Workshops: Sunday

Workshop L

Constructing and Building Complex Objects with a Laser-Cutter

TH 322I

Mario Parade (FabLab Potsdam / Montessori School Potsdam, Germany)
Mathias Wunderlich (Freie Aktive Schulen Wuelfrath, Germany)

ABSTRACT: In this workshop attendees construct a 3 dimensional object based on a method for the drawing of a spatial object of the so-called multi-view projection. With the help of a new tool for rapid prototyping of larger objects with a laser-cutter, this object is then to be modelled and the individual parts laser cutted. Finally the object can be compared to the original drawing. Important is the process of transforming the sketch into a virtual object and the use of a software supported age-appropriate workflow to create these objects with a laser-cutter.


  • – Participants are asked for the object they have recently sketched
  • – Short introduction to the multiview projection method
  • – Sketch of an object
  • – Short introduction to the kyub software and the use of the laser-cutter
  • – 3D modelling of an object in kyub
  • – Cutting of the parts of the object and assembly
  • – Presentation of the products and comparison with the sketch
  • – Feedback session regarding the method and the tools used


Workshop M

Debugging by Design: Learning by Making and Fixing Mistakes

TH 322

Gayithri Jayathirtha (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA)
Mia Shaw (University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA)
Deborah A. Fields (Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA)

ABSTRACT: Debugging, often the most frustrating part of making activities, is fixing the inevitable problems that arise in the process of artifact creation. Yet debugging has inherent (and fun!) opportunities for learning and assessment. Supporting debugging can help students value the process of learning and lower the stakes of mistakes that can sometimes be discouraging. Reflecting on debugging, or fixing mistakes can also support more reflective problem solving and computational thinking. Come learn about fixing bugs… making bugs! In this workshop, you will make buggy projects, solve each others’ and brainstorm ideas for your making context. To start, we will share our experiences of implementing “debugging by design” workshops and then facilitate similar debugging by design activities using Makey-Makey and Scratch. We will then discuss with workshop participants designing debugging activities for participants’ own individual maker settings.


  • 20 min: Introduction to “Debugging by Design” as previously implemented within an electronic textiles making context (see image for the four phases of this implementation)
  • 40 min: Brainstorm bugs by drawing from previous making experiences within the context of making with Makey-Makey and Scratch (10 min), and collaboratively design buggy projects for another team to solve (30 min)
  • 40 min: Reflect on the experience of making buggy projects (10 min) and debug each other’s projects (15 min), and discuss ways of integrating debugging by design within participants’ unique contexts (15 min)


Workshop N

Innovation Design & Digital Skills for Makerspaces

HM 138

Lauren Dickhout (Actua, Ottawa, ON, CAN)

ABSTRACT: This workshop explores the innovation design process as an iterative process and framework for maker education. First, the workshop will introduce digital skills and coding in the context of maker education, introducing supporting research and evidence-based practices for bringing coding education into schools across subjects and grades, as well as connecting this to maker activities and makerspaces. Next, we provide time for hands-on tech play to provide participants with the opportunity to explore some specific tools appropriate for makerspaces (including Sphero, Makey Makey, Scratch, Ozobot, and BBC micro:bit). Finally, equipped with the knowledge and theory as well as some practical skills, participants will work in small groups and use the innovation design process to create a rapid prototype of a tech-based project that could be completed with students. These prototype projects will be framed using the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which connects activities to a global context and creates relevance between classroom learning and real-world applications. This further supports participants with understanding the role of maker education in facing a world with growing social and environmental challenges.

The presenter recommends bringing a fully charged personal laptop with a USB port with Scratch 3.0 downloaded. The presenter will have limited computers for participants to borrow.


  • 30 min: Introduction to Actua’s work in non-profit STEM education, including Canada’s focus on integrating digital skills and coding into STEM classroom as well as the innovation design process. Technology for makerspaces will be introduced in this time.
  • 40 min: Hands-on tech play and design challenge – participants will work collaboratively to create tech-based projects appropriate for makerspace environments, using materials provided.
  • 20 min: Group presentations (“elevator pitches” plus brief Q&A period).
  • 10 min: Final reflections, discussion, and wrap up. How can this work be adapted for your individual context? What concepts will you integrate into your practice next week – next month – next year? How can you use this framework for other explorations?


Workshop O

Make Lit Interactive

HM 150

Aimee DeFoe (Kentucky Avenue School, Pittsburgh, PA USA)

ABSTRACT: After attending this workshop, participants will be able to work with their elementary-aged students to create exciting interactive books, maps, sculptures or other displays that can be used to address many of the Common Core standards for ELA while introducing young students to physical computing with very basic Scratch and/or Microsoft MakeCode. Attendees will leave with a handmade interactive book they can use with their own Makey Makey or Micro:bit, which can be used as a catalyst for creative amazing interactive literacy projects with their own students. This project has a “low floor/high ceiling” and can be adapted in a multitude of ways to fit just about any learning goal, including exploring literature and writing with social and environmental justice themes.


