Events

Event calendar below

Glowing Pompom Crown Workshop

LED PomPom Crowns

LEDs, Wearables, Circuits & Fun

No power, no problem! The lights may be out, but this crew is glowing with LED headgear they made.

After tornados passed through Westchester and left most of our town without power, but the kids were good to proceed so we quickly secured a couple more battery-powered hot glue guns and had a great time with this crew.

 

Kids made circuits with LEDs, a battery holder and copper wire

While this isn’t the best photo, it gives you a sense of the basic elements of this project, before it was festooned with colorful pompoms. We would have preferred to use low-heat hot glue guns, but we had a power outage to contend with, so we used battery powered glue guns and they can get hot and burn little fingers. So an adult held the headband carefully and the student did the gluing. Our goal is to have the student participate fully from start to finish.

Step 1 was to glue the LEDs in place with all the anodes facing the same direction so they could be wired in parallel easily. We used a combination of blue, green, white and blinking LEDs, but learned that red and yellow LEDs are lower voltage and will make the other colors not function, so we didn’t use those.

If you look closely, you’ll see a black battery holder on the lower left end of the headband. That’s our power source. Two copper wires are soldered onto the battery holder. Students then wrapped the copper wire around the legs of the LEDs and once we confirmed that each circuit was wired properly (they all got it the first time – yay!) we encased the connections in hot glue. That’s what’s happening above.

Students combined big and small pompoms to decorate their crowns

Once the students made their circuits, it was time to get creative with pompoms! The best part was seeing how each student approached their project differently. Some were methodical, curating a limited color palate and placing each pompom precisely. Others went for a rambunctious riot of color! They all were perfect! And they learned a lot about circuits.

LED wearables

MKR LAB in the News!

The Lewisboro Hamlet Hub wrote about MKR LAB. It’s so exciting that people are finding us here in Northern Westchester.

“MKR LAB Inc. announced several workshops for May and June to introduce students in grades K-12 to electricity and circuits, soldering and more STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) fields. The new business hopes to build a maker space once it completes the zoning process and can occupy its own space in Lewisboro. In the meantime, MKR LAB is offering classes at the new DayDreamer Studio in the Yellow Monkey Village in Cross River.”

Read the full article here.

Classes & Workshops

MKR LAB is gearing up to launch this fall in Northern Westchester. We’re offering a smattering of workshops and classes locally ahead of our launch. Come, see what we’re about! And if you don’t see what you’re looking for, let us know. We’re designing our curriculum this very moment! 

Wed. May 16, 4:30 - 5:30. Grades 2 - 8

LED PomPom Crown

Learn about circuits, resistors, polarity, and LEDs. Whether you're planning to go Dancing at Dusk at Caramoor, watching July 4 fireworks or just going to a backyard BBQ, you'll shine a little light of your own with this glowing pompom crown. Students will make a simple circuit of super bright white LEDs wired in parallel and powered by coin batteries. They'll learn about polarity, resistors, in this fun intro to wearables. Get your glow on!

$35
Register
Tues. May 22, 4:30 - 5:30 pm. Grades K - 5

Circuits & Dough

Learn about circuitry using a very familiar medium: play doh! Learn about polarity, the flow of electricity, make LEDs light up, create switches, buttons and more. The play doh introduces creativity, is approachable and familiar. And kids get instant feedback - the light turns on or it doesn't; they make a change, get results.

$25
Register
Wed. June 6, 4:30 - 5:30 pm. Grades 5 - 12

Build a Lighthouse: Intro to Soldering

Learn basic soldering skills by building a mini lighthouse. Soldering is a way to permanently attach electrical components with melted metal. Students will use lead-free solder to attach a battery holder, resistors, transistors, capacitors, a power switch and an LED. They can change the value of the resistors to change the flashing pattern and create an occulting lighthouse. 

$35
Register
Sew a soft circuit plushie
Sat. June 16, 2 - 4 pm. Grades 2 - 8

Sew a Soft-Circuit Plushie

Explore sewable circuits with conductive thread and LEDs in an e-textile circuit. Students will learn how to arrange a circuit, incorporate a switch and a button, and they'll get to be as creative as they want to be in designing and decorating their creature. They'll also learn a little basic sewing. This workshop will have you in stitches!

$35
Register

Build a Robot 6 Week Workshop

Have you ever wanted to assemble your own computer? Build a robot? Program in Python? We'll teach you the basics with a Raspberry Pi, a computer that will fit into the palm of your hand. Take all six workshops as a course that will teach you all the skills you need to design and build your own robot or sign up for individual segments.

Thursdays 4/19 – 5/24     5 – 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 19
Introduction to the Raspberry Pi, background, and historical context, how to set it up and connect it to a keyboard and monitor. We’ll write a short program to turn an LED on and off using GPIO pins.
Thursday, April 26
Software Environment: Raspbian Linux and basic shell commands, Python, Digital Logic. We’ll add a button to our LED and write a program to turn the LED on and off with the button.
Thursday, May 3
Headless operation, working without a monitor. Once you’ve attached the button, you can control the LED without a monitor. This step is essential to begin to transition from traditional computer to robot. We’ll cover Wifi setup and SSH.
Thursday, May 10
Ultrasonic Sensor. We’ll continue to code in Python building on what we’ve learned so far to measure distance with an ultrasonic sensor. We’ll discuss the digital logic that’s involved and use the speed of sound to convert time to distance.
Thursday, May 17
Relay and Motors. We’ll discuss applications for motors and incorporate one into our robot with more Python controls.
Thursday, May 24
Finalize your robot! Integrate all our individual components, and run code to make the robot function as a whole. We’ll wrap up with more ideas of ways to build on the Raspberry Pi and unleash our creativity, turning students from consumers of technology to creators.