Spark Series

New skills for young makers

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Get started with making

Hands-on learning is the best way to get people of all ages engaged with making and creating. Introducing young makers to a variety of projects and skills creates that vital spark of interest that leads to life-long learning.

 

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SS101 Toy Hackathon

Ever wonder what's inside that toy? Now's the time to crack it open and find out! Makers love to void warranties! Students will be given the freedom (and the tools) to explore the insides of dozens of toys, check out how things work, then put the toys together in new and interesting ways. Collaborate with others to swap parts and make new discoveries. Use a truck body from this toy, and a tweeting bird noise from that toy, add LED stalk eyes, rewire it, and surprise! Students take home a toy like the world has never seen before.

Prerequisites: None

Materials: Provided

Class length: 3 hours

Cost: $35 (all toys and tools are provided)

Maximum Class size: Min 8, max 16

Minimum age: 12

Safety: Please wear closed-toe shoes or boots in the lab; eye protection is provided

Instructor: OSML Staff

 

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SS102 Easy Introduction to Programming and Simple Robotics

The aim of this course is to introduce the concepts of programming and simple robotics to a wide range of ages using fun and games. The student will be taken on a three part learning experience. Part one will introduce the concepts of programming and control through interactive discussion on the use of algorithms and procedures that we already perform everyday. Part two will get the student involved in a simple yet dynamic programming and robotic simulation that encourages thinking ahead, problem solving in an iterative fashion, and dealing with unknown conditions. We will get up and move around in teams. Part three moves the student to hands on access and coding utilizing the techniques learned in the previous two phases.

The student will come away from the class with a better understanding of a number of programming concepts such as: instruction sets, iterative design, control flow, error handling, and others. Access to simple programmable robots will provide an understanding of a few of the differences between programming simulations and programming real robots.

Prerequisites:

No knowledge of computers or programming required. English language at a 2nd grade level. Ability to sit still for 30 min.

Materials: Provided

Duration: 2 hours

Cost: $40

Maximum class size:

Minimum Age: 6

Safety: No safety requirements for classroom use

Instructor: Dan Gervais

Biography:

Dan Gervais has been programming for pleasure since 1977 and professionally since 1989. He loves to mix creativity and logic to build beautiful machines that do great and fun things. He has discovered that his calling is in instructing the next generation of makers.

 

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SS103 Brushbots

Build your own Brushbot, and compete in races at the lab! We'll build brushbots from a toothbrush and the part of a cell phone that vibrates – add a battery and watch your brushbot zoom around like crazy! Along the way, we'll learn a little bit about closed and open electrical circuits. We'll decorate our new 'bots, name them, and compete in a race to the finish. May the best bot win!

Prerequisites: None

Class length: 1 hour

Cost: $20

Class Size: Min 4, max 12

Minimum Age: 6

Safety: Classroom activity

Instructor: OSML Staff

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SS104 Learn to Solder

In this entry-level class, we learn the basics of soldering electronic components and soldering safety and techniques. Soldering involves melting a material called solder onto a circuit to form a bond that electricity can flow through. It can also act like metal glue to hold things in place. We are learning to solder in this introductory class to connect a battery and circuit to light an LED on a badge that you keep to show and tell.

Prerequisites: None

Materials: Provided

Class length: 1 hour

Cost: $25

Class Size: Min 4, max 12

Minimum Age: 10 years (students 10-11 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, no additional fee required)

Safety: Long hair must be pulled back, and please wear closed-toed shoes while in the lab workshop

Instructor: OSML Staff