Creative Computing with Science Oxford



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Over the past two weekends I’ve been helping with creative input on the Creative Computing Taster Days and Workshop run by Science Oxford at Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot and funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering. Video- links will be posted soon.

The sessions were for girls from 11 to 16 and were based around  the use of Arduino as a micro-controller as a way of making interactive creations.

The taster days introduced the girls and myself to writing ‘sketches’ to programme and Breadboards for the circuitry.

Besides myself there were several volunteers from various professional backgrounds. including corporate software and training, Rutherford Appleton public engagement department (Sophie), electrical engineering (Vance) and creative sound work ( Kevin),who helped with the programming aspects

Jennifer Van der Puil and Natalie from Science Oxford led the day.

It was a fantastic opportunity for me to they a little basic coding and really see the various was that Arduino could be used in my art practice.

Using various sensors and switches to control events from something so small that it can be almost invisible in an installation setting is  one of the means I may use to enable to change an environment.

It would be easy to get very involve din the coding now though and I don’t want to do that.

Simply to know some of the straingforward possibilities is great.

If young girls can manage it …there may be hope for me.

Their enthusiasm, imagination and focus was a wonder to behold!

All they needed form me were reminders on process (Thank you Kolb model!) which was based around

  • Imagine what you would like to build ( brain storm and spider diagram)
  • Draw a sketch drawing to imagine it in 3D and so that you can show other trainers what your aims are.
  • Start to make the model.
  • Reflect on the model and its functionality.
  • Start the programming.
  • Complete the circuitry.
  • Return to making the model to reflect on how your electronics will fit in the model and will it still work.
  • Reflect also on the changes you may have to make in your model.
  • Return to the programming/electronics with changes.
  • Make the final model with necessary changes.

It was really interesting to see  how this age of female student approached their work and the difference in materials and process from building to creating code.

They all made fantastic and entertaining  ( often Christmassy ) constructions with music, flashing lights, and whirling mustaches!

It was especially interesting to me as a contrast to the art leisure and gallery-based education process I am involved with and as a way of getting my own confidence with Arduino.

To some extent the process was difficult because of things like eyesight!!

I had some difficulty seeing to wire the Breadboards.

I will need to spend some time working  on this until I am confident



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