Design Thinking and ‘Scribbling Economics’ – Building a Scribbling Machine 2.0
Steve from Big Mess o’ Wires diatribes his analysis of building a more effective Scribbling Machine for kids.
For the past three years, I’ve led groups of children through a scribbling machine construction project at our school’s annual Discovery Day event. Take a motor with an offset weight on its shaft, attach it to some kind of tripod with colored pens for legs, and add 25 third graders. The offset weight makes the machine vibrate unpredictably, drawing patterns on the paper beneath it as it moves. Every time I’ve done this project, it’s been lots of fun.
Kids, motors, and pens – what could go wrong? Quite a lot, as it turns out.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.