Graphic Design

Today we are exploring the intersection of graphic design and technology, using digital design tools to create our own business cards!

Design Activity

Preparation:

  1. Sign up at canva.com through Google (your school account)

  2. Do this Beginner's Challenge to learn your way around Canva

  3. Optional: Try any of these other mini-lessons to level up your design skills!

Starting your business card:

  1. Click the Canva logo at the top left to return to main page

  2. Click Create a design

  3. Choose Business Card

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Design a business card that represents you! Be sure to include:

  1. front and back design. Click the โ€œ+ ADD A NEW PAGEโ€ button below your canvas to add a second canvas for the other side.

  2. Your name and a creative title for yourselfCat Lover, Math Lover, Slime Queen, Future Neuroscientist, etc...

  3. A personalized image or logo

How to get your cards printed:

Click Share at the top and enter this email address: mlim@gstemdenver.org

  1. Make sure it says Invite people to edit

  2. Click Send invites

  3. Michelle will print the cards and bring them to our next meeting!

Women in Cable Telecommunications

Today we were visited by a panel of professionals from Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT). We began with a quick icebreaker (Two Truths and a Lie) and then moved on to a student led panel discussion. They talked about their jobs and the important work they do in the cable industry. We had a discussion that covered everything from what makes a wireless network slow, how inventors get credit for their work, what makes businesses grow and who were the first pioneers in the cable industry.

The Science of Sound

This week we learned about sound energy and pitch by building our own instruments from cardboard, rubber bands and duct tape. There were a lot of approaches to creating different sounds and one of the students pulled up a tool to visualize the pitches of her instrument. When learning how to make headphones, some of the students liked the idea of paper cup telephones so much they made one that was almost as long as the room!

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LED Greeting Cards

This week we used Chibitronics LED stickers and copper foil tape to make holiday cards that light up! Check out some of our awesome creations below:

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Want to try on your own?

Click below for a complete list of materials & instructions!

LED Sensor Stress Toy Hack

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Today we "hacked" a foam squeeze toy, adding an LED diode and homemade pressure sensing circuit through a hole drilled down the center of the toy. The pressure sensor consists of two square pieces of velostat, which increase the flow of electrical current when pressed together to complete the circuit, and reduce the flow with less pressure. By adding a velostat switch to our circuit, weโ€™re able to change the brightness/speed of the blinking LED when squeezing the toy!

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The Culinary MD

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Today we got to meet Dr. Jennifer Carroll, who is a medical doctor, professor, AND research director at the CU School of Medicine. She is also one-half of the Culinary MDs, on a mission to spread healthy eating through easy, delicious recipes.

After learning about her 20-year career and wide range of experiences as both a doctor and a researcher, she showed us how to make a raw cauliflower โ€œcouscousโ€ salad. We were surprised at how tasty and satisfying you could make a meal using only fruits and vegetables!

Try it at home!

Hematology: The Physiology of Blood

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Today we welcomed a group of awesome engineers from Terumo BCT, a global leader in blood management, blood safety, therapeutic apheresis, cell therapy and cell collections.

They taught us all about blood and the various functions it serves in our bodies, such as homeostasis.

We also explored the properties of UV light and how it interacts with various materials, in order to understand how they are used in the health industries. We learned that Terumo BCT uses UV light to sanitize donated blood, so the blood containers need to allow UV light to pass through. Prescription bottles, on the other hand, are engineered to block UV light because it can damage the pills.

Finally, we learned about centrifuging which is used to separate blood into its individual components by density: plasma, platelets, white blood cells (leukocytes), and red blood cells. Then we got to see centripetal force in action while creating spin art!

Molecular Biology

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Today we welcomed Sarah Sasse, a molecular biologist at National Jewish Health, who uses cutting-edge genomics-based tools to understand transcriptional regulation by glucocorticoids in healthy and diseased airways.

Wearable Tech

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Today we got to meet two amazing ladies from Boulder: Emily Platzer, a senior software engineer at ConnectedFi, and Janet Hollingsworth, a civil engineer and woodworker who runs the BLDG 61 makerspace at Boulder Public Library. Emily spoke to us about her career as a software engineer and leading teams of engineers, as well as her many hobbies which include tinkering with Raspberry Pis, making her own clothes, and competitive yarn spinning!

Emily and Janet brought their passions to us in the form of a fun and challenging project. We each made our very own light-activated bracelets using leather, conductive thread, a coin cell battery, sewable LED, and photoresistor. The photoresistor detects the presence of light and allows more current to pass through the LED based on the amount of light it detects. If the photoresister does not come into contact with any light, it cuts off the circuit keeping the LED off.

