Making diverse hairstyles and heads of famous people to fit on @LEGO_Group Minifig bodies at the “0 Things” Hackathon facilitated by @DesignMakeTeach. @construct3dconf #construct3d2018 #MakerEd #STEAM

At the first Construct3D conference, Josh Ajima offered a Pecha Kucha talk entitled, 0 Things. Josh “shared his and his students’ experiences of being able to find a multitude of Yoda imagery online, but no 3D models that represented his or his students’ culture or heritage. Josh pointed out that when he searched Thingiverse, a popular 3D printing repository with over 2 million things, he found 0 relevant models for instructional topics. He then challenged the audience to view each empty search as an opportunity, and to use the power of 0 things as inspiration to create powerful, engaging designs and projects.” Here’s a video of Josh’s explaining 0 Things:

At this year’s Construct3D conference, Josh announced a 0 Things Hackathon where attendees gathered to determine searches which yielded no results. Some suggested topics included: Historical figures, Ojibwa Tribe, Monterey Bay wildlife, e-scooter accessories, Jade Museum artifacts (Costa Rica), CS concept manipulations, Virginia peoples, Madres de Plaza de Mayo, female artists, Indus River Valley stamps, “Engineer as Identity”, Women’s issues, Afro centric images, and more.

My first idea for the “0 Things” Hackathon was to create diverse hairstyles and accessories for Minifig heads — braids, dreadlocks, hijab, different curls — so everyone can feel like they’re represented when assembling LEGO figures. I was inspired by an 8th grade student last year. A paper doll outline in the shape of a girl with straight hair was meant to be decorated/personalized by every girl at our school to celebrate our community. This student noticed the lack of diverse hairstyles and quickly made adaptations on her iPad with many options of hair textures and styles to more accurately reflect our population.

A Google search for LEGO Minifig hair confirmed my expectations, and I believe this would be a great project for a class to explore. However, it’s a challenge to draw hair, and we had limited time last night, so my second idea was to gather 3D files of heads of influential figures that could top LEGO Minifig bodies. I located a 3D file of Harriet Tubman’s head and adapted it in Tinkercad, erasing the shoulders, adding a neck column, and inserting a hole at the base that should fit upon the neck peg of a LEGO Minifig torso. My published adaptation is here:

Some tweets about yesterday’s Hackathon are included below:

 

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