argodesign & Girls Who Code Want to Close the STEM Gender Gap
In response to men’s overwhelming dominance in computing, argodesign and non-profit Girls Who Code teamed up to create a workshop that inspires young girls to stay interested in STEM. They used Bare Conductive’s TouchBoard Starter Kit to teach girls about physical computing and user interaction by designing, building, and programming a life-sized Art.Bot. The materials used were foam core, conductive copper touch points, wiring, and the Touch Board. The story was covered on Bare Conductive’s blog.
With the girls’ varied coding experience the TouchBoard kits were functional and flexible enough to meet all skill levels. They were introduced to physical computing and capacitive sensing, and were then asked to develop a personality for their creature, which included a script of phrases utilizing recorded sounds and text-to-speech apps. The girls created fully functional interactive Art.Bots that traveled from the studio to Maker Faire Austin 2017, where kids were able to interact with them at the event.
Argodesign’s Think My Making philosophy is centered around