I was Maker in Residence at the Duxbury Free Library in August, where I worked with Teens and some adults to create an Interactive wall for display at the Library.
I met Teen Librarian Ellen Snoeyenobs at the first Make a Makerspace conference at the Artisan’s asylum several years ago, and we’ve been collaborating on bringing more maker activities to her library over the last 2 years. She has an excellent blog reflecting on their successes, failures, and tips : http://librarymakerspace.blogspot.com/
She has her own excellent video here:
- Something for everyone. There are art activities for those who won’t go near tech stuff, and plenty of wiring and coding for the techies. Girls, boys, adults alike found something to do.
- Drawing on skills learned in the past helps to get things done. We did one session on Arduino at the beginning, but in the end, those who already had Arduino experience ending up contributing most in that area.
- Include a variety of activities. Kids who liked 3D printing and design did various bits to glue on, and use, including a spider that goes up and down. The 3Doodler was used a lot to add decorative elements, as well as enhance some of the 3D prints. And of course, Arduino brought it all to life.
- Think Off the Wall. Ellen was originally inspired by an interactive wall she saw at MIT. The library, however, wasn’t too keen to be hacking into their existing walls. Ellen came up with the idea of a portable partition, and I helped select one (made of poly-carbonate) that we could drill. It had the additional advantage of being semi transparent, so we could mount our fireflies (addressable LEDs,) behind the wall.
- Surprise learning. There were all sorts of bonus learnings, including how to scale a drawing up using a grid!
- The library had previously received a grant that enabled them to buy a bunch of Spark Fun Inventors kits. We used velcro to attach the Redboards and their attached breadboards to the back of the wall.
- We used a PIR motion sensor to trigger the bird moving, and cheap Chinese HC-SR04 ultrasound distance sensor to light up the peacock’s tail as you waked closer.
- WS-2812 LED strips provided bling for both the peacock’s tail and the fireflies.
- Birdsong was provided by a Sparkfun MP3 Shield
- Movement was done with micro servos, and one continuous rotation servo from parallax.
- The shifty eyed fox was implemented by a great design from Dampboot on Thingiverse
Come see it!
Our Grand Reveal of the Arduino Interactive Garden Wall will take place on
Thursday, September 10th at 4 p.m. on the Upper Level of the Duxbury Free Library.
We’re hoping some of the Teens as well as adults who had a hand in making it will talk about the experience.