Skip to content
No description, website, or topics provided.
Branch: master
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Permalink
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.
README.md

README.md

Out of the Black Box: Computational Arts and Crafts

Teachers: Neta Bomani, Bomani Oseni McClendon

Track: Out of the Black Box: Computational arts and crafts - Pioneer Works Summer 2019

Location: Pioneer Books, 289 Van Brunt St., Brooklyn, NY 11231

About

Out of the Black Box (OBB) is a summer workshop series to help children in grades 2-5 to uncover the magical logic of computation through arts and crafts. Together we will build electronic circuits by making sculptures with conductive clay, paintings with conductive paint and drawings with robots. The activities in this series are designed to encourage participants to produce collaborative works with their peers—emphasizing collectivist values of equality, care, collaboration, compromise, open communication and emotional intelligence, and unity. Participants will leave each workshop with a basic understanding of electronic circuitry and a deepened exposure to multimedia art making practices.

OBB is inspired by the 90s children television series Out of the Box. In Out of the Box, teachers Tony and Vivian lead a community of children through interesting arts and crafts activities, while also instilling values about friendship, communication, and relationship-building. We aim to create a similar environment for values-based exposure to art-making by extending the focus to be inclusive of STEAM education.

This workshop series was taught by Neta Bomani and Bomani Oseni McClendon for the Pioneer Works 2019 Miccio Summer Camp.


Learning objectives

  1. Introduce basic concepts in electronic circuitry (for example, conductors, insulators, open vs. closed circuits, etc.) and electronic components (LEDS, batteries, wires, etc.) and utilize this knowledge to build simple circuits using physical materials.
  2. Emphasize collective participation through the creation of collaborative art pieces in a values-based learning environment focused on encouraging collectivist values.
  3. Spread awareness of the possibilities of electronic circuitry to be used as an artistic medium by exposing students to the work of multimedia artists in the field and providing students with materials to make their own creations during the workshops.

Code of conduct

In the classroom, we agree to conduct ourselves in support of the following collectivist values:

Value Description
care be aware, gentle, considerate of the health of the people in the community in order to avoid harming a person physically or emotionally
collaboration work together with other people to make something
compromise an agreement reached by people who are willing to be flexible and understanding enough to make necessary changes to make everyone involved feel okay
emotional intelligence the ability to not only be aware of, control and express your emotions, but also handle relationships with kindness and empathy
equality everyone in the community classroom shares rights and opportunities. In our classroom, teachers and students are on the same level. Teachers will assume their position in the classroom as facilitators, rather than lecturers or disciplinaries. A good teacher is also a good student. A good student is also a good teacher. Both students and teachers can learn from each other. Every person in the classroom has the opportunity to contribute to discussions and activities. Together, we know more.
open communication clear, non-judgemental, honest, patient, flexible spoken and written communication where every person involved in the conversation actively listens or reads to understand each other
unity the feeling that people are existing together in harmony

Materials List

A full itemized list of materials can be found in this spreadsheet.


Workshops

Drawbots

Dates: July 30-31

Description: Teachers and students will help each other make robots (drawbots) to help them making drawings.

Slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1eKZ0BGFnlXZpPDFwyxyuDL51_bIXWL5LZBjJvpxSDNo/edit?usp=sharing

Materials:

  • 1 Hexbug (per person)
  • 1 paper cup (per person)
  • 3 assorted color markers (per person)
  • 1 rubber band (per person)
  • 1 lump of plasticine/blue tak/puddy (per person)

Schedule

Introductions (4 mins)

  1. Introduction to OBB (1 min)
  2. In our class we will be making computational arts and crafts. Together we will build electronic circuits by making sculptures with conductive clay, paintings with conductive paint and drawings with robots. We will also produce collaborative works with our peers—emphasizing our family values of equality, care, collaboration, compromise, open communication and emotional intelligence, and unity. We hope that each of you will leave these workshops with a basic understanding of electronic circuitry and more exposure to multimedia art making practices.
  3. Introduction to Neta and Bomani (2 min)
  4. Brief explanation of Neta and Bomani’s backgrounds and artistic practices.

Icebreaker (12 mins)

  1. How did you get your name?
  2. Gather around in a circle. Randomly (draw straws, popcorn, etc.) go around the circle and tell a quick story of how you got your name—your first name, your last name, a nickname, and/or a chosen name.

