Workshops: Saturday

Workshop A

bioCAKES: Making with Biology

TH 322

Justice Walker (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA)
Mia Shaw (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA)
Sheri Hanna (String Theory School, Philadelphia, PA, USA)
Yasmin Kafai (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA)

ABSTRACT: Do you want to learn more about designing or making with biology? In this workshop, educators, bakers, and life science enthusiasts will have an opportunity to design and make with living organisms first-hand by using the biomakerlab, a portable low-cost fabrication device, to produce a genetically modified organism that is then used to bake a nutrient enriched product—a bioCAKE. We call this biomaking! Following, we discuss how activities can give students opportunities to design and make things using living organisms and support learning and ethical awareness as described in curriculum frameworks like Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Participants will have reflect about and discuss ways to introduce activities like these into their own practice. No prior lab skills are necessary and all are welcome.


  • 20 min: Introduction to the biomakerlab
  • 35 min: Mix batter and bake bioCAKE
  • 25 min: Make silicone baking mold
  • 20 min: Inspect bioCAKE and discuss


Workshop B

Building and Using a Knibbler (power tool for K­12)

TH 322I

Phil King (Katherine Delmar Burke School, San Francisco, CA)
Jenny Howland (Katherine Delmar Burke School, San Francisco, CA)

ABSTRACT: We will introduce, make, and use a power tool—a Knibbler—that Phil King introduced to enable young (even Kindergarten­ age) students to cut materials safely, confidently, and creatively.
Participants will learn about constructing and using a Knibbler and how tools like these can transform the experience of our students in makerspaces by giving them the tools they need and the ability to use them in a safe and empowering way. After providing a brief overview of the history and use of the tool in our Makery, we will split the group in half. Half of the group will use two of the Knibblers to cut a variety of materials and make something. We will bring some examples to provide inspiration. Meanwhile the other half will construct a third Knibbler. Halfway through the workshop the groups will switch roles. At the end of the workshop, there will be four Knibblers—the two we brought and the two that were made by the workshop participants—which we will give away to workshop attendees. We will end with a discussion about the role of this machine in a scope and sequence of making.


  • 10 min: Introduction – Brief history of the build of our first Knibbler machine and why
  • 30 min: Activity 1 – Half of the group will use the two assembled Knibblers to cut cardboard and plastic and build something while the other half will build a third Knibbler
  • 30 min: Activity 2 – We will switch groups and do the same activities as above
  • 30 min: Wrap up and discussion – the participants will discuss the role of power tools for students they work with, both using them and building them. We will give the four assembled machines away at the end and also give everyone building plans, instructions and contact information for support


Workshop C

Eco-Friendly Circuits and Computational Tinkering

HM 150

Ryan Jenkins (Wonderful Idea Co. Berkeley, CA, USA)
Angela Sofia Lombardo (MalpighiLaB, FabLearn Fellow 2016, Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy)

ABSTRACT: Join this workshop to explore a set of circuit-based components that go beyond ‘batteries and bulbs’ to focus on elements related to ‘green energy’ like hand crank generators, wind powered turbines and solar panels.
Connect “green energy” generators to the analog pins of Micro:bit and create all sort of interactive projects using produced energy values through an experimental extension of Scratch 3.0.
Develop a better sense of the frustration, joy and questions that their students go through during the tinkering process
That’s the most playful, hands-on and creative way to discover who much energy a green generator can produce!


  • 15 min: Welcome and Introduction to Computational Tinkering
  • 70 min: Tinker and create your own green energy powered project
  • 15 min: Show-up and Reflections


Workshop D

Making a Science and Computing Escape Room

HM 148

Colby Tofel-Grehl (Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA)
Doug Ball (Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA)
Kristin Searle (Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA)
Christa Cannell (Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA)

ABSTRACT: Science has always been about play and discovery, so lets play! Join us for a grounded science experience through engagement with the popular puzzle games known as “Escape Rooms.” Built using high and low-tech fabrication tools, participants solve a sample series of three to four coded Microbit puzzles. Engaging physics tools such as lasers, lenses, mirrors, simple circuits, magnets, and levers, participants use their knowledge of science and computing to solve interactive, hands-on puzzles. With each of the Microbits using radio to “talk” to each other wirelessly, this workshop showcases collaborative coding and design efforts. In the first fifty minutes of the workshop, participants will attempt to solve the existing Physics Escape Room puzzles. Don’t stress, background science content provided! After this initial experience, participants will collaborate at tables to make sustainability-based Escape Rooms for their communities, classes, and groups. Discover ways to integrate design and making as compelling parts of science learning.


