Animachines: From Nature to Technology

Fernando Puertas, Eduardo Lobo and Edison Cabeza

PDF   |   Animachines is a new way to look for the species that share the planet with us. In this project, we propose to associate knowledge about ecology, behavior, and morphology of an animal species and integrate it with technology, by co-creating a machine that has the same attributes and characteristics of the animal species chosen by the participating. So, with Animachines we want to reconnect the people with nature, more than that we want to show how incredible is any living form of life, from a cockroach to an elephant.

Braille’s Vowels Game

Silvana Regina Silveira Scavone and Tatiana Feldman Costa

PDF   |   The Braille’s Vowel Game offers participants an opportunity to engage with a game based learning environment looking to develop our understanding of the barriers for unsighted children in learning to read and write. Using maker technologies like Makey Makey and Scratch programing, the authors offer lessons learned while gathering information on the opportunities afforded different children in their learning.

DebugIts: Designing for Learning Through Debugging

Debora Lui, Deborah Fields, Gayithri Jayathirtha and Yasmin Kafai

PDF   |   In this demo, we will share the development of DebugIt challenges—pre-designed electronic textiles projects that have built-in ‘bugs’ or mistakes for students to discover and fix. Over the course of several years, we developed different versions of these challenges, including different kinds of bugs (e.g. programing errors, messy sewing causing short circuits), as well as different kinds of construction (e.g., sewn projects, electrical blueprints, modular pieces). We will not only share our three DebugIt versions, but also discuss how we have used them within research on students’ computational learning.

Iterative Learning With Lithophane Light Boxes

Emilie Butt, Amrutha Kumaran and Jeff Ginger

PDF   |   The Champaign-Urbana Community Fab Lab engages over 300 teens in makerspace education through partnerships with public middle schools, libraries and after school centers in Champaign-Urbana. As part of the University of Illinois’ mission of public engagement we generate curricular ideas by inviting youth to help us modify and adapt maker projects we find online. This demonstration will highlight a recent, composite-medium, arduino-based project driven by teens at one of our most important community sites, a state and NSF grant-funded after-school center dedicated to introducing underserved and at-risk learners to STEAM. We will explain how teaching electronics programming through tangible, hands-on projects centered around the expression of learners’ interests, rather than top-down, externally-driven topics, can increase engagement and persistence with hesitant or disconnected learners. In addition conference attendees will have a chance to participate in a hands-on fashion with the concepts and curriculum, as we will bring a computer and 3D printer to demonstrate live. We hope the in-person interactions will lead to additional cross-institution collaborations.

MakeyMaking and Music Creation: Making Meaning Through Words Pictures Sound and Science

Gena Greher

PDF   |   The focus of this demo session is an interdisciplinary arts & literacy project incorporating the Makey Makey Invention Kit. This project was developed for music education students in order to highlight the benefits of hands-on technology approaches to engaging their future students in exploratory activities, requiring a fair amount of problem-solving skills and creative and crtical thinking. There will be several videos of student projects presented.

Moving Beyond Toy Cars: Creative Robotics

Angela Sofia Lombardo

PDF   |   How can we help students engage in robotics activities going beyond the idea of robots as toy cars? In this demo session, I will share with participants how I’ve tried to figure out these questions while designing a Constructionist experience through robotics. I’ll show participants some robotic creations made by my students, share materials and resources, as well as the design process I followed to provide kids opportunities to imagine, design, and express themselves creatively through microcontrollers, LEDs, motors, and sensors.

ZapWorks (Augmented Reality) Demo

Brian J Seely, Adam Creasy and Helmut Doll

PDF   |   With the emergence of Augmented Reality (AR) and the impending release of 5G, cloud-based software offering easy to create and release Augmented Reality solutions will soon be common. At present, there are only a handful of companies with functioning cloud-based AR capabilities. The most prominent, ZapWorks (, has varying levels of AR application options, from a simple drag-and-drop development to a downloadable application that allows fully customizable 3D and scriptable development. Designing and developing AR experiences can be intimidating and expensive, properly understanding ZapWorks and its capabilities can make AR experiences an option for all.