Code of conduct (7 mins)

  1. Go over each community value and ask a student to volunteer to define each of the terms. Reinforce their definition with the definitions in the chart. Engage students in a discussion about the Miccio summer camp “family matters” theme.

Activity: Set up (7 min)

  1. Before beginning the activity, explain each aspect of the workshop plan to the participants. First, we'll provide an outline for the activity (e.g. "Today, we'll be making simple type of robot called a Drawbot. We'll first create... and then..."). We'll also walk through each of the materials that will be required for the session (showing the individual components as we discuss them).
  2. Tell each student to pick 2-3 markers, 1-2 rubber bands, a cup, tape, and puddy

Activity: Part 1 - Simple drawbot exercise (30 min)

  1. During this period of time, participants will begin making Drawbots by constructing simple versions in groups of 2. This sections provides an opportunity for us to help the participants get familiar with the materials and construction techniques. Each pair of participants will be given one Hexbug to share as they build their simple Drawbot. Using this simple Drawbot, participants will create a small drawing on an A4 sized paper.

Activity: Part 2 - Complex drawbot exercise (45 min)

  1. In this section, we'll augment the exercise by asking participants to pair into groups of 4 (each group has 2 Hexbugs). Within each group, participants will be asked to create and decorate a new Drawbot (by coloring the white paper cups they use, adding a flag to their bot, creating a skin for the bot, etc). Participants could also give their Drawbot a name, personality, and a background story. We'll give students about 30-40 minutes to create their bots, and spend 10 minutes to have each group explain their bot's construction and characteristics to the rest of the class.

Reflection (8 min)

  1. At the end of the workshop session, ask students to fill out the section of their workbooks that ask the following questions:
    1. Things I learned
    2. Things I found interesting
    3. Questions I have

Closing

  1. We'll lead the class in returning the materials to their correct locations and tidying their workspaces. We will wish the participants goodbye and briefly share a snippet of our plans for the next session (e.g. "Next time, we'll making clay sculptures that glow and move!").

Squishy Circuits

Dates: August 6-7

Description: Teachers and students will play with conductive play dough to learn the basics of circuits.

Slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1h2vjHdFJGU8GSfwpcc2k-8Lcmwys93Sxd47-Hn59taw/edit?usp=sharing

Materials:

Vocabulary:

Word Definition
circuit the path that electrical currents flow; a completed circuit takes the shape of a circle
voltage the push that makes electric charges move
short circuit an electrical current where a path of very low resistance has been created
conductor a material or object that allows electrical current to flow through it
insulator a material or object that doesn't allow electrical current to flow through it
led stands for "light emitting diode," a semiconductor device that emits visible light when an electric current passes through it
terminal a conductive surface that provides an electrical connection point

Schedule

Review previous class (1 min)

  1. Who remembers what we learned last class?

Presentation: Circuit-based art (5 min)

  1. We'll expose participants to the fact that circuits can be used in an artistic context by showing a few examples of art projects that integrate circuitry as a key component. We'll show videos of the following artworks, and then ask the participant group to share their reaction (e.g. "Which one of these projects did you like the most and why?")

Exercise (10 min)

  1. Human Electric Circuit
    1. To embody the electric concepts, we'll play a simple game inspired by PBS's lesson on circuits: https://ny.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/phy03.sci.phys.mfe.lp_electric/electric-circuits/. In this exercise, the participant will group together in a circle and hold an object representing an electron in their hand. The teacher will pretend to be a battery. The teacher will pass an object representing an electron to the participant to their left side, and that participant will, in turn, pass their electron to their left. This pattern will create a "flow" of electrons called current, which exists only in closed circuits. The teacher will ask one student to widen the gap, which will break the circuit (making it an open circuit).

Introduction to electronic circuits (15 min)

  1. During this period of the session, we'll introduce key concepts in electronic circuitry to participants. This will be executed by showing videos (i.e. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HOFp8bHTN30), re-explaining the key concepts verbally, and then asking the group of participants to re-explain each concept verbally or with diagrams (e.g. "Does anyone want to explain what a circuit is to the rest of the class?"). By the end of this period, we'll have introduced terms such as conductor, insulator, wire, battery, open circuit, and closed circuit.