  • 10 min: Introduce the project through student and teacher examples
  • 10 min: Discuss and Brainstorm ways of addressing specific reading and writing skills and standards with this project
  • 20 min: Introduce the main tech components: Makey Makey and Microbit and the super-simple Scratch programming used
  • 5 min: Distribute interactive book templates and explain the project
  • 35 min: Interactive book creation and testing
  • 10 min: Sharing
  • 10 min: Wrap up and discuss ways of extending the project


Workshop P

Making Making Sustainable: A Collective Blueprint For the Future

HM 424

Sylvia Martinez (Invent to Learn, USA)

ABSTRACT: Will making in education have a lasting effect on education, or will it become just another “new new thing” that is overtaken by some newer new thing? This workshop will be a working group to create a blueprint of items and actions that the participants believe will help make “making” in education a sustainable practice in schools worldwide. The nature of the blueprint will be the first item of conversation, followed by brainstorming on topics. I expect these topics will be things like: classroom practices, research needed, professional development, teacher certification, resources, policies, assessment, and curriculum. However, the group may come up with other topics.


  • This will be an interactive working group.


Workshop Q

Making to Invent Impactful Technologies

HM 140

Connie Liu (Project Invent, Menlo Park, CA, USA)
Rachel Hooper (Generator, Burlington, VT, USA)

ABSTRACT: Making, when paired with design thinking, forms the groundwork for invention, a chance for students to literally create an idea that did not exist before. Through the invention process, students identify a problem in their community and build an innovative solution. Students have invented everything from smart wallets to help the blind detect bill denominations to steering wheel attachments to prevent drowsy driving. Students acquire skills like teamwork, empathy, and creative problem solving: the 21st-century skills that help students excel in the future of work. They also see that their unique ideas can make a real impact in their communities. This pays huge dividends in sustaining a young person’s involvement in social good work.
Attendees will leave this workshop with a roadmap to build invention into their maker programs in a low-cost, community-centered way. Attendees will also leave with the language and tools to advocate effectively for invention opportunities in their school or space. During the workshop, participants will engage in a hands-on activity to brainstorm and prototype solutions for their own design challenge. They will also gain access to our full curriculum for inventing technologies from start to finish.


  • 10 min: Context building: why & how we invent
  • 20 min: Brainstorming activity: innovative ideas for improving the community
  • 30 min: Prototyping activity: build a low fidelity prototype
  • 10 min: Present your prototype
  • 15 min: Hardware activity: create a plan for translating your prototype into an Arduino project
  • 10 min: Elements for success: framing an appropriate problem, setting the environment, etc
  • 5 min: Questions


Workshop R

Physical Computing with Minecraft and Raspberry Pi

MH 345B

Kevin Jarrett (Firewalker Consulting, Northfield, NJ, USA)
Trevor Shaw (Dwight-Englewood School, Englewood, NJ, USA)

ABSTRACT: Minecraft has been an incredibly popular game among upper elementary and middle school students for several years. By allowing them to “mine” raw materials and create limitless resources in a virtual world, the game transforms the player into a creator and a collaborator. The Raspberry Pi computer provides a version of Minecraft that extends that creativity by making it easy to modify the behavior of the game with the Python programming language. This workshop will build on that creative element by using a block-based Python programming environment and connecting home-made electronic devices to the Pi. The presenters have successfully run this activity for several years at a summer camp in Bergen County, New Jersey. Participants will follow an abbreviated version of the full workshop and should leave with a basic level of comfort that would allow them to turnkey this project in their own schools.


  • 15 min: Intro to Raspberry Pi and Minecraft Navigation
  • 10 min: Coding and Uploading from PiForge
  • 10 min: Programming Position in Minecraft
  • 15 min: Task – Create a Teleportation tool in your world
  • 10 min: Modifying Blocks
  • 10 min: Task – Build an instant house
  • 5 min: Connecting the Physical World
  • 15 min: Task – Engineer a Physical Trigger
  • 10 min: Debrief / Show & Tell


Workshop S

Reuse/Remix/Rethink: Exploring Mechanical Toys

HM 148

Christa Flores (Asheville Museum of Science, Asheville, NC, USA)
Ryan Jenkins (Wonderful Idea Co., Berkeley, CA, USA)
Joel Gordon (Amazeum, Bentonville, AR, USA)

ABSTRACT: In this hands-on workshop, participants will carefully dissect used mechanical toys and explore innovative ways learners of all ages can extend circuit and mechanism explorations using both analog materials and digital tools. This workshop will give participants ideas for how to use recycled materials in makerspaces and classrooms to support tinkering with science, art and creative coding. We’ll share practical tips on how to find and organize materials, share parts and tools lists and host a reflective discussion about how this type of workshop can contribute to a financially and environmentally sustainable making program.


