Here we are again - it’s the end of another HUGE term of Stem Club. And while we all take a well earned break there is a moment to pause and reflect on how far our makers have come this year!
We spent the last week of Stem Club madly trying to finish all our end of term projects. For our weekday groups this meant soldering and assembling the last bits of our Portable Amplifiers. Everyone did awesome work and by the end of Friday we had successfully sent home 15 brand new personalised sound systems.
Our weekend groups had the mammoth task of completing their Bug Bot Robots. We'd already finished most of the construction so this week was all about wiring and getting things going.
I think I’ve mentioned it before but I’m really impressed at how well the soldering skills of all our groups are coming along. And you always know it's going to be a good week when the whiteboard looks like this:
Wiring our robots together was actually pretty tricky. First - we had to solder some RGB LED's and mount them on to short lengths of irrigation tube. These were used as 'antennae' for our Bots. Once these were in place we had to screw the frame together and thread all our wires through to the small board that has the resistors mounted on it.
At this point things got REALLY fiddly and I ended up making some changes from our Saturday groups through to our Sunday groups. Designs can always be tweaked and it's never nice to rush things too much - although it did mean that our Stem Club parents got quite a work out helping their kids get through this. It turns out attaching the LED wires to the resistor board was really tricky so we adapted the design to include jumper wires and header terminals to avoid this step. Although we did send some of the Robots home for the school holidays we'll be spending a bit of time next term making sure everyone understands how to program their creations and (for our sunday groups) just finishing up connecting our wires to the board.
But already they look amazing and everyone should be rightly proud of the work they've put in. On top of finishing these robots off next term we're also going to add some ultrasonic sensors as well as line following capabilities.
Next term we also have some extra special things to look forward to. Wellington's first ever Maker Faire is being held on the 4th of November in Shed 6 on the waterfront. We are going to be there and we're planning on having as many of our young makers as we can fronting our booth. Construction is well underway to make MakeRoom's presence engaging and entertaining. Save the date!
And the other big thing that is heading our way in Term 4 is the construction of our second class room space. Our one main studio space is just not going to be enough to accommodate our growing wait list so we are taking advantage of our large basement and turning some of that area into a second teaching space. This should be all up and running for the beginning of Term 1 2019 and the big challenge now is finding some great facilitators to help us teach the Stem Club program - any suggestions or tips more than welcome!
So that's it for Term 3. Thanks to everyone that has helped make it all possible. We look forward to doing it all again in Term 4!