple of weeks we've been doing a bunch of experiments creating instruments, game controllers, and other playful interfaces for computers using MaKey MaKey. It's been a fun and challenging activity to prototype and we've been learning a lot about what works well and what doesn't. We'll do a more in-depth post on the facilitation, activity design and environment, but first off I wanted to share a couple of small (but important) facets of our experiments on the floor related to MaKey MaKey.

MaKey MaKey Holder


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