This past weekend we cancelled our Tron Bikes workshop in favor of joining with our partner hackerspace OmniCorpDetroit (OCD) so that a handful of our Makers could teach classes during Saturday market day in Eastern Market. Many market-goers stopped by to learn how to solder, make fruit batteries, and create seed bombs. What are seed bombs you say? These are non-violent balls of flower seeds wrapped in clay so that they may be easily lobbed into vacant lots in hopes of taking root.
Later on in the afternoon with help from our OCD friend Kelson, we launched some of the seed bombs into some promising vacant lots nearby.
Many thanks to our friends at OmniCorpDetroit for sharing their space with us in Eastern Market, and thanks to all of the wonderful people that came by to learn! Finally a huge thank you to all of the Makers that joined us for a long day of teaching….Jeremiah, Elishah, Ife, Edmund, and Ethan! Through suggested donations offered for their teaching services, each Maker earned over $20 apiece!
This week in the Tron Bikes class we created simple LED circuits that would fit into bicycle wheels!
As you can see, it was a big hit!!! Many students left with a full LED light, complete with a wired in battery pack and then they mounted it to there own bike wheel.
To strengthen our knowledge of series vs parallel circuits, using the multimeter, and incorporating switches, we issued our makers some circuit building challenges:
1. Build an on/off circuit with the least amount of batteries possible that generates 6V
2. Build an on/off circuit with the least amount of batteries possible that generates 1.2V at 4x the capacity of a typical AA battery
It was awesome to see some Makers diving right in with their hands, while others chose to draw out their circuits and perform some preliminary calculations first.
My favorite moment was noticing that one Maker solved challenge #1 in about 2 seconds…by making a circuit with a 9V battery! I love unexpected out-of-the-box thinking…
This week, in the Tron bikes class, we made simple blinky LED circuits for bicycle safety lights.
We also introduced the nature of prototyping through beard-boards, proto-boards and engineering schematics. I see much more electrical mayhem in our future!
The weather was so beautiful today that all of us thought it would be best to get out of the basement and into the cool spring air. So, we decided to walk the Belle Isle bridge.
This was a great opportunity for all of us to get some sun and some exercise, but also gave us a chance to discuss ideas for summer projects and programming.
And have the Makers take some pix of their own.
We found a discarded stereo at Recycle Here and I thought it might be a good candidate for an Electronics Rescue!
Like many things found at the recycling center, it turns out that the stereo worked just fine. It simply needed a new power cord. Since we had harvested power cords from other appliances, Raven and I were able to desolder the old power cable and install a new one. Much to Raven’s surprise and excitement, the stereo turned on and worked like a charm. She was so pumped that she ran around the room about 5 times! Hilarious!!
Next up: Reassembly, and new cables for the speakers!
Bring on the SUN!!! This week we introduced our Makers to solar cells – what they are, how they work, and then of course some hands-on experimentation. Unfortunately it was a bit chilly and cloudy outside, so our “sun” consisted of flourescent lights
Each maker was challenged with generating the most voltage possible from their solar cell. We experimented with more powerful cells, and different light sources and locations.
After the testing, we collected the data and discussed the results together.
We talked a lot about different parts of the bike last week, but this week it was time to put the rest of the bicycles together. We reviewed brakes, then moved into drive trains and other accessories.