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Show & Tell - Nov. 1, 2011 - 7 to 9 p.m.
Making: The Art of STEM
STEM, a buzzword used to rally support calling for more Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math in schools. At the core of this movement is the belief our kindergarten through high school students are not being prepared for their future, where the jobs these kids will face haven't been invented yet. Creativity, problem solving, and inventiveness are among the essential skills they'll need. Some criticize STEM for leaving Art out of this mix. Making and the Maker Movement embodies the Art of STEM. Proposals for how we address this dilemma range from making a few adjustments to an entire revolution in education. The PBS interview, “Can the DIY Movement Fix a Crisis in U.S. Science Education” touches on a solution that Makers are finding for themselves. This month we'll begin examining the question; What Would Education Look Like If Makers Remake Education?
While the STEM effort may focus on educating kids, Make:KC activities include both youth and adult. We all have a need to adapt to changing technologies in our lifetime.
High school shop class has fallen by the wayside, often considered a place for the lesser students. The Fab Lab concept brings a fresh look at what shop class should be, it is a place where that spark for engineering, science, math and invention takes hold. While working on our October Build Night project, we decided to take a step back to expand on the Benchtop Power Supply and apply some of these Art of STEM ideas into the Fab Lab.
Benchtop Power Supply
Steve Siegel is leading us on this project. At the heart of this power supply is the National Semiconductor LM317 adjustable regulator. The schematic is shown at the top of page 18 of 28 in the data sheet. He has also designed and fabricated face plates using a CNC milling machine. Steve will explain some of the concepts and useful features of this project.
DIY Printed Circuit Boards
The technology is not quite here yet at the DIY level to automatically print out a 3D custom printed circuit board, ready to use for our power supply project. We'll look at using the EAGLE Cad program to capture our power supply's electronics schematic then create a circuit board layout. We'll look at taking the CAD design and using the Fab Lab's VersaLaser cutting machine to help prepare a circuit board for etching.
Chemistry of an Acid Bath
After we prepare the Radio Shack copper-clad circuit board with artwork from our design, we're ready to remove the unwanted copper by immersing it into a bath of acid. The chemicals we're using can be found at the local hardware and pharmacy or beauty supply stores. John Kuhns of the HMS Beagle Science Store will be injecting some STEM into our discussion by describing the chemistry and chemical reactions taking place when using hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide as our etching solution.
ATtiny, when Arduino is More Than You Need
Tom Collins is looking into a recent Makezine article about using some cheap 8 pin ATtiny chips for small projects that don't require the full power of an Arduino. This is based on an MIT Media Labs tutorial.
Make:KC invites you to come out and see what we're up to. We are expanding opportunities to get involved with projects and workshops at both the HMS Beagle Science Store and the BTC Fab Lab. Membership with Make:KC has benefits; our members enjoy a 10% discount at the Beagle store on many items. The BTC Fab Lab offers a $10 discount for their monthly memberships with extra savings for quarterly payment.
We offer $25 annual memberships with Make:KC for individuals or $40 annual membership for families. Your membership helps support our research, project planning, outreach activities, and educational efforts.
HMS Beagle Science Store - voted Coolest Store in Kansas City