The Museum of the History of Science at the University of Oxford:
Hooked On Invention Workshop
We were invited to run a littleBits workshop inside the museum as part of their Hooked On Invention Day. The theme of the day related to the 350th anniversary of the publication of Robert Hooke’s Micrographia with demonstrations, talks, and workshops around the topic of invention.
Our own mini workshops demonstrated invention making with our littleBits. LittleBits are best described as electronic lego that snaps different inputs (e.g. sound sensor) and outputs (e.g. LEDs) together magnetically. They are great fun to work with and used a lot on the States to promote engineering and science to children. For example there is a NASA themed kit where students can build their own robotic space arm.
This was a red nose that calms you. All it needed to work was a power source, a sliding dimmer as the input, and a vibrating output. Hold it in your hand to instantly feel much more relaxed!
Another person made a wind detector by repurposing a bend sensor and attaching a post note. The stronger the wind, the higher the bar graph lit up.
Finally, another family made their very own weighing scales using a pressure sensor and a bargraph. It was especially good at measuring the weights of multiple batteries to test the linearity!
It was a super successful day overall and attracted over 2,100 visitors to the museum, though unfortunately not all could visit us as we were often inundated with families. Many highly rated our workshop on their participant feedback forms, and praised the creative style of allowing children to explore and test their own hypothesis with technology. So much so that we’ve been invited back to run more workshops!