Hacker Scouts Open Lab 2/3/13

Featured Project: TinyMatrix LED pendants

These flashy blinky pendents can rotate through various static images as well as animated sequences. Learning to flash (program) a microcontroller and solder in the 'dead-bug' fashion will be the skills of the day. If time and resources allow we will work on the customization of the images included in the programs code. ($8 materials fee.)


Special Guest Project: Zetta Tech Science

Remember Spirograph? This Drawing Robot project is spirograph WRIT LARGE. We will engineer and program robots to do giant and colorful shapes, patterns and geometrics, all controlled by us and how we tweak the programming! It sounds tricky and techie- it's actually super simple, and you get to keep what you- and your robot- draw! ($3 materials fee, limit of 20 kids.)



Bonus points to kids who can tell me why this Creeper is red!


Pixels 101:

Learn all about Pixels: what they are, how they are used, where we find them, and then make a pixel tapestry using what you have learned! ($3 materials fee)






DIY Laser Cut Art:

Many of you have express interest in designing something yourself to create on the Laser Cutter. Well, now you can! You can find the instructions on how to prepare your design here. We will be charging $0.50 per minute to use the Laser Cutter for your own designs, slightly more if you do not bring your own materials to cut. Please send your file to hackerscouts@acemonstertoys BEFORE Open Lab so we can make sure they will print. If you have any questions, email us!

Assorted Soldering Kits: 

We reordered all the sold-out new kits as well as some other favorites and are well-stocked again!

Prices vary ($9-$22)

See you on Sunday, from 2-5pm at AMT!

Open Lab 2/3/13 Summary:

Well, it was a much quieter day at Open Lab than usual, due to it being Super Bowl Sunday. That said, we still had around 30 kids all eager to jump into our featured project! We started with a lesson on the difference between decimal, binary, and hexadecimal number systems, and then had a discussion on how bitmap images are stored in the programming of a microcontroller. The kids designed their own bitmap, converted into binary and then hexadecimal, before flashing it onto the chips themselves. They then soldered the Tinymatrix pendant, and voila! Each LED pendant was functioning and personalized!

We also would like to thank Zetta Tech Science for bringing their cool spirograph drawing robots, which filled the halls with colorful designs!

Finally, it was amazing to see a couple of kids solder for the very first time- something that was quite intimidating to them. The pride on their faces when they left with functioning circuit boards was priceless, to them and to us!

Thanks to everyone who came out today!

Some pics: