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2014 Fall Workshop Descriptions
Programming | Code for Fun


In this workshop, our pariticipants will work in pairs to critically think through a problem, design a solution and implement that solution in a computer program. Students will learn the basics of programming, explore problem-solving techniques and apply testing and debugging strategies in fun engaging activities. Come learn how to make the computer do what you want.

User Experience | Computer Science and Psychology


In this workshop, we’ll explore the factors that underlie human motivation and behavior, and how we can cleverly manipulate the levers of instructional design to help them change behavior in desirable ways. Students will work in pairs to create an interactive object that invites a user to push it, turn it, and squeeze it. They will learn how Design Thinking and User-Centered Design help them influence behavior and translate back to computer science. 

Environmental Science


A solubility experiment. Participants will learn about solubility and the different matters involved in the process. We will relate solubility to Environmental Science through a discussion and demonstration of the reaction between polar and non-polar substances and how this reaction can be used to reduce waste and promote reuse.

Engineering | Buliding a Computer


In this workshop, our participants will work in pairs to actively build and assemble a computer system (power, processor, hard-drive, operating system, etc).  Students will identify and learn about the various parts of a computer and how they all work together.

Civil Engineering | Beam and Truss Design


The way beams and trusses are used in architecture and structural engineering will be presented. The participants will design and build their own beams from materials provided at the workshop. Beam designs will be tested on how much weight they actually carry. Students will lean from the test results as well as the design/build experience.

RoboticsIntro to Robotics with the Boe-Bot Mobile Robot


In this workshop, our participants will learn basics of programming a Boe-Bot’s microcontroller in order to command and control their robot. Students will then pair up to make their robot complete a certain task. In order to complete the given task, the students will collaborate to design and implement a software program that will be installed into the robots microcontroller (the Boe-Bot’s brain!). Through this hands on activity,  students will not only be introduced to the fields of engineering, mechatronics, and software development, but will have to use their problem solving skills and creativity to design an exciting solution.

Electronics Electronics meets software and the computer


This workshop intends to link together electronics, programming and computers. The class intends to link these concepts by building a computer mouse utilizing a littleBits kit. The mouse will be constructed utilizing two dimmers for X-Y movement on the screen and a push-button for interaction. These buttons will feed a microprocessor (Arduino-based) that will process the signals and transmit them to a regular computer over USB. The program for Arduino will be provided and discussed briefly.


ChemistryExploding Airbags and Rainbow Cabbage


See the explosive and beautiful side of chemistry!  Participants will learn about different types of materials and help figure out how to design a chemically safe airbag with lots of pops, fizzles, and bangs.  Airbags will be designed using an acid-base reaction and each participant will get to design and test their own out. Students will also learn how to use cabbage as a rainbow pH indicator to make their designs even better and more explosive.

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