How-Tos

ATTiny Adventures: Exploring the Mysteries!

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by Susan Klimczak -

with maker adventurers Dr. Susan Klimczak, George Swallow & James Salvatore
gratitude for encouragement and assistance from our friends Per-Ivar Kloen and Jeannine Huffman

All the beautiful hand-drawn ATTiny85 illustrations are kindness of one of my favorite graphic artists of the maker movement, Marten Hazelaar from the great country of The Netherlands

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Advanced MaKey MaKey: Remapping Pins

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by Jaymes Dec -

The MaKey MaKey is a popular microcontroller that makes it easy to use any conductive object as an interface for a computer. When you plug a MaKey MaKey into a computer, the computer thinks you plugged in an external keyboard and mouse. So triggering the sensor inputs on the MaKey MaKey just sends keystrokes or mouse commands to your computer. The MaKey MaKey has 18 inputs that it can use to send those keystrokes and mouse commands

“Out-of-the-box,” the device comes pre-programmed to trigger:

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Global Space Balloon- Engaging Kids in Something Big

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by Mark Schreiber -

It may be snowing right now but that doesn’t mean that my kids are idle by any means…. We’ve only got 6 weeks left until we launch a balloon to space!  Yup, that’s right its Global Space Balloon Challenge time!  If you haven’t heard about this great project, or just want to know more then read on. 

Global Space Balloon Challenge is in its second year this year and has gained significant traction since last time this year.  I think part of the reason is that they have made it really easy to get started with an amazing set of resources on their main site.  There are also great prizes this year like, Best Photo, Best Experiment, Best Charity and on and on.

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The molds of Civilization

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by Gilson Domingues -

This article has colaboration of Pietro Domingues

In this section we are going to talk about molding. We introduce talking about its utility and the current methods used in this process. We will explain step-by-step how it is possible to make these molds and how to use the molding process in many types of materials.
 

Reproduction by molding

It would be very interesting to think about something and it appears magically!

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Toward Making Change: Beyond #BlackLivesMatter (Two: Strategies for Networking & Community Participation)

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by Susan Klimczak -

This is the second of a series of posts documenting the progression of a collaborative project at the South End Technology Center @ Tent City supported by the Harvard Graduate School of Education Dean's Equity Project.  The goal is to create a safe and creative space for high school and college youth to explore their identities and the issues that have come up for them with the #BlackLivesMatter movement through activities based on Hip Hop Culture.

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A little holiday historic making

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by Heather Pang -

I have some trouble thinking about the 1970s as far back in history, but the White House History twitter feed gave us this gem last week: Betty Ford's holiday card from 1975 included a pattern for a home made holiday orniment, the Clothespin Cardinal.

So, as a historian and a fan of making, I sewed one last week on our "rain day" (feel free to laugh, but we did have a lot of flooding, and some dangerous travel conditions, so call it an overabundance of caution).

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Make a Techno Ugly Christmas Sweater Project- Part 2

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by Mark Schreiber -

Let me let you in on a little secret… that ugly sweater from the Part 1 guide was my sweater from last year.  Yup, that right. I’ve had a year to refine, learn and hack a new sweater.  And I have to say that I’m pretty proud of this little project and so I want you to be able to make one as well!

Here is the executive summary of the project along with a video of my upgraded (read “awesome”) ugly sweater.  The core of this project is a cool sequencer called Vixen, an AdaFruit Flora (with a FastLED library), and a bunch of NeoPixel stips (or other digitally addressable RGB LEDs) Grab a gift bag, load your laptop, some speakers and tissue paper - you are set!

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The Techie Ugly Christmas Sweater Project: Part 1

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by Mark Schreiber -

Ugly sweaters seem to be pretty hip these days.  

Wal-Mart sells them, Target sells them.  There‘s even a shop in my town where you can “uglify” your very own Christmas sweater.  And yes, we have an ugly sweater contest at our school (that I plan on winning by the way). Last year I made a pretty nifty one and this year I made this project the final in my class. 

Yep, right now my advanced engineering class is pushing toward the completion of some pretty sophisticated ugly sweaters.  Some blink, some play music, some might even look like the Grizwolds house.  One has car horns on it and yet another, a Christmas trivia tree!

Read on for the steps on how to Technify your ugly sweater this year with a little Makey Makey magic!

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Avoiding Cookie Cutters

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by Keith Ostfeld -

Last week, I helped fill in on the floor in one of our making spaces - the Inventors Workshop. When I arrived, the staff member I was relieving was helping a girl to build a small, tabletop catapult (our theme for the week was the Turkey-pult in honor of Thanksgiving). But, I noticed something - almost everyone in the workshop was creating a very similar catapult design.

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