Soldering Irons, Knives, LEDs and Journals - Crafting with Code 2.1

Today was the first day of our second week of summer camp. This week's explorations will focus on "crafting with code" and over the course of the week we'll be messing around with paper circuits, digital fabrication, sewing with conductive thread and programming with chibitronics chibichip. 

We started the day with creating journals from fused plastic. From last week we simplified the design a little bit, precutting paper pieces and cardboard backs and letting campers create their own plastic fused covers. This redesign of the activity ensured that everyone had a place to write or draw questions, ideas and reflections. 

As well, this time during the construction we rotated the group through a training on the diferent knives that we'll be using over the course of the week. Campers got a quick introduction to the safety procedures for scissors, exacto blades and box cutters and then had the chance to practice their skills. 

After lunch we moved to electricity exploration making paper circuits with copper tape, LEDs and 3v batteries. Lea demonstrated some examples including a neat prickly pear card. 

It was a bit challenging to work with the materials as well as navigate all of the intricacies of short circuits, color combinations and electical connections. We encourages the group to make multiple projects and experiment widely with the materials. 


There were a wide range of designs from tributes to the Warriors to abstract designs to complex experimental prototypes. 

At the same time small groups got an introduction to soldering iron safety and best practices. Each learner got the chance to solder three copper tape connections and secure an LED to a sample card. It was fun to see campers gain proficiency at this sometimes intimidating tool. 


We ended the day with writing in our journals about the things that we thought were interesting about the workshops and moments that we're frustrating or challenging. We're looking forward to this busy, fun and experimental week of learning together!