Baby you light up my world like an LED light

This last module I completed was all about computer science. While starting this module I was feeling really uneasy about it. I kept thinking, “Well isn’t computer science all about programming? Isn’t that hard? Seems geeky, I’m not sure if I want to do this anymore.” I was extremely wrong.

Our first challenge was to come up with a definition of computer science. We had to think of “simple computers” and “complex computers.” Simple computers to us were a calculator, sewing machine and a cash register. Complex computers were a MacBook, smartphone and a GPS. What they all had in common was that they all function, programmed with a set of instructions and ran on electricity.

Then our second challenge was to make something out of the Little Bits. Little Bits are little tiny pieces that you put together to make a circuit. There are pieces that you can connect so they light up, make noise, move on a small engine or make it all happen at once. There was a little guide so we got the hang of using the pieces or how to put the pieces together to make it do a specific task. Out of my entire group, I think I enjoyed them the most. Every 20 minutes I would be asked, “Hey Emi, what did you make this time?” Occasionally they would have me take a break due to the battery being extremely hot. Having to choose one thing to turn in was rough, the possibilities were literally endless!

We ended up turning in a lion made out of paper and plastic with it’s mouth open so a LED light that was programmed would be on so it would look like it was roaring. Cute right? It wasn’t necessarily life changing or necessary to life but we incorporated the ideas of technology and art which are two major factors of this class.

And to wrap this up with an update on our maker project, it was approved! Yay!!! Our idea is to have a t-shirt with LED lights that will turn on to make a pattern. Our pattern is a rainbow. “Why a rainbow?”, you might ask. We are planning to focus our project around a social issue, LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning/Queer) rights. There is a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) club at our school that we are hoping will partner with us and support our project. I can’t tell you guys so much just yet, but once we get farther along, expect the most and best! Happy making!

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-Emi G.

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