[Week 5 Activity] Time for Tinkering


Music is great for tinkering. You can play with your peers, and you can play with both analogue and digital technologies. Interacting with instruments and music technologies is very physical and music provides you with many different materials (sound texture, melody, chords, your voice, knobs you can tweak, … ) and endless creative possibilities.


I am always impressed by coding and I deeply admire those who can create…
I understand so little though… Bravo!


Hi, I did this scratch just for fun and to test the ability of a player to move the ball as quickly as possible


Buenas noches.
Mis alumnos/as han hecho un proyecto de robótica. Realizaron un cicuito con cartón y madera para que pasara un robot que previamente habían programado (eran grupos de dos o tres y cada uno hacía un circuito)
Me alegro mucho de haber realizado esta experiencia, porque aunque se ha dedicado tiempo de clase ellos han aprendido conceptos relativos a la materia de Tecnologia, han reforzado su estructura de grupo y han disfrutado mientras aprendían.


Hello Aleksandar! I remixed your project by adding score keeping. Hope you like it!


Since this is cleanup week for the first trimester, my time is precious, but I can always find time to play with yarn. This is the first time I have tried this technique.


Great example of algorithmic thinking :slight_smile:


Olá pessoal! Gostaria muito de compartilhar minha experiência dos vários PLAYS pelos quais passei com meus alunos mês passado. Temos um grupo de programação e robótica e tínhamos um desafio de produzir algo que representasse a comunidade onde eles moram e reaproveitasse um material abandonado em um galpão da escola, assim fizemos as semanas de “desmonte” dos computadores fora de uso, descarte do material que não usávamos e construção da representação da comunidade. Assim ficou decidido a montagem de uma maquete composta por fiação, papel, bonequinhos de plástico e estabilizadores desmontados que representaram os prédios. Foi um desafio muito interessante, divertido e que me deixou orgulhosa das tentativas e erros e da criatividade da molecada…aprendi muito com a brincadeira


I tried an Apple application SWIFT PLAYGROUND. It’s an app for learn and experiment with swift code. You can solve puzzles with guide or create your own programs.

It was great to try this app and to learn swift code. I like this app but i prefer Scratch more.

I would present the app to my students, so they can try different programing languages.


Hello, I always wanted to work with wood and this course encouraged me to make my first wooden box, it is very beautiful in my opinion.


I have been tinkering with an art project for the last few weeks. I thought it was going to go fast, but many changes were made along the way. I finally finished today, and will bring it to my art group this afternoon. Background: We have been working on light up bracelets with 4th graders during their electricity unit. So, I thought I would make a simple circuit art project with conductive thread and art materials. My image shows the first step and then final project.

Tinkering with brushbots is something I’ll do when I’m about to have my 1st – 2nd grade students create brushbots. We use the electric toothbrushes as a base, and the students design the bot with many available supplies. The image shows a few from my fleet. As usual, each will operate differently depending on many factors. The small one on the left was my first.


Time crunch… here’s the puppet I finished today at our Fine Art Museum’s Creative Hive.
I wanted to tinker with duralar substituted for paper with this beautiful book I found at the National library, Sculpter en paper: de l’inspiration aux techniques de pliage but I had one go and it isn’t so hot. There is a definite learning curve so I don’t dent the duralar and it has a lack of flex so it doesn’t behave like the paper.
The last time I made a similar puppet I was in grade school so this was far away. I tried this new material, paper pulp that is just to mix water in and shape. I cut the jaw off and used a humus lid to create the inside of the mouth. It is not a great fit, and came separated with use after I had glued it with a hot glue gun so I used a punch and sticked the mouth on in the corners. After a conversation with another creator at the lab, I may draw on teeth with an acrylic pen. May need to do a scratch test to see if it will stick or fall off. May need to push brads through to create nubs on which I could add teeth with the glue gun and paint over. Not too fussed about it.
The arms are overly long… I sewed long sleeves and did the pulp on bamboo skewers for hands. I think I need to trim them and join them internally, was thinking a velcro system would be useful:: bind them for 2 arm movement, attach to inner clothes to control one at a time.
It is quite interesting, people wanted to know what I was going to do with it, now it was finished… “Put it up on the wall?” “Use it to teach kids?” I am not sure yet. I hope I can use it in a variety of ways.
I love creating these little beings that are characters unto themselves. Puppets are really fun ways to give people opportunities to express themselves playfully with voices to which they may not always have access.


