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Making.Connections: A Youth-Led, Learner-Driven Electronics Workshop

Session 5
Isiah Baskins, Tianni Stancil, Chloe Nunez, Nasyria Taylor — NYC iSchool

We are students from the NYC iSchool located in downtown Manhattan. Our school specializes in creating a 21st century learning environment. The group conducting this workshop consists of four current iSchool students, Isiah Baskins, Tianni Stancil, Chloe Nunez, and Nasyria Taylor. We were originally brought together by a class that our school introduced this year called Physical Computing. Many of us were very new to programming aside from the occasional tumblr theme modification. Our teacher, Ms. Jenkins, took more of a hands off approach when it came to student’s dilemmas. She would ask us to share these issues with the community around us and try to crowdsource a solution. This not only helped us grow as a group, but it also helped us communicate our ideas with people that could and also help us improve upon these ideas. Participants will leave the workshop with a better understanding of how a simple circuit works and how a Lilypad is being programed to do different things. They will be exposed to the possibilities that technology like this can bring to educational environments. This youth-led workshop will also show how adult educators can be learners in a classroom setting. A student and teacher may face the same frustration and misunderstanding when learning something new. This will put us, the workshop’s presenters, in the position of the teacher explain or to help “students” solve problems themselves.

Conversational Practice

Introduction and Setup: 10Mins Simple Circuit: 15 - 20 Mins A simple circuit is connecting the minimum things needed to have a functioning electrical circuit. This will be executed using a battery and conductive thread to light the LEDs. This will give an understanding of how electricity flows. Discussion and Setup: 10 Mins In this time, we will connect how the positive and negative charges have an affect on how the circuit reacts. Towards the end of the discussion we will pass out material for the next activity, which include needles, yarn, cloths, battery holders, LEDs and LilyTinys. LilyTiny: 30 Mins Following the introduction to simple circuitry, the participants will be introduced to the Lily Tiny. The LilyTiny is a tiny LilyPad board that is already programmed to make LEDs twinkle and blink in different patterns. We will explain the different materials and allow the participants to explore with trial and error. Q&A and Discussion: 20 Mins This will follow up with questions and answers, then a discussion on how it connects to our classroom and LilyPad programming. Using the LilyPad, we will demonstrate the functions of the LilyTiny.

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