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We broke out our “maker hats” and toolkits first thing this morning, and got our hands dirty with some cool technology workshops: Antenna Making and Arduino for Beginners. The rest of the day was also full of capacity building, with a little art-filled lunch break in between.

Antenna Making Workshop

With just $5 worth of materials, Karkhana’s Irina Sthapit taught us to make the classic Yadi-Uda antenna, best known today for its as a TV antenna.

Building these from scratch was literally a nuts and bolts affair, involving precise measuring, drilling, sawing, soldering, and coaxial cable stripping.

Irina Sthapit shows the finished Yagi Uda antenna, which we were about to build from scratch

Karkahan’s Irina Sthapit shows the finished Yagi Uda antenna, which we were about to build from scratch

 

Priya Joshi and Greg Camacho take it to the tool tables to solder the wires

Priya Joshi and Greg Camacho take it to the Karkhana tool table to solder the wires

Arduino for Beginners Workshop

Shams Jaber, founder of the Bangladesh-based design and education school Tech Academy, gave us lessons in both technology and pedagogy. This is a class he has given many times to his students, and we learned some great techniques to keep us engaged in the process.

After a brief orientation, we got hands-on with the Arduino board and started playing with wires.

There was a quick payoff for our basic programming efforts by making an LED light flash on and off via our own laptops. It was so satisfying to connect the virtual world to the physical world.

(I literally SMSed this photo to my family)

Look Ma, it works!

Feeling our own heartbeats so that we could program the electric buzzer to replicate its pace

Another effective method was personalizing the experience. Our challenge was to feeling our own heartbeats and try to match it in the Arduino program, first with lights, then with a buzzer. Soon the class was listening to each others’ heartbeats, and comparing our current emotional states.

 

Finally, we got a valuable lesson in troubleshooting when Shams had us turn around while he sneakily deleted k_spacedaytwo-5459our code, and we helped each other puzzle out how to fix it.

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Shams Jaber helps us troubleshoot

 

Designing a Rotary Payload Recovery System for Amateur Rockets 

Leo Jofeh shares his 3D modelling expertise

Leo Jofeh shares his 3D modelling expertise

As a designer of educational robotics kits for kids, Leo Jofeh has gained a wealth of experience in 3D modelling. He gave a deep tutorial on his go-t0 software for beginners, 123Dcatch. He expressed regret that it was not an open source software, but this powerful tool is available for free, which somewhat eased his pro-collaborator conscience.

 

Nepali Contemporary Art & Tech

Nishal Oli showcases previous art collaborations with Karkhana and other multimedia creatives

Nishal Oli showcases previous art collaborations with Karkhana and other multimedia creatives

In a captivating lunch talk with Nischal Oli, we learned about the local art scene in Nepal, and how they have collaborated with local communities and technology makers (including Karkhana) on past projects.

Nischal is one of the organizers of the upcoming  Kathmandu Triennale, which is drawing artists from all over the region … and perhaps even one of the participants.

“I think that’s something we could venture into,” said Ayisha Rahman, an intermedia artist and current animation lecturer at Malaysia’s National Academy of Arts, Culture & Heritage. “We are basically looking for international collaboration. So when it comes to dancer, theater and animation, we try to convert every discipline into one performance. The Nepali art scene seems to be really emerging, and really explosive! It’s similar to the art scene in Malaysia. We have an young indie DIY community, which I am also into.”

 

Group work continued…

The water rocket team pulls their work table outside to get physically closer to their destination: the sky.

The water rocket team pulls their work table outside to get physically closer to their destination: the sky.

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The sensing space team considers their developing areas of focus

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The antenna team, (wire)stripping like pros

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