I chose to tinker with a new technology I have been meaning to learn how to use, Bloxels. Bloxels allows you to create a simple video game by creating a character, backgrounds, enemies, coins etc.

After tinkering with the app for a while, I decided that I would create an ecosystem so that I could challenge my Grade 7/8 Science students to do the same.

First, I decided on the environment. I went with an ocean ecosystem. I had to play around and figure out how to turn the blocks into animated water using Bloxels Boards. Next, I decided on my character. I created a simple fish and animated how it would move through the environment. Next, I created the food and predators of my fish. Finally, I worked on the background and mid-ground of the game.

There was quite a learning curve during this process. Many times I had to restart a board or figure out how to bring my board into the right portion of the game. In the end, I learned how to do everything I needed to in order to make my ecosystem come to life.

Tinkering is the way that I learn best. I like to read up on something and then try it out. Through my mistakes and missteps I learn how to do things the right way.

Through my tinkering with Bloxels I learned all of the basics of game creation. I felt comfortable enough to launch the challenge to my students on Thursday to create their own ecosystems based on what they have learned in Science so far this year.



Choosing to experience playfulness with Scratch (MIT programming language) becomes an opportunity to explore the creative processes and programmatic concretions that digital technologies allow.

It’s interesting and rewarding to build stories (games) by discovering a visual programming language that performs complex procedures in an intuitive, entertaining and “easy” way; example of this is the following image that invites you to press on it to enjoy a game made in Scratch:


The concretion of this experience allows us to share some reflections of the exploration process:

  1. It is necessary to review the intellectual production of our peers or experienced programmers to guide the construction of our projects, which allows didactically, the recognition of the other and the enthusiasm to participate together in a global creative movement backed by thousands of testimonies of joy and creation.

  2. Request guidance from the Scratcher community for when our project can not advance because it does not know the code or its protocols, which leads to the construction of collective knowledge, experiencing it as a member of a learning community.

  3. Allow yourself to enjoy the joys of learning with enthusiasm by building programs generated by cutting-edge projects such as p. ex. Cybernetics and its control mechanisms, use of sensors and establishment of systemic relationships among others.

  4. This learning activity of Scratch (of computational and critical thinking) allowed us to expand cognitive horizons experimenting with the conceptual and technical foundations of cybernetic science as the foundation of robotics and its projection to the professional affinities of its members.

The Scratch program in reference allowed the ludic exploration of its functions and digital strengths for the practice of a scientific-technological discipline worthy of contemporaneity, in fact, using the “N” key, which allowed the change of clues, served to enjoy as cybernetic sensors work in different scenarios. In the following image you can see the Scratch environment with the code of the cybernetic relations with which it was experimenting:

We want to now test a new Scratch frontend without Flash and his Adobe Air library, as well as rely on an easier and offline installation of Scratch in the Linux operating system.

If you want to know more about these experiences of visual programming, we invite you to visit the {CodeHouse} BitMix Programming Club of the Teachers Association of the University of Los Andes of Mérida, Venezuela (CEAPULA) by clicking on the following image:


You are welcome!


