When kids enter a makerspace in a school, their frame of reference should shift from finding the right answer to asking the right question.
I just read the post, “3 Key Qualities for a School Makerspace” on the Make blog by Parker Thomas, and I really loved it. View the post here. I think it’s very true; makerspaces shouldn’t push outcomes on students – they should be a place to explore and ask questions and not feel pressure to perform or do something the ‘right way.’
Recently, I’ve been working on a lot of blankets. It’s been a really easy way to remember how to crochet and knit. I’ve created a few granny square blankets and I just finished a simple knit blanket. Nothing too fancy. With all of those projects completed, I bought some really nice Baby Alpaca yarn and set off determined to make a circle scarf.
It took me a few tries to figure out how to get it to look the way I wanted. I just started with 18 stitches, and alternated knitting 3 and purling 3. Very simple! When I got to the length I thought was good, I cast off and then wove the remaining yarn between the two ends. I’ve been working on it in my downtime and just finished it today.
I really enjoyed this project. It was easy to work on, not that time consuming, and I’m so excited to wear what I’ve created! Too bad it’s getting hot in New York City!
For my senior seminar project, I chose to create an iOS app. I created an app similar to the existing app that my parents have for their company. I wanted to try to do a redesign to see what I could do, and I also had never written anything in Objective-C before, so learning that syntax was another goal.
Another part of our project was to create a website to show all of our work. I wanted to create a fully designed site to organize my work, and also help me learn some more HTML/CSS. I’ve uploaded my website so you can see it here.
I wanted to go through the entire design process for the app, including sketching, wireframing and prototyping, and actually creating the interface. I used Python to write a script to parse Excel files that my parents sent me of their data, which was then saved into plist files for access within the app. The entire script is viewable here.
Another large goal I had was to change the colors of the navigation bars based on what the user selected. I had them almost working by the end of the semester, so I’d like to finish that up this summer. I think my proudest moment was when I figured out how to edit strings to be able to access images from the internet instead of having them inside the app!
Here is an example of one of my mockups in Balsamiq
Here are screenshots from the final app!
Home screen option
Four menu screens – coded in Objective-C
Flow through the supplements section
Flow through the foods section
On Saturday, I graduated from Wheaton College in Massachusetts. I can’t believe it’s over! I wanted to write thank you notes for my professors, advisors and friends, and I wanted to make them really personalized. So, I took some nice paper that I had (some of it seen in my papercraft Maker Corps box project) and designed a few thank you cards to show and tell them how much I appreciate their support throughout these years.
I haven’t written them yet (unpacking is taking forever), but they’ll be sent out soon.
Here they are with the “Thank You” written on the front
Today I had the pleasure of going to the Franklin Mill Store in Franklin, MA. The store is huge, and they have the most amazing selection of fabrics, yarns and tools.
I had no idea they had that much yarn! There were walls of really nice wools, cottons and even a merino/silk/cashmere blend. I bought it.. it’s SO soft!
I ended up buying much more yarn than I expected… Definitely worth it!
I had the idea when we got back to create an Evernote notebook for the different yarns that I have (maybe I’ll do one for fabrics) – it allows me to keep track of the different yarns that I have, so I can remember where I got them and what types they are. You can check it out here if you’re interested:
I’m going to try to add to it as much as I can! I have some other yarns in my room that I’ll add. I hope that I can keep buying nice yarn like they had at the Franklin Mill Store.
I loved this store – I’m definitely going to try to head back before I graduate. I’m going to work on sewing and try to teach myself again. I used to sew in Montessori but I haven’t in years! My mom also told me we have an old sewing machine at home she may be able to give me! So exciting. As of right now I’m going to try to create a bag like the one I had in school to hold my needles and yarn.
For the Makey Makey project for Maker Corps, I decided to create something that allows you to play Simon Says online! Instead of clicking the colors, I remapped the buttons of the Makey Makey (directions here: https://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/388) to allow me to click on R, G, B or Y.
I also started looking around to find objects that are conductive to use as buttons as well. I wanted to find items that were the four colors of the keys, which turned out to be kind of hard in the lab. I found three objects – a yellow banana, red measuring tape and green RAM that’s old and doesn’t work anymore. I can’t wait to work with the Makey Makey more when I have a bit more time!
I haven’t knit (knitted?) in a long time, and after the FiberSpace’s open house last week I decided to relearn! I bought some nice green yarn from Michael’s, got started and it came back really quickly. Soon I’m going to try to purl again, but for right now the regular stitches are working fine.
(Edited with Afterlight for iOS)
I’m really excited for this week’s Maker Corps activity – we’ll be working with eTextiles. I’m trying to out a project, and I’m thinking of incorporating some LED’s into my knitting. I’m thinking about creating a project sewing Lilypad into it somehow, making a blanket with LED’s that light up when it gets dark, or something like that. I definitely need to brainstorm! I’m also going to be looking for fabric stores around that I could stop at in the next few weeks before I graduate. I’d love to sew a bit and try to do some Lilypad stuff with cool fabrics. If anyone knows cool fabric stores around Norton, definitely let me know!
I still have to do my project with the Makey Makey, so posts about that will be coming soon too!