Project Astroleo: Our HAB is Ready for Launch!

Our custom, student-designed, student-built, student-programmed HAB rig is finally ready for launch. PVC pipe structure with 3D printed joint connectors. RaspberryPi controller with SenseHat data logger coded with Python. PiCamera capturing HDMI video and stuffed Astroleo selfie-shots. Arduino GPRS+GSM tracking system. 3D printed cases and mounts all the electronics.

Let’s hope for a clear day with kind winds in the future. Our planned launch is halted if we don’t have clear skies or if the prevailing winds would blow the balloon into NYC airspace, or simply send the rig over the Atlantic Ocean where we cannot recover the payload.

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Project Astroleo: Progress

Our student-designed HAB rig is coming together! Just a few more tests and tweaks. We’ve been building and gluing the PVC rig together, fitting the 3D printed parts, modifying the sensor and GPS tracking programs for our Raspberry Pi, and testing the results… we take a walk around the park with all the components turned on, and then we read the data after we return. Onward and upward.

Scratch Foundation 2nd Annual Benefit Gala

I had the privilege to attend a Scratch Foundation fundraising event here in NYC a few nights ago. A great night of sharing and building support for Scratch, ScratchJr., and ScratchEd. It was especially exciting for me because three of my own students were invited to share their work at the event. Two shared projects and gave demonstrations during the opening mixer, and another was one of many students that spoke on a panel discussion during dinner. I was so proud of them and excited to learn about new advancements in the development of Scratch.

You can read about the whole event here on the Scratch Foundation blog.

Student panel with Mitch Resnick & Natalie Rusk at the event.

Student panel with Mitch Resnick & Natalie Rusk at the event.

Code-able Fashion Pt. 4

We’re all the way through our week of Code-able Fashion! Today was the day for final mends and stitches before our afternoon showcase. We’re so proud of the students. Lots of work done and redone to get to the finish line. Enjoy this slideshow that the students made of their work this week:

Code-able Fashion Pt. 3

As designers it’s important to make time to reflect and share your progress and your challenges. Sharing with your peers will boost your confidence, when you receive some kind words and compliments on your progress. Sharing with your peers will remind you that you’re not struggling alone, when you hear empathetic “me-toos” as you express your frustration over challenges. Sharing with your peers will also help you think more deeply as it requires you to pause and reflect on your decisions, and because the group always has questions and feedback about your process and your decisions.  

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Code-able Fashion Pt. 2

We’re 3 days into our e-textiles short course, Code-able Fashion, and we’re all learning a lot, kids and adults! A few quick notes I’ve taken as we progress:

  • We could have a whole IPW project just on sewing and “stitch-craft” (nevermind the programming!)
  • We could have a whole IPW project just on programming wearables (nevermind the sewing!)
  • Differentiating is even harder when your students are a mixed-age group from 8-12
  • Sharing the work of pioneers like Maddy Maxey, Limor Fried, Leah Buechley is a great way to start off each work day with kids!
  • Embroidery hoops are AMAZING!
  • The boys in the group (only 2?!) love the work, but they suggest naming the course “Code-able Clothing” in the future, because they feel the word ‘fashion’ scared off many other boys for some reason.