Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Semester 2 of "Wired For Art" #MakerEd

We began semester 2 - a new round of "Wired For Art" - back in the beginning of February, with a few tweaks to get the kids' skills built up a bit more before launching into their personal projects.  Here's been our structure so far:

Week 1 - MakeyMakey intro and playtime
Week 2 - Intro to parallel v series circuits with alligator clip wires and LEDs
Week 3 - Coppertape circuit art
Week 4 - finish coppertape circuits and install laptop updates in prep for 3D printing

(Week 5 hasn't happened yet... we've lost a couple weeks due to student conference days and a student musical performance, but it will be a guest-speaker workshop on 3D printing, and their last teacher-directed project will be a soft circuit cuff with a personal 3D designed/printed "medallion" to hold the LED... Gonna be rad!)

Here are some of our outcomes so far:

MakeyMakey intro and playtime:

Coppertape Circuit Art! (Yes, that's a light-up "POOP" in the bottom left corner of the collage.)


  1. Awesome! How do you give your students feedback on projects like this?

  2. Hi Heather! We don't give much in the way of formal feedback at this point... More informal, ongoing revisiting of developing craftsmanship expectations, support in mastering circuitry concepts, etc. It's interesting how differently I think about feedback in this "fine arts" class vs my more academic "science" class...

  3. Nice projects. Your copper tape LEDs look gorgeous. Did they use bone folders or popsicle sticks? I will be field testing pop up card LEDs next week at my school and doing a 30 minute workshop at Jaymes school in NYC on the 12th. Any tips are welcome. Thanks Jenny Howland

  4. Hi Jenny! We haven't used bone folders or anything to smooth out the copper... it has stayed smooth pretty easily! A couple tips:
    - put copper tape under AND over the LED leads to get a stronger current
    - encourage folks to get creative with their "switches." Folding over a corner of the paper doesn't always work excellently. See the Pokemon buttons and the "taco" above!
    - have LOTS of coin cell batteries on hand, because sometimes it takes several of them to get enough voltage. Our awesome pack-rat maintenance guy bought several thousand hearing aid batteries at some going-out-of-business sale for like $20, and now we're using those!