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Kicking off 2018-19

We had a blast meeting each other and collaborating on Trashinโ€™ Fashion โ€“ designing with upcycled materials in the spirit of creativity and innovation!

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Meet your chapter leader

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Michelle Lim is a freelance software developer and educator from Queens, NY. Over the last several years,ย she has had the pleasure of working with (mostly women!)ย artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and community organizers to build websites,ย apps, digital art installations, and custom business tools. She is the co-founder of mmmanyfold, a creative development studio, and co-captain of Code for Denver, a volunteer civic tech group.

Michelle has been teaching Computer Science part-time at Title I public schools in Denver and Aurora since 2014. Prior to this she served as an AmeriCorps member at Youth Villages, where she provided individual tutoring, classroom support, and after school enrichment to youth receiving treatment for severe trauma and complex behavioral difficulties at a residential psychiatric facility in rural Georgia.

Since moving to Denver, she has also taught workshops at the Denver Art Museum, Library 21c, and Boulder Public Library.ย She loves to create meaningful learning experiencesย that uplift and empower the next generation of creators.

Tech Challenge: Prototyping Phase

Last month, we were introduced to our challenge and started brainstorming ideas. Today, we put those ideas into action and start creating prototypes to explore our ideas further.

Requirements:

  • Moveable platform to hold paper
  • Must move page in four directions (XY axes)
  • Must not impede use of right hand
  • Must be able to operate with head movements

Inspiration for motorized XY movement:

Tech Challenge: Kick-Off & Ideation Phase

Background:

Today we met the amazing Dr. Cathy Bodine, a Bioengineer and Assistive Technology Partner at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus.

She showed us how her team creates assistive technologies for clients with severe disabilities, and shared some of the unique projects and challenges they have worked on.

Then, Dr. Cathy told us about a new client, a boy with muscular dystrophy who loves to paint (and is quite good!). But he can only move his hands in a 2 inch range of motion, so someone always has to be there to move the paper for him while he paints. This is quite frustrating for him, as you can imagine.

Challenge: 

Design a table that allows him to paint independently.

Requirements:

  • Moveable platform to hold paper
  • Must move page in four directions (XY axes)
  • Must not impede use of right hand
  • Must be able to operate with head movements

We kicked off this challenge by learning about the User-Centered Design process, and had a brainstorming session to generate ideas.

Bioengineering

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Today we met the amazing Michelle Mellenthin, a biomedical engineer and post-doctorate researcher. We learned about her experiences with Engineers without Borders and her current research on technology that helps damaged lungs function properly.

We then got to construct our very own Foldscopes (origami microscopes) and used them to look at images of healthy vs. damaged lung tissue, among other things! We were even able to attach the Foldscope to a cell phone camera for a more enlarged view.

The Foldscope was developed by Manu Prakash and designed to cost less than $1 to build. It is part of the "frugal science" movement which aims to make cheap and easy tools available for scientific use in the developing world.

Learn more about foldscopes and Manu Parakash's other inventions by watching his TED Talk:

Holiday STEM Crafts

Today we built our very own buzz bots using a toothbrush head, coin vibration motor, and coin cell battery. Along the way we explored electric circuits and prototyping to arrive at our own unique designs and figure out how to improve the bots' sense of direction, speed, and overall bling.

Then we continued flexing our prototyping muscles (and taste buds) with a gingerbread building contest. A delicious, messy, creative challenge!

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Forensic Chemistry

Today we got to meet Lynn Riemer, an experienced forensic chemist, illicit drug expert, community advocate and prior member of the North Metro Drug Task Force in Colorado. We learned all about her extraordinary experiences in the field, and the major role chemistry plays in solving crimes.

We also got to experiment in our own version of a crime lab, observing reactions between commonly known powders and various solutions. We were then able to use these observations to correctly identify an unknown substance! [download activity]

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HawkQuest!

This month we met two awesome ladies from HawkQuest who brought us an interactive lecture featuring FOUR living birds of prey:

  • Harris' Hawk

  • Great Horned Owl

  • Peregrine Falcon (fastest animal in the world)

  • Bald Eagle (top predator in the world, not counting humans)

Dion and Dara were very knowledgable and taught us a lot about the different kinds of raptor species!

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Kick-Off & Trashin' Fashion!

We had a blast meeting each other and creating Trashin' Fashion โ€“ designing with upcycled materials and a "STEM" theme.

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