In January I had the opportunity to bring the pop-up LED card activity to the Design, Make, Play conference at the New York Hall of Science. The conference brought together technologists, makers, learning science researchers, educators, and more to brainstorm about how the maker movement could catalyze innovation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.
As part of the conference, we had a chance to attend workshops by various educators and facilitators. I really enjoyed using software to control makerbots and attending a cool take-apart workshop (my closet now has a half-dismantled computer my kids are working on). When it was my turn, I got to bring out the LED’s, batteries and conductive tape to show how even the youngest kids could make circuits to light up their artistic cards.
Among the attendees were artists, engineers, makers, informal learning educators, and other involved and interested adults. The adults made cards that ranged from the simple to the insurmountably ambitious. There were creative works of art, moving mechanically engineered dolls, professional looking circuits and novice designs working out the kinks for the first time. The most delightful outcome for me was the way everyone, with their different backgrounds and prior experience worked together, shared ideas and expertise, and enjoyed talking shop with each other throughout the project.
For a description of how to do the pop-up LED project, look here.