We had a wonderful time at our 2016 Maker Immersion camp. A great blend of learning and creation, the participating campers actually had a chunk of time during which they worked on their projects.
Here are some of our thoughts on the camp.
First of all, the packing list. Here is our inventory for the maker camp. We had a good mix of electronics and craft materials as well as a couple of power tools and the volunteers in charge of materials had a tough time managing the enthusiasm with which the campers explored the materials and tools.
The participants this year were pretty lucky – they got to play around with the Intel Genuino kits – 15 sets of which were given to us by Intel Singapore for the programme. Volunteers from Intel also joined us for the camp, both to train the participants on the use of the Genuino kits and how to do basic programming and also as general facilitators.
Which brings us to facilitators. This year, we were truly blessed with volunteers and facilitators who made the camp possible – and some people (other than Intel Singapore) have to be mentioned really loudly.
Neo En Dian – Engineer and Maker, with an apprenticeship in one maker group under his belt, Neo was a great help to the students, especially with the electronics, engineering and tinkering. He was also a good mentor to the volunteers and facilitators.
Yit Chee Wong – Crafter and Science Educator – Yit Chee was wonderful at facilitating projects that combined craft and tech, and for giving some of the more tech inclined kids a little push towards crafting as part of their projects
Wen Ying – Wen Ying was really everywhere during the camp. She was getting supplies, materials, registering kids, receiving lunch, and all the while juggling other projects and often working late into the evening.
Temasek Junior College and Raffles girls school – the Seven volunteers from these schools were awesome. Managing tools and materials, helping the campers where needed, resolving conflicts, troubleshooting circuits (sometimes spending all day drawing circuit diagrams). They had a lot of learning too.
Suchita – Our adult volunteer, she was constantly there, helping, encouraging and cheering the campers.
We started off, as usual with the marshmallow challenge, based on the ted talk by Tom Wujec. We immediately saw leaders and innovators emerging in the teams and it was interesting, as a facilitator, that similar patterns of leadership and work came through during the rest of the camp.
The quick prototyping began almost immediately, with many campers choosing a project and sticking to it. Others used the opportunity to play with materials and tools on some quick toys – things that came out of it included crossbows and boats.
Elda Webb from The Curious Design Network joined us on the first day afternoon to work with the students on tinkercad, which a number of them used for 3D printing parts of their projects.
So, after two days of semi formal instruction, where kids learnt circuits, sewing with electronics, soldering, motors, arduino, string art and other skills, they began prototyping in earnest. Here are some of the projects that came out of the camp
Ms LED universe – a combination of sewing, arduinos, string art, and even a little pocket for the components. Ms LED universe consisted of a hacked T-shirt with one of those sashes that Ms Universe wears. The sash was a detachable string art – LED flowers, which responded to a light sensor
The carnivorous plant was another personal favorite – the sisters working on it iterated multiple times before finally putting together a hydraulic carnivorous plant.
And here are some more projects – a DIY drill, a lot of boats, including a Roat, several burglar alarms, including one that was extremely noisy and disguised as a clock, a burglar alarm for a handbag, a badge holder and an interactive dress. Some of the projects worked, some didnt, and it was a great experience watching the children grind their teeth, go through team divorces and make up again.