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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » Circuit Bending
class for kids on circuit bending
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new voodoo



Joined: May 06, 2013
Posts: 90
Location: RVA USA

PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 4:51 am    Post subject: class for kids on circuit bending
Subject description: myself and friends are funding as part of series of summer-school classes for underprivileged
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Myself and a couple of other people (I dont have much money, just FYI to keep in mind regarding suggestions) are funding and leading a 2-hour class, which will be held 14 days during a 2 month long summer school for underprivileged kids. The goal for our class period is to interest the kids in engineering, electronics, music, etc and we've decided to make something every class to keep the kids interested.

Im asking for ideas from ANYONE, since ive read some of the posts on this board and there seem to be a lot of knowledgeable people.(just fyi, were located in Richmond, VA USA)

some things to keep in mind:
-time limit (2 hours)
-tools needed (we're going to have tables, simple tools like pliars, etc but no soldering irons for example)
-cost (we have anywhere from 50-150 kids broken down into 15 kid support bocks so each person has to buy enough materials for 15 kids)
-availability (for example, I dont think I can find 15 sk-1's)
-appropriateness (can't use ideas that are TOO complicated, the kids are varied in age from 10-13)


Thank you in advance for any ideas you may have!!
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new voodoo



Joined: May 06, 2013
Posts: 90
Location: RVA USA

PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

well, ok then. hopefully someone will have an idea to contribute soon. Here's one we've decided to do-
-breadboarding an APC of the simplest Forest Mims-sort. We were able to find breadboards at a discount from Radio Shack and speakers for 2$ from TwistedQuarter.com and i imagine 15 kids can share just a couple of 6$ boxes of jumpers and have plenty.
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YamahaPSR6



Joined: Feb 10, 2013
Posts: 23
Location: Greece

PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

a single 555 based oscillator might be easier. or a 40106 one.

but wont this be too complex for kids 10- 13 ?? hmmm

crocodile clips can replace the soldering irons, but you should have at least one to be able to make a mod.

getting cheap toy keyboards, toy guitars, toy phones and other sounds toys at 1-2 dollars is a great idea. The pitch bend is easily messed with to alter the pitch of the toy.

I am probably organising a single -ff workshop for older children though...

Been wanting to make one for consenting adults too
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new voodoo



Joined: May 06, 2013
Posts: 90
Location: RVA USA

PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

nope-youd be surprised how intelligent these 10 year olds are..the 13 year olds are quicker than many adults I know..especially these ones. Many of them are drug dealers, gang bangers, or just surviving in a very difficult atmosphere. That means they get a LOT of daily on-the-fly intelligence testing-where people are trying to take advantage of them, scam them out of whatever money/resources(food stamp cards, etc) they have, or bully them into incriminating themselves or their friends (police).

They really are capable of picking up about anything, but the reason I say keep in mind the appropriateness of less complicated ideas in re: their age is because this stuff is COMPLETELY new to them-they have little or no reference point to start from so everything has to be explained from the ground up with every stage in the way explained as well-so less complicated ideas are a MUST simply because of the time limitations inherent in the class periods.

that said, you are right-in particular the 555 idea-as I said (although it may have been unclear-my mistake)-we have alread decided to do an "APS" or Atari Punk Synth, which -depending on the circuit we decide to use and parts cost/availability- incorporates either a 555, 2 555's, a 555 and a 556, or a 556 etc into a VERY simple 2-potentiometer synthesizer (well, 3 actually if you count the volume potentiometer which some leave off and, again depending on cost and avail, we may leave off as well) which basically makes noises and drones that are pretty damn interesting and entertaining for the small amount of time/money invested to create.

yes, ive led a couple of adult classes as well myself and would be interested in leading more, I agree its something to do. I can suggest a number of persons/classes as far as examples you might want to check out if thinking of doing that (for reasons of modeling your class or perhaps having them come for a day to attract attendees with their more well-known names): Nicholas Collins (author of "handmade electronic music, art of hardware hacking"), Dano of Beavis Audio Research (beavisaudio.com), Reed Ghazala of Anti-Theory.com and one of the main people behind the rise of circuit bending as a movement in the last couple decades, etc) Im sure many can be contacted easily via google or one nearer to you (greece?) can be found similarly. wish I could be of more help but I really am relatively new to this myself.

Thank you again for the suggestions, as I said, we will definately be taking at least the 555 one!

jim
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YamahaPSR6



Joined: Feb 10, 2013
Posts: 23
Location: Greece

PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

cheers mate

i am in greece though

so this thing , bending, is totally unknown in greece .

I dont know how many practicioners exist... I am new to this myself..

SO, we can't bring Ghazala yet, lol!!
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