As a result, we rearranged the space in what we think is a more efficient way. We now have a dedicated electronics bench and a well organized area for hand tools and three work-group tables.
One of our mentors, Peter Lindstrom, is an expert in electronics and is lending us a working CNC router that we are eager to put into use. In the tools department, our future wish list includes a 3-D printer and a laser cutter (if anyone wants to donate toward either we’d be really grateful).
Our first project for the year is a Smart Bird Feeder. We expect this project will take at least 3 weeks to complete and involve carpentry, metal work, and electronics.
After brainstorming, each MakerKid began sketching ideas for their individual feeders. This process will be continued in Week 2. The mentors will meet with each MakerKid to discuss and evaluate their design and think about refinements.
1. Learn about local birds. Select birds you want to
have use your bird feeder
2. Research the ideal bird feeder for your birds.
3. Plan and design your bird feeder to fit your bird’s
habits and preferences.
4. Survey your house and yard. Pick a location for the
5. Create a paper bird feeder. Remember, the design
must incorporate wood and metal materials.
6. Optional: Make a cardboard prototype.
7. Plan your final design. Include wood and metal.
8. Research and specify the “smart” technology.
There will probably be several options.
9. Build your bird feeder. Add “smart” electronic
components and complete wiring.
10. Write computer code that allows the electronic to
communicate with eachother. Test the electronics.
11. Take Bird Feeder home and mount in yard.
Connect electronics. Montor feeder and feeding activity.
12. At home: observe birds, record activity and make
field notes on bird behavior aroud the bird house.
Hook up the electronics.
13. Make a final journal entry on the project. Describe
results, and conclusions. Note your successes as
well as anything that could be improved upon if
you were to repeat the project.
If you are interested in learning about the project in detail, go to the MakerKids Project Info page by clicking . here
It has been our practice to end each session with some time for reflection. MakerKids record their thoughts on what they did that day with a journal entry.
A metalworking exercise wil be part of Week 2’s activities. We expect more detailed planing will begin next week as well and the building of prototypes. Actual construction may begin next week, or begin in Week 3,