This week we learned about sound energy and pitch today 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!
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:
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, we’re able to change the brightness/speed of the blinking LED when squeezing the toy!
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 “couscous” salad. We were surprised at how tasty and satisfying you could make a meal using only fruits and vegetables!
Try it at home!
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!
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.
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.
We had a blast meeting each other and collaborating on Trashin’ Fashion – designing with upcycled materials in the spirit of creativity and innovation!
Michelle Lim is a freelance software developer and educator from Queens, NY. Over the last several years, she has had the pleasure of working with (mostly women!) artists, musicians, entrepreneurs, and community organizers to build websites, 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. She loves to create meaningful learning experiences that uplift and empower the next generation of creators.