  • 10 min: Intro to escape room science and design
  • 30 min: Participants solve escape room
  • 10 min: Debrief puzzle design
  • 10 min: Intro to MakeCode and Micro:bit
  • 30 min: Groups design, construct, and code puzzles
  • 10 min: Puzzle swap/share and wrap up


Workshop E

Making with Machine Learning

HM 138

Devin Dillon (Iridescent, New York, NY, USA)
Rebecca Anderson (Iridescent, New York, NY, USA)

ABSTRACT: Learn about making with AI in this interactive session. This session is geared to educators and leaders working with students from 3rd-8th grades or working with family groups. In the workshop, you will uncover some basic machine learning processes as you build an AI model to explore how machine learning systems use data to make decisions, and will consider how you would modify or apply your experiences with your students or groups. We’ll be using Machine Learning for Kids and Scratch to create a bot that reacts to new situations you introduce.


  • 10 min: Introduction to Machine Learning Pipeline
  • 20 min: Experiment Together
  • 45 min: Create a Model & Interactive Chatbot
  • 10 min: Project Showcase
  • 15 min: Ethics, Logistics, & Teaching Practices


Workshop F

Measuring Our Environment

HM 438

Santiago Fuentemilla (IAAC Fab Lab Barcelona, Barcelona, BCN, Spain)
Javier Domínguez (IAAC Fab Lab Barcelona, Barcelona, BCN, Spain)

ABSTRACT: Measuring Our Environment is a gamified maker activity where attendees actively participate and reflect on how open source technologies, maker education practices and open design can be used by local communities to collect data on the environment and address pressing issues such as air quality, noise pollution or water quality.
By teams, the game ​will be to find the hidden treasures (SmartCitizen Kits) in the Teachers College building with the only clue of a map and a graph with environmental data: light, temperature, humidity and noise.
The challenge will be to understand and interpret the data in the graph to associate them with one of the hidden kits.
As a reward, all participants will receive a didactic guide and the necessary resources to replicate the workshop in their centers (schools, museums, libraries, etc).
The topics of this workshop are classified in three domains:
– Maker Education: creativity, coding and basics of digital fabrication and electronics.
– Science Education: data and tools for use them.
– Social: team building, gamification, social engagement and empowering people.
This workshop is 100% practical and very useful to understand important data and to know resources, tools, inspiring examples and improve skills in the Community.


  • 10 min: Welcome – A short explanation about us (Fab Lab Barcelona and Future Learning Unit)
  • 10 min: Warm up Activity to do the Team Division – Participant have to make throwies (led+battery) based on their main skill and find 4 more participants with different skills to do the team
  • 10 min: Filling in Activity – Make the badge for the Team: Choose a predefined design and cut it with the vinyl cutter machine
  • 30 min: Main Activity – The Game: Do the graph with craft material, understand the data, find the Kit
  • 10 min: Follow up Activity – Presentations: ​ 2 minutes presentation / team to know if they found the right Kit
  • 20 min: Reflection – Can schools/museums/libraries empower kids / youngs to be social innovators and active people in a world with environmental challenges? How can we understand data that matters? Can we make devices for measuring environmental data and use them in our educational programs?
  • We’ll do a demo of different resources and tools that participants can use to replicate the workshop or in their educational programs and we’ll show some examples of programs that we have facilitated that have had impacts in local commmunities about environmental problems. (DO It and AmbMakers)
  • 10 min: Closure – Acknowledgments and exchange of contacts to create a Community of changemakers around the world.


Workshop G

Mini-fy Arduino Projects with the ATtiny Microcontroller

HM 424

Erik Nauman (The Hewitt School, New York, NY, USA)

ABSTRACT: In this workshop, participants will learn how to substitute the ATtiny microcontroller for the Arduino UNO in student hardware circuitry and programming projects. The ATtiny microcontroller is an affordable ($1.50-$2.50) alternative to using full sized Arduino UNOs, which due to their cost do not usually allow projects to be preserved but must be taken apart to retain Arduinos for future use. This workshop is designed to demonstrate and give practical experience to participants in how to adapt typical student Arduino projects for using the ATtiny microcontroller. Participants will design a simple circuit with a breadboard and program it with an Arduino UNO, then learn to adapt the code and circuitry to the ATtiny85 chip. Participants will choose a more permanent hardware format to embed the chip such as a 3d printed socket or solder it to a perf board. If time allows participants will embed their completed circuit in a prototyped design fabricated from cardboard.