Activity: Part 1 - Squishy LED circuits

  1. Ask the participants to split into groups of 4 to create simple LED circuits with their clay. This circuit will include a battery, conductive clay, and an LED. Participants will be asked to work with peers that they didn't work with last time. Teachers and staff will walk around to ensure that every participant in each group has the opportunity to contribute to the circuit. Teachers will also walk around to each group and ask them to explain their circuit implementation.

Activity: Part 2 - Creative squishy circuits

  1. In this activity, students will continue to work with their same group of 4, but instead try to make one or more creative circuit sculptures using the conductive clay. We'll provide the students with creative prompts such as "You can make butterfly, a car, or a house." This activity will challenge students to also consider how to use decorations and the non-conductive clay to create their works. Towards the end of the session, we'll ask each group to share what they created.

Reflection (8 min)

  1. At the end of the workshop session, ask students to fill out the section of their workbooks that ask the following questions:
    1. Things I learned
    2. Things I found interesting
    3. Questions I have

Closing

  1. We'll lead the class in returning the materials to their correct locations and tidying their workspaces. We will wish the participants goodbye and briefly share a snippet of our plans for the next session (e.g. "Next time, we'll be making conductive portraits!").

Care letters

Description: Students will create their own envelopes which open up to reveal a message that can be read out loud and spoken into the envelope microphone to share with someone they care about.

Slides: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1we3Px92GehziSabO5BV0rm7gAjLNtNtr02iWxQDongM/edit?usp=sharing

Materials:

  • Cardstock paper
  • Markers
  • Glue
  • Voice recording module

Schedule

Review previous class (1 min)

  1. Who remembers what we learned last class?

Activity: Ice Breaker

  1. “Who someone that you really care about? It could be a family member, friend, pet, Miccio staff member, teacher, etc. Take a moment to write it down and then we’ll ask some people to share with the class”
  2. Introduce the goal of the class 2. Today we’re going to be learning a bit about sound in circuits using microphones and speakers

Activity: Squishy Circuit Speaker Demo

  1. Pass out Squishy Circuit speakers and battery packs
  2. “Based on what we learned last time, try to turn on the speaker”
  3. “Does anyone want to explain why this works?”
  4. (Optional) Share more information about how a speaker or microphone works internally.

Activity: Introducing the voice recording module

  1. The project we’re working on today will also include speakers and microphones, but since we want to include some additional complexity into our circuit that would require a lot of time to build from scratch, we can use a module
  2. Pass out the voice recording modules (don’t remove from plastic yet)
  3. “Today we’ll be using these voice recording modules that allow you to record your voice and play it back”
  4. (Optional) Talk about when, why, and how to choose off the shelf components for an electronics project.

Activity: Identify components on voice recording module

  1. Show an unlabeled diagram (on the slides) and then ask students to determine what each component does as a class

Activity: Care Letter Activity

  1. Fold an 8.5 x 1 1 piece of paper diagonally from the top down to convert the paper into a square
  2. Tear or cut the bottom rectangular piece off. Save it for later to hold your envelope together.
  3. Fold the square into an envelope https://www.wikihow.com/video/3/3f/Fold%20a%20Paper%20Box%20Step%204%20Version%207.360p.mp4
  4. Write a message on a paper to insert on the inside of the envelope (for example, “everything you need is already inside you”).
  5. Record that message onto the voice recording module
  6. Stick voice recording module on top opening fold of envelope
  7. Cut the rectangular piece you cut off earlier. Fold all the corners of the envelop except the top one. Glue or tape the corners to the rectangular piece.
  8. Give your letter to someone you care about

Reflection (8 min)

  1. At the end of the workshop session, ask students to fill out the section of their workbooks that ask the following questions:
    1. Things I learned
    2. Things I found interesting
    3. Questions I have

Closing (13 min)

  1. Post-program assessment form
    1. Students fill out the post-program assessment at this time.
  2. Next Steps
    1. Share resources on where students can learn more about the topics explored in the courses.
      1. Pioneer Works
        1. Regatta Race Day
        2. Second Sundays
        3. After School Program at ps15
      2. YouTube Channels
        1. funsciencedemos
        2. SciShow Kids
      3. CCFest
      4. Studio Museum
      5. Beam Center
      6. Afrotectopia
      7. Powrplnt
  3. Cleanup & Goodbye
You can’t perform that action at this time.