This workshop introduces attendees to a world of coding, music, and technology - all mixed together! Based on a 2017 weekend camp for students in grades 7-12, this workshop will provide a hands-on experience creating instruments using extremes of high and low tech. Participants will be introduced to the Code + Chords project which combines music and visuals through our module that inputs voice and outputs colorful visualizations based on pitch, volume, and tone. We will assist participants in learning about a simple coding program, Scratch, where participants will code different introductory programs to play music through their keyboard and computer (provided). Once comfortable with the program, we will introduce how Scratch and Makey Makey can be used in conjunction so that their Scratch program can be played using conductive materials rather than keyboard keys. Combining newly learned Scratch and Makey-Makey skills, participants will work in small groups to develop a musical instrument made from around-the-house, inexpensive, low tech objects (paper, pop cans, wire, etc). After completing their instruments, they will demonstrate their musical instrument and explain how a circuit is used in their instrument. Group members can discuss if someone would like to take the instrument component of their program home. Packets for Scratch and Makey Makey resources will be distributed to recap what we covered in this workshop as well as give them more ideas of ways this could be implemented with students. Following this workshop, teachers and staff can use these new skills in their own classrooms to explore technology and circuits in a creative matter. These skills can be used in music classrooms as well, broadening the different ways these topics can be taught. Students can create their own Scratch account, so these activities do not have to stay strictly in the classroom: rather, they can be assigned or brought home for students to interact with.
Jenna is in her third year of studies at the University of St. Thomas, majoring in Elementary Education and STEM Education with a minor in Psychology. She works at her university's Playful Learning Lab which focuses on engaging students in hands-on, innovative engineering education, especially focusing on outreach projects for groups otherwise underrepresented in STEM. Jenna is leading the University's STEPS (Science, Technology, and Engineering Preview Summer) Program, developing the curriculum and working as the primary researcher.
Ms. Alison Haugh
Alison Haugh is a recent graduate from the University of St.Thomas with degrees in Elementary Education, STEM Education, and a focus in Engineering Education. Her undergraduate research with the Playful Learning Lab focused on expanding quality engineering education with an eye to under-served populations, including students with disabilities, emphasizing learning through play. Alison was the Lead STEPS (Science, Technology, and Engineering Preview program) curriculum constructor and continues to be an off-site researcher.
Dr. AnnMarie Thomas
Dr. AnnMarie Thomas is an associate professor in both the School of Engineering and the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas. She served as the founding Executive Director of the nonprofit Maker Education Initiative, and is the author of "Making Makers: Kids, Tools, and the Future of Innovation." She is the inventor of Squishy Circuits, and leads the UST Playful Learning Lab.