YouTube video by Samuel Marsden School
Over the last two days, my friends and I helped mentor students for the Imaginarium Challenge at Samuel Marsden Collegiate. The event was designed to challenge students creative and problem-solving skills in music composition, programming, mechanical and digital systems and art installation. All using the Arduino Uno microcontroller and Mozzi synthesizer libraries!
Day 1 saw the students experimenting with the Arduino Uno, most for the very first time. Using potentiometers, LDRs, button inputs and LEDs, the students were able to run some basic examples consisting of a melody looper, an echo theramin and a drum machine. Most of this day was spent troubleshooting students code changes and explaining how the IDE, certain functions and operators worked. At the end of the day, the students had a small amount of time to plan out what they would make with their new engineering skills.
Day 2 was all go! First up was a demo of a small Tesla Coil playing Somebody that I used to know to help illustrate to the students that there are many other ways of playing sound other than just through a speaker.
After that, they were let loose into their goodie bags of components and random items to build.. something. There was no outlined requirement, other than to be creative. Leaving the kids to create whatever they could imagine.
Throughout the days, students asked for help around writing variables, for loops, if statements, creating arrays for containing musical notes and how to add 4 more servos to their setup which lead to talking about breadboards and how they could eventually unplug their designs from their laptops altogether.
The students picked it up so quickly and the results consisted of some wonderful, crafty, hacked objects that spun, glowed, chimed and buzzed their way throughout the space.
I am truly inspired by these kids just having a go at something new and creating something awesome!