Tag Archives: LEGO

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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Pics and notes from Heidi Brant’s @LegoSeriousPlay workshop with Class 1 teachers at @BrearleyNYC this morning. #elemaker #MakerEd #storytelling #ArtsEd @LEGO_Group @LEGO_Education

I was thrilled to get an email from Ariel Sanabria (Class 1 Teacher at The Brearley School) inviting me to join a LEGO Serious Play workshop facilitated and designed by Heidi Brant. Heidi is a Serious Play Pro, and this morning, the Class 1 teaching team explored independently and collaboratively for 90-minutes under Heidi’s guidance. Each exercise consisted of the following 4 steps: Challenge, Build, Share, Reflect.

We were presented with a variety of LEGO pieces in individual ziploc bags. Our first Challenge was to create a tower that started with a black flat as the base, consisted only of green and yellow pieces, and had a flag at the top. Being me, I misheard Heidi and thought she said we should top our tower with a flat, and as I was absorbed in the task and didn’t look up, I carefully reserved my yellow flat pieces to top my structure (unlike everyone else who had a flag topper). This Build time was paired with Heidi’s curated musical choices playing in the background, and then we were asked to hold our structures in our hands and Share our designs. After everyone had a chance to speak, we had additional time to Reflect on the experience. These days, I’m finding it a more comfortable challenge to be creative with constraints rather than without constraints. Total freedom can feel almost paralyzing…

The second challenge was to build a structure which represented our frame of mind. Many of us had thoughts of summer vacation on the brain (coincidence?), and my neighbor and I both built beds. Using LEGOs to explain something intangible seems very accessible and similar to asking someone to tell a story, draw a picture, write a poem, etc. to illustrate inside thoughts/feelings.

As Class 1 studies structures and NYC landmarks, the third challenge was to choose a landmark and represent its personality as a LEGO design. I chose The High Line Park and tried to convey how it’s flexible, ever-evolving, generous with its offerings, and constantly on display and watched by all the visitors. Among other insightful and creative designs and explanations, my neighbor had a really interesting take on the Flat Iron Building.

The fourth challenge was to work in groups to construct and name a new landmark which incorporated a component from each of our individual designs. There were 8 of us, so we formed two groups of 4. My group included moving/flexible parts from my High Line interpretation, secret nooks from the teacher who created Grand Central Station, symmetry from the Chrysler Building, and happy colors from the teacher who constructed the personality of her parents’ backyard. We decided on a maze-like design for our group-building exercise which included these four elements.

Here are additional images from the workshop:

 

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Maneki Neko prototypes at #DesignDoDiscover @Chadwick_Int! #d3CI #cihosts #MakerEd #elemaker #STEAM

I’m having an awesome time collaborating with teachers here at Design Do Discover’s Songdo edition at Chadwick International School. The FABulous team of coaches includes: Jaymes Dec (FabLab Coordinator at The Marymount School), Sarah Barnum (Science Teacher/Bourn Fellow at The Castilleja School), Gary Donahue (Department Chair of Technology, Making, and Design at Chadwick International School), and Andrew Carle (Village School Maker and Atelierista at Chadwick International School).
Here are some links about the program:
Design Do Discover Chadwick School: https://sites.google.com/view/ddd-ci
Design Do Discover year-round: https://making.marymountnyc.org/page/events/design-do-discover
GoogleGroup of FabLab and Maker educators: http://bit.ly/fabmakegroup

My partners today were Alice Cha of Seoul International School and Landy Hwang & Ivy Choi of Yew Chung International School in Beijing, China. We decided to create interactive Maneki Neko sculptures — these could be powered using different platforms depending on what hardware or software you have at your disposal:

  • Hummingbird programmed in Scratch
  • Arduino programmed in Ardublocks or Snap for Arduino or mBlock
  • LEGO WeDo programmed in Scratch or Mindstorms
  • EV3 programmed in Scratch or Mindstorms
  • MakeBlock programmed in Scratch or mBlock
  • littleBits

Here are some photos of the process:​

Here are our notes about the project:

Here are photos from the intro session with the whole group (pay attention to my new favorite caffeinated peppermint gum):

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