IOLab: The Pocket Physics Lab

The University of Illinois has developed a new device called IOLab which allows students to explore physical principles and concepts in one all-in-one unit which can easily fit in a pocket. Andrew, a physics professor at Joliet Junior College, has high hopes for the device in the classroom and beyond. IOLab features a variety of sensors, many of which can be found in a physics lab, in a portable and affordable form. Built-in wheels record the displacement of the unit, measuring acceleration and velocity. It also features a force sensor, a barometer to measure air pressure, as well as a light, magnetic, temperature, and sound sensor.

IMG_2742Andrew is excited about IOLab because he hopes that the device will work in a way that engages our particular population of students today. It’s a great kinesthetic learning tool, encouraging creative exploration of physics in a non-threatening way. He mentioned that an additional benefit is that it has expansion capabilities to discover other yet to be determined inputs and outputs. Due to the utility flexibility of the device, it can be used in a variety of settings and serve a plethora of purposes. Andrew has a lot of imaginative ideas of how to use the device in his classes; one thought he has is to take some data, give it to the students and tell them to recreate the graph and figure out the experiment.

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Printed Circuit Board class!

Minty Boost XL by Robert Hunt

Minty Boost XL by Robert Hunt @flickr

Jim is going to be running our Printed Circuit Board class again. Last time this class was offered it was really well received by those in attendance. This class will cover a variety of etching techniques. If you have any small circuits for which a PCB would be appropriate, let Jim Williams know right away. We might be able to add your boards to the class!

When: March 27, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Where: Workshop 88 in Glen Ellyn, IL

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Learn to Program! For Kids (Session 2)

Sure, you know how to play games on a computer, but do you know how to program one? How awesome would it be to actually control what the computer is doing instead of just playing someone else’s game? If you come to Workshop 88′s kid’s programming lessons we help you learn you how. We use a variety of tools like Kids Ruby and MIT Scatch to learn and practice the fundamentals of programming. All interest and ability levels are welcome. Ages 8 – 16. Please bring your own laptop and power cord. We will provide you with the software needed. $25 per class and $25 for the textbook (or join W88 for $50 / month and come to all the classes you want!)

 

Each Session is independent, so come whenever you can!

 

Session 1 January 5th, 7-8:30pm

Session 2 January 26th, 7-8:30pm

Questions?  Email info@workshop88.com.

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Next round of Arduino classes at Workshop 88!

Workshop 88 is offering our introduction to the Arduino platform at our makerspace in Glen Ellyn. Class attendees will learn how to configure their arduino programming environment, how to design simple circuits for interfacing with the arduino and how to write simple programs to control the arduino. What is Arduino, you ask? From their home page:

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.

You can order Arduino systems from several places, including Adafruit and Sparkfun. Both companies have lots of tutorials and howtos to get you started with Arduinos. If you’re looking for a local source to get Arduinos, try Trossen Robotics.

What you’ll get from this class: If you choose the tuition + materials option, we will have an arduino and assortment of electronics components for you to take home after the class. In this class you will learn how to start programming in the Arduino environment including interacting with the inputs and outputs of the Arduino.

You should bring: a laptop with the Arduino environment downloaded installed. 

Please contact us (info@workshop88.com) if you have any questions.

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Hackerspaces in Space: Year 2

A few days ago we launched (no pun intended) Hackerspaces in Space: Year 2.  HSIS (as we like to refer to it) is a challenge that we extend to other hackerspaces (and like-minded groups of people) to design, build and launch a weather balloon equipped with cameras to take photos at near-space altitudes. The HSIS website has all the rules regarding the contest which you can check out if you’re interested.

Last time we ran the challenge, we had a great response from the makerspace and hackerspace community.  We’re hoping to make HSIS better this year.  We want to use HSIS to promote science exploration and discovery in schools.  We want to take whatever best designs come out of this year’s challenge and send kits based on the winning designs to schools, so that student can launch their own balloons to near-space.

To make that happen, we’ve set up a kickstarter project. (You may have seen the banner at the top of the page.) Take a look at some of the prizes we’re offering and consider becoming a backer to this project so that we can get kits into schools!

Also, we need your help spreading the word about HSIS.  Please link to the page, tweet it, facebook it, retweet, upvote it on reddit, or just post it wherever you share your information online. We can’t make this happen without your help!

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Introduction to Arduino class (Arduino 101) October 2011

Workshop 88 is offering our introduction to the Arduino platform at our new space in Glen Ellyn. Class attendees will learn how to configure their arduino programming environment, how to design simple circuits for interfacing with the arduino and how to write simple programs to control the arduino. What is Arduino, you ask? From their home page:

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.

You can order Arduino systems from several places, including Adafruit and Sparkfun. Both companies have lots of tutorials and howtos to get you started with Arduinos. If you choose the tuition + materials option, we will have an arduino and assortment of electronics components for you to take home after the class.

You should bring: a laptop with the Arduino environment installed.

Please contact us (info@workshop88.com) if you have any questions.

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Introduction to Arduino class (Arduino 101) September 2011

Workshop 88 is thrilled to be offering an introduction to the Arduino platform at our space in Glen Ellyn. Class attendees will learn how to configure their arduino programming environment, how to design simple circuits for interfacing with the arduino and how to write simple programs to control the arduino. What is Arduino, you ask? From their home page:

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.

You can order Arduino systems from several places, including Adafruit and Sparkfun. Both companies have lots of tutorials and howtos to get you started with Arduinos. If you choose the tuition + materials option, we will have an arduino and assortment of electronics components for you to take home after the class.

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Introduction to electronics class (August 2011)

Get started exploring electronics with our Introduction to Electronics class. We’ll cover some of the most basic concepts that you’ll need to understand in order to build, modify and design simple circuits.

This class will have a textbook included in the “supplies”.  The textbook will be used in followup electronics classes at Workshop 88.

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Learn to solder class!

Image credit:MJN123

Have you been dabbling in electronics and building all your circuits on breadboards? Maybe it’s time you learn how to solder with Workshop 88! Want to improve your soldering skills? Come to our soldering class and see what you can do to make you soldering better.  We’ve got some great new soldering irons that you’ll get to make use of during the class.

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Printed Circuit Boards class (July 2011)

Minty Boost XL by Robert Hunt

Minty Boost XL by Robert Hunt @flickr

Jim is going to be running our Printed Circuit Board class again. Last time this class was offered it was really well received by those in attendance. There will also be small W88 logo key fobs as a giveaway for attendees. If you have any small circuits for which a PCB would be appropriate, let Jim Williams know right away. We might be able to add your boards to the class!

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