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Thursday, 12 July 2012

Maker School: Tuesdays - week 14

Another audacious day at Maker School.  This time it was the Tuesday crew who turned up the productivity.  Having only managed to kinda place one component on our circuit boards last week, we romped ahead and practically finished all of the soldering!

More than this, I was wowed by some inspired moments of 'plan following' and 'component placement'.  My hand-drawn diagram is rough, so to follow it and get the components in the right place and the right way round is rather impressive.  PLUS, no soldering iron burns this week!  The boys really are getting the hang of it.

Mind you, it wasn't all heads-down-hard-work.  A great deal of pleasure was had by all when introduced to a new tool — the eraser of electronics bloopery, the UNDO command of hardware — the Solder Sucker!!

Solder.  Sucker.  Got it?

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Maker School: Mondays - week 5

What a slick crew!  Everything came together nicely this week for the completion of our Steady Hand Games.

We soldered, hot-glued, screwed, decorated and heat-shrunk.  Everyone finished with time enough to test our skills.   Most importantly, I saw some excellent assistive teamwork where one would be helping another - best of all it was unprompted.  Well done guys!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Maker School: Tuesdays - week 13

Progress was a little slow this week.  Maybe it's the weather!?

We finished cutting our 'stripboard' circuit boards and we sanded down any sharp edges.  A couple of our chip sockets got soldered in place but the others are on standby for next week.

A visit from Press photographer Adrian was a surprise.  He brought GP Ted with him who helped us kick off some soldering.

We often run into high levels of competitiveness when it comes to doing a new task — "Can I saw first?"  "Can I solder first", so this week I told them the story of someone visiting a South American tribe and teaching them to play croquet.  The winner is the first person to knock their ball through all the hoops but when the first tribes-person finished there was no celebration.  It wasn't until the last player completed the course that they ALL erupted in jubilation shouting "WE won!  WE won!"

So many areas of our lives our competitive such that we get conditioned into thinking "Me. Me. Me."  Of course competition is good but it is often at the expense of collective accomplishment.  As I've said before to the boys, if only one person finishes their project that's not a success.  They all seemed to appreciate the story and shifted their thinking a little more towards supporting each other.

Maker School: Mondays - week 4

We got down to the drilling of holes this week — much to the delight of everyone.  There's something very appealing about making holes.  Importantly, this hole shouldn't go all the way through the wood — it's what's known as a 'blind' hole.  A bit of electrical tape around the drill bit was used as a depth guide.  The entrance of the hole will be taking a screw-head so we countersunk it to make it tidier.

All of the 'wands' got soldered to their wires today and the battery pack was glued down.

Next week is the final assembly and… testing!

This was our first day in our new venue — Le Friquet Garden Centre.  Everything worked out well.  The cafĂ© served us well with drinks and biscuits to start and the lecture room is a spacious and light.  √