  • 10 min: Overview of concepts and skills
  • 30 min: Wire and program a circuit
  • 20 min: Learning to upload to the ATtiny
  • 30 min: Assemble the ATtiny circuit (3d printed socket or soldered perfboard)


Workshop H

Paper, Lights, Action

HM 332

Andrea Kantrowitz (State University of New York at New Paltz, New Paltz, NY, USA)
Marta Cabral (City University of New York, College of Staten Island, Staten Island, New York, USA)
Sean Justice (Texas State University, San Marcos, TX, USA)

ABSTRACT: This hands-on workshop explores spatial reasoning and material learning as an antidote for educational practices that focus on preset objectives. We start with simple tools and materials (paper and LEDs) to activate problem-finding collaboration based on co-design methods that emphasize engagement. Participants design, make, and then respond to individual and collaborative three-dimensional constructs with guided prompts and exploratory dialog. These active learning strategies foreground skill sets and mindsets that help makers develop self-efficacy and become self-directed learners. Workshop takeaways include pedagogical strategies that emphasize serendipity and co-learning as enacted with and through spatial and material engagement.


  • 5 min: Introduction and distribution of materials
  • 10 min: Construction (Individual)
  • 5 min: Conceptualizing space (Collaborative)
  • 10 min: Continued construction (Individual)
  • 10 min: Combinations. (Collaborative)
  • 15 min: Analyze (Individual)
  • 10 min: Critique (Collaborative)
  • 15 min: Unfolding spatial cognition and material learning (Guided)
  • 15 min: Practical applications (Conversation)
  • 5 min: Conclusion


Workshop I

Pop-Up Workshop: Equitable Classroom Structures for Innovative Design

HM 140

Julia Jacobsen (High Tech Elementary, San Diego, CA, USA)
Riley Meehan (High Tech Elementary, San Diego, CA, USA)

ABSTRACT: Ideally, group work supports students in developing deeper understandings. Students share ideas and push each others’ thinking to construct better products and ideas than they could individually. In practice, however, group work rarely lives up to this ideal. Instead, group work often leaves students feeling frustrated, and can even be more of a distraction than a support to student learning. Moreover, unfacilitated group work can perpetuate inequitable patterns of participation in the classroom.
This hands-on workshop offers educators the opportunity to experience facilitation strategies and task structures that support student-centered making while learning the basics of pop-up card/book design. Pop-Up Workshop uses a facilitation technique that we use with upper-elementary students to foster equitable collaboration and innovation in an in-school setting through group work. In this workshop, participants will experience these structures in the role of student, and reflect on how they might apply to their own teaching contexts.
This workshop is designed for participants who work in formal and informal educational contexts. We hope to work with teachers, educators, and activity developers interested in exploring how to support young makers across diverse contexts.


  • 15 min: Welcome and Introduction
  • 60 min: Pop-up Workshop (hands-on activity)
  • 15 min: Share-out & Group Discussion
  • 10 min: Reflections


Workshop J

ScratchGo and Computational Tinkering

HM 144

Deanna Gelosi (Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA, USA)
Carmelo Presicce (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA)
Saskia Leggett (Scratch Foundation – former team member, San Francisco, CA, USA)

ABSTRACT: In this hands-on workshop, participants will experience a computational tinkering activity first-hand, experimenting with ScratchGo, a new physical interface for Scratch that responds to motion and touch. Children can attach ScratchGo to everyday objects — such as cardboard, craft materials, clothes, or toys — and make a Scratch project to bring the object to life. Participants will tinker with this prototype and everyday objects to playfully create interactive digital and physical artifacts. After the activity, participants will reflect as a group and discuss opportunities for physical and digital computational tinkering learning experiences.


  • 5 min: Welcome and introductions
  • 10 min: Activity introduction
  • 60 min: Build time
  • 15 min: Share out and reflection