Good questions @sean The Third Teacher comes to mind in terms of finding answers. Time and space… Google drive really helps get around the confines of the classroom in terms of feedback relationships and ongoing work. The comments provide a conversation beside the work about the work. I use this with our science fair projects where I will not allow students to present incomplete work or work full of grammatical and spelling errors. So in that sense, their work becomes a series of iterations.
Mitch’s article really has me re-thinking my approach to our science fair. I need to strike a balance between kids just repeating the same thing over and over because they like the reaction, but they are not observing with any care and I am concerned about budget because the school supplies the materials. (A number of my students do not have inexhaustible financial resources.)
It is a question of over-stimulation where they are just rushing around consuming experience without reflection and application. That too is a question of time. When they are overly aroused, the learning is really shallow, if learning is happening at all. We do little self-regulation activities… brain gym, Reggie Melrose’s 60 seconds (grin). That investment in a little time in slowing down really helps us access what follows.
Space: I keep my walls bare of stimulation for stimulations’ sake. I have pictures of nature and posters relevant to our current study. That is all. I do wish I would display more examples of student work relevant to our current topics, both as a means of inspiring current work and as guidelines for evaluation; what does top notch work look like?
My room is a constant tide of chaos and order: I am a whirlwind of disorder, constantly following myself to keep things organized so we can find what we need in an instant and we have space to create. Safety is also an issue. I have some students around whom it is potentially hazardous to have hammers and saws easily accessible. So happy now I can leave scissors at the table and not turn around to find any impromptu kindergarten haircuts.


@derekacorn, it is really reassuring to hear you read up before tinkering. There is a little part of me that was feeling a bit broken or inadequate that I didn’t just launch into exploration without some research. I was thinking about this when I launched into making my puppet, without any research… we had a fantastic puppet making workshop with one of our favourite neighbours when I was a kid, and I have enough background experience to draw on to interact with the materials without needing support.

I vividly remember being traumatized by my inability to use logo when I was a kid. My dad told me it was a really hot item for smarty pants, showed me a few things in 10 seconds and left for a few hours. I really could not figure it out on my own and had completely filled the screen a couple of times over by the time he returned. He was impressed. I was totally repelled by logo and actually had a physical reaction of repulsion every time I saw it after that.

Being the teacher in the room during html and scratch workshops through KidsCanCode helped me to ease my negative associations with code, and this on-line class and community is definitely helping me to be more comfortable with computational thinking.

I guess this reflection drives home the importance of connecting to prior knowledge… or creating prior knowledge as an access point that informs current learning…


Gostaria de compartilhar uma experiência que fiz junto aos meus alunos referente ao Arco-íris

A ideia era explicar como se formava as cores da arco-íris utilizando a luz e a água. Procurei na internet e achei uma experiência em que você utilizava uma taça de cristal com água, uma lanterna e um espelho. Montei a experiência com toda expectativa, mas na hora da demonstração não funcionou. Não sei se foi a incidência de luz da lanterna, o taça ou o espelho.
Partir para outros meios. Troquei a taça e nada, coloquei uma luz mais forte e ainda assim sem efeito. Tentei outros espelhos e não consegui. Parti então para materiais alternativos. Procurei materiais com superfícies que refletia luz, encontrei o CD, funcionou perfeitamente. O arco-íris estava ali, lindo e perfeito.
Nunca desistir, esse é o foco, tentar, tentar e tentar das mais diversas formas e alternativas. A criatividade é uma dos principais estratégias para construir o conhecimento cognitivo. O aprender fazendo ou fazer aprendendo concretiza todas as formas de conhecimentos que queremos adquirir ou repassar.
Foi excitante poder concluir essa experiência usando materiais alternativos e demonstrar ao mesmo tempo para os alunos a explicação científica do experimento e as diversas formas de realizá-lo.


For years I have dreamt of a storage unit that shelves ‘desk tops’ vertically. The closest thing I have seen is architectural drawing drawers but the price range is beyond my frugal sensibilities.
The other issue is how to use it without breaking your back putting in and taking out the ‘desk top’. I would love one that has velcroing or magnetic hinged sides, with holes for handles, so you could have it flat on your workspace and assembled so things don’t fall off when moving it for storage.


These are fabulous! love the creation of light and shadow interacting with text. Very inspiring!


Frustration is such a delicate dance! The Most Magnificent Thing is a helpful book with this. I really like getting some physical and temporal distance. That little break often enables me to see what I was missing because I get tunnel vision when the limbic system kicks in.