Celebrating things people create themselves! That’s Drew Charter School’s vision for DesignOrama 2015 with the theme of ‘Taking Flight’. Decatur Makers joined a diverse community of creators on grounds of Drew Charter School’s brand new Senior Academy to gather data on our Buffon’s Needle project and inspire children and adults to delight in their own creativity with our 3D printed giant Spirograph.
Opened last fall, Drew’s beautiful new campus, with its long, concave, south plaza hosted an impressive array of food trucks and vendors from all over the STEM and Maker communities. Our youngest spirographers quickly mastered the fine motor skills needed to simultaneously hold the gear against the frame and move the pen in a circle to draw colorful, engaging designs. Small Spirograph kits were a popular children’s art project in the 70’s and 80’s and sets are still available commercially. A giant Spirograph that you print yourself, though! That’s very cool. The central gear and six outer ring segments were printed in brilliant use of the Lultzbot 3D printer, funded through a grant from the Decatur Beer Festival in 2014.
Our table was nestled in the cafeteria along with Boy Scout Pack #302’s Pinewood Derby course and several young racers stopped over to help Decatur Makers accumulate data on our microcomputer-based recording device built out with an LED screen, buttons and LED indicator lights. Kids and parents alike recorded their observations after dropping a pencil on a lined surface to help our programmed Arduino circuit gradually approach Pi (3.14…). There is math involved…see it explained here: buffon-explanation
Kris Web’s The Science of Fun STEM Camps (Decatur Makers contributor) and Russ Kroll from Formation Design Group also participated in the event, as did Josh Craig and the developing Kirkwood Makers group.
And a big thank you to our volunteers at DesignOrama, Lew Lefton and Maureen Haley, for their time spent celebrating the things Decatur Makers created!