Micro:bit Monsters and Mutants - WICO Summer 2019 5.3

For the last few days of week five of the WICO summer program we worked on projects that combined cardboard, coding and creativity. It seemed like the group got pretty interested in scary stories and creepy riddles so we came up with the theme of monsters and mutants for the projects.


We started by reusing the little eyes that Lindsay left from the last week of camp (as well as feathers, pom-poms and pipe cleaners) as a way to experiment with servo motors.


We showed a couple of examples of monsters and mutants (a radioactive starfish and a light sensitive glove/chest plate) and then opened up a chance for a shared brainstorm of monster possibilities.

One of the interesting parts of the brainstorming process was the detailed and imaginative drawings that the teams made and how those inspired the physical constructions.

There were lots of really ambitious projects that the pairs decided on including a RGB narwhal, a alien riding a horse, a little yoda-like face, a servo dragon, belching ghost and a mad max style vehicle.

On Thursday afternoon, Diego from Lectrify came by to demonstrate some of his micro:bit shields that are really nice ways to connect components and add sound to the creations. The tinkerers were excited about the possibilities to add music and recorded sounds to their projects.

On Friday it was so fun to see the projects come together! Campers worked really hard on their creations and even if they needed a few more hours to fully realize their ideas, we were impressed by the way they approached the challenges inherent in the process.

The group working on the narwhal really added in all of the components. They had a horn with an RGB led that blinked three colors and rotated using a positional servo motor. They started adding paper circuit traces to animate LED bubbles in the background as well. Both the back and the front of the project turned out to be really beautiful.

The belching ghost had blinking LED antennas, two continuous servo motor arms and a sound element from a greeting card that got triggered to make the pre-recorded burping sound.

Campers experimented with some complex coding and cardboard elements for the projects. A couple interesting experiments was a laser gun that used a variable on makecode to draw down the ammo and a cardboard dragon that made for a really nice three-dimensional moving sculpture.

Each one of the monsters and mutants showed the creativity and imagination of the campers and it was really cool to see how they integrated all of the different workshops that we tried out over the course of the week. At the end of the day we invited friends and family to see the projects and spent some time appreciating the weird and wonderful computational creatures.