Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Worst Nightmare by Jazmine

The following is a post by IDAAY gues blogger Jazmine:

Hi my name is Jazmine and today I came up with a movie.   The movie is called the Worst Nightmare, which is a horror film.  This movie is about me and my friends go to see this movie called Smiley after the movie we head home and it becomes real.  The killer is in my house and I go look for my friends but the killer is killing all my friends, one by one.  I wake up and everything just disappeared and I find out nun of it was true.

The actors in my Movie are Me, Myself, Fahiem, Dequan, Leroy and Sharmar.  The people that helped me where Brittany, Mr. Oseby, Mr. Khaleef and that’s it.

My inspiration for writing the was my love of watching horror movies and that made me want to come up with my own horror movie and then if people like it the I would probably make a part 2.

My favorite part about making this movie was that it was fun.  I never made a movie before so its like really fun and hard at some times and I just got to have fun with all my cast and stuff like that.

Testing, Learning, and Failing.

This past week we pushed our Mazes into one last bit of development as we start gearing up for Connected Messages. We tested how well our Squishy Circuit mazes work when kept in boxes over a period of time and found that they can still conduct but it’s not the best medium for long term development. After working on them for a couple days they dry up and the loosely connected play-doh separates.
After troubleshooting with water and MORE PLAY-DOH we went back to our earlier paper circuits with some new copper tape and a more manageable work/play board. This will allow us to start working on some Scratch Scoreboard/Game tests while populating our Connected Messages mural.


Week 1 : Bubbling Lava Lamp

6/11/2013 was my first day at the Widener Branch. There was another program called the “Leap” running at the same time I was supposed to do my activity. I’ve worked with other Leap members but I’m usually helping them with their activities instead of trying to take kids away from their program. So the first 30 minutes since I started… Read more →

Exploring the Green Screen

During this week at IDAAY we explored a Squishy Circuits and the Makey makey.  Everyone really enjoyed playing different computer games with their own hand made controller.  From there we broke out the green screen which is were things really picked up.  We started to play with editing from photos but with the help of everyone at the Hot Spot will soon be moving to videos!

Arcade Games and Nerf Guns: Making with Toys

Last week we broke out some toys and started to make! Inspired by some of the kids who were running around the neighborhood, playing with nerf guns, but with no darts, I broke out some of my very first making projects.

Back when I was much younger, many a weekend evening was spend modifying nerf guns, making darts and battling it out with my friends. In fact, early in the days of Instructables, I wrote an how-to guide of my old hobby. When I saw the kids, it brought it all back to me, and I realized how important nerf guns were to me becoming the maker that I am.

So I broke out some of my old guns, and we set off to making some darts. After we were up and running, I decided I needed to break out something a bit more technical and set off to make an Arduino powered target board. Using a few 2″x2″ FSR sensors, we built the frame and began to program the Arduino. As we were soon to find out, the clocking speed of the Arduino was simply too slow to detect the instanteous contact of the dart, and so the project was scrapped for the day. However, returning and attempting to code in C or assembly will speed up the clocking and should make it work perfectly!

We also broke out another gem of my early years; the control panel to an arcade cabinet I made many years ago. Rather than using the old board that had once powered it, I opted to have the kids wire it to the Makey Makey and pull up some games to play on it. The kids loved playing on the arcade controls, but we need to find a better set of games to play!

Next week we’ll play around more with our control panel, and start exploring the large scale hovercraft…that I have yet to tell the kids about, saving the reveal for the moment it carries one of the kids off on a pocket of frictionless air!

Electric Library Land

So I finally brought out the squishy circuit project.  As expected it was a big hit with all the kids (even the ones who have been too cool to participate).

After explaining the basic concept of how the thing works and what will cause a short circuit the kids went off trying to find different ways to make it work as well as trying to find as many ways to short circuit the thing as humanly possible!  I was glad to see the willingness to see what the materials could do. I tried to be as hands off as possible, only instructing that the play-doh not be thrown (but it happened anyway) and that the play-doh not leave the table (but it happened anyway).

They hooked the play-doh directly up to the battery, hooked up the LED directly to the battery, put the circuits on their faces (believe me, I tried to get them to stop although I shared their enthusiasm for trying different things).  One girl made two bracelets, one kid encased his fingers with the play-doh and lit the LED that way.  The range of ideas was great, and the excitement lasted all day.

But after working with bits and pieces of cardboard, tape, markers, etc, I was really happy to work on a project that took about a minute to clean up afterward.  This was the perfect thing to lead into the Connected Messages mural project we’re getting started with here in Philadelphia as it involves teaching the basics of simple circuitry.