On Sept 27, the Design for Greenfab class made a visit to the Bronx to visit the Greenfab facilities, and to discuss a little electronics while demonstrating how to make “throwies”. Throwies are LEDs attached to a 3V coin cell battery. Fairly simple to put together – you just put the appropriate leads on the battery and attach them with magnets and tape. Voila!
So, while the actual p-comp project was quite simple to put together and explain, our bigger goal was to introduce electricity to the kids, who were mostly boys around age 12. Not exactly the most attentive audience.
At the table with Sue and Macaulay, the 3 of us sort of struggled to explain how electricity worked; how exactly the electricity got from the battery to the LED; how do we know that the LED won’t blow up; why is 3 volts better than 6; what if we want to light up more than one LED; and how long will it take before the battery dies out?
I will say that while the kids seemed less enthralled with our electricity explanation, they did seem to enjoy the personal expressiveness of throwies – particularly when they added about 3 LEDs. I’m not yet entirely sure how to keep the kid’s attention better for next time, but probably just having a more interactive learning session might help.