  • 10 min: Introduction and Overview
  • 40 min: Toy Dissection & Parts/Purposes/Complexities
  • 30 min: Guided Activity Extension Stations
  • 20 min: Reflection Discussion and Next Steps


Workshop T

Servos with a Cause!

HM 438

Susan Klimczak (South End Tech Center @ Tent City, Boston, MA, USA)
Per-Ivar Kloen (De Populier, The Hague, The Netherlands)
Adia Wallace (Lesley University School of Education, Boston, MA, USA)
Seven Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn Youth Teachers (South End Technology Center, Boston, MA, USA)

ABSTRACT: Have you ever wanted to explore the possibilities of ATTiny85 microcontrollers that cost under a dollar? Do you want to experience learning from a group of teen youth teachers from Boston’s Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn program?
In “Servos with a Cause” (a play on the words for “rebel without a cause”), participants will create kinetic sculptures with a social or political message. These kinetic sculptures will use cardboard, a servo motor and an LED. They will “get lit” using the power of a ATTiny85 circuit fabricated as vinylcut copper traces. Soldering will happen! A TinyProgrammer (Sparkfun) will load Arduino IDE code onto the ATTiny85.
We also hope that learning from teen youth teachers will inspire you to explore the possibilities of having youth be teachers and role models in your classrooms and programs.
Beginners as well as experienced makers are welcome to imagine how to #ReclaimMaking by #MakingLiberation together!


  • 5 min: “Messing About” Exercise (critical exploration)
  • 5 min: Introduction to Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn Program, ATTiny85s & Paper Circuits
  • 70 min: Project building with teen youth teachers using stations (e.g. soldering, gluing and coding circuits)
  • 10 min: Reflection: What did you learn? What can you teach someone else?
  • 10 min: Questions, Answers and Conversation with facilitators


Workshop U

Video Sensing Creative Party

HM 144

Carmelo Presicce (MIT Media Lab, Cambridge, MA, USA)
Angela Sofia Lombardo (FabLearn Fellow 2016, Bologna, Italy)
Giulio Bonanome (CoderDojo Padova, Padova, Italy)

ABSTRACT: In this workshop, participants will explore the creative potential of making Scratch projects that interact with the physical world using the video sensing extension. We’ll start the workshop with a quick introduction to the Scratch 3.0 interface and the extension. We’ll share some examples of interactive video-sensing projects to inspire participants and help them imagining their project. From projects where the body is the controller to projects where physical sprites interacts with virtual ones.
Workshop participants will work in pairs to explore the video-sensing extension and create their own interactive project, like video games, artistic interactive animations, and augmented reality projects. We’ll provide participants with tinkering materials like cardboards, pipe cleaners, fabrics, etc. to create their physical sprites or stages. At the end of the workshop, participants will share their projects and reflect on their creative process, focusing on the potential of designing learning experiences across the physical and digital worlds.


  • 15 min: Welcome and Introduction to Scratch 3.0 and video-sensing extension
  • 60 min: Experiment and create your own interactive project
  • 25 min: Gallery walk and Reflections

Workshop V

What about exploring printed circuits hand in hand with a VW Beetle?

HM 146

Carmen Sforza (Fablab Livre SP Galeria Olido, Clube do Arduino Olido, São Paulo, SP, Brazil)
Cristiane Samária (Fablab Livre SP Galeria Olido, Clube do Arduino Olido, São Paulo, SP, Brazil)
Christine Engelberg (Fablab Livre SP Galeria Olido, Clube do Arduino Olido, São Paulo, SP, Brazil)

ABSTRACT: In this hands-on workshop, participants will explore what the printed circuits used in almost all electronic products are. We’ll create a prototype in a copper clad phenolic board in the format of VW Beetle to turn on its headlights!
Participants will improve soldering skills, apply electrical concepts, familiarize to printed circuits concepts and will take home an educational kit made by themselves. This can result on the beginning of a journey to become multipliers of educational technology, produce their own kits on the format they invent, or even on the format of the VW Beetle that was made in the workshop.
We have entitled this workshop: What about exploring printed circuits hand in hand with a VW Beetle? as we would love to share with participants that sometimes something relatively simple as a friendly invitation can switch on the gears of passion that lead us to face new challenges.


  • 10 min: Welcome and introductions
  • 20 min: Drawing our model considering positive and negative surface charge and customising its look
  • 35 min: Immersing our VW Beetle in an abrasive solution. Meanwhile we will hands-on explore how to cut the copper clad phenolic board. Participants can take the cut material to think about new activities. Some photos showing how it can be done on a cnc cutter will be shared
  • 25 min: Placing and soldering the LEDs and the battery holder. This way we will have our own prototype VW Beetle on pcb. We’ll put the battery on, and its headlights will start to blink happily
  • 10 min: At the end of the workshop, we’ll take some minutes to reflect on our process as a learner during the activity and to think about its meanings for our practice as educators