Physical Computing for Digital Scholarship

Posted March 15th, 2017 at 2:36 pm.

Project Team

Francesca Agnello ’18, Makenna Lenover ’19, Nathália Santos ’18, Jacy Li ’19, and Alicia Peaker, Digital Scholarship Specialist

Project Involved

Digital Scholarship Research Assistants Program


Workplan: Week 1 03/23 – 03/29: Experimenting With Hardware: *Learn the basics of Arduino, LilyPad, Raspberry Pi, and Makey-Makey; *Introduction to necessary coding: Arduino
IDE; *Understand how to better showcase the technology; Week 2 03/30 – 04/05: Modeling: *Decide on the codes to be used; *Programming the boards; *Assembling a first model; Week 3 04/06 – 04/12: Assembling: *Testing and improving the first model; *Polishing the code; *Begin the assembly of project devices; Week 4 04/13 – 04/19: Testing: *Have all project devices assembled; *Test if devices are operating as expected; *Retool based on test results; Week 5 04/20 – 04/28: Deploying: *Make sure the technology is charged and ready to go; *Instruction to device operators; Week 6 4/29-5/6: Implementing and Assessing: *Share the results with the Bryn Mawr community in May Day; *Reflecting on the success of the projects and skills learned.

Goals and Description

Undergraduate interns build digital competencies by experimentation with electronics, using starter kits by Arduino, LilyPad, Raspberry Pi, and MaKey MaKey that are designed for beginners learning the use of electronics. They will learn the basics of coding these electronics for practical and/or display purposes. A possible application of these new skills could be the decoration of wooden hoops that seniors roll down campus on May Day (Sunday April 30th). Adding LED technology programmed to respond to the sound of the crowd of onlookers cheering for the seniors would be a wonderful decoration to further celebrate the seniors’ accomplishments. The lights could flash red to reflect the color of the graduating class of 2017 and recall the symbolism of Bryn Mawr College’s lantern tradition. These LED lights could thereby represent the light of knowledge in a digital age.

By learning to experiment with these starter kits, students are exposed to challenges previously unknown to them. They learn basic troubleshooting techniques to enhance their critical coding skills and increase collaborative aptitudes. Taking responsibility for and sharing their tasks presents them opportunities to gain project management experience. Overall, by enhancing these technological skills they will be able to continue lifelong technological learning.

Filed under: Projects Tags: , , , , by Beth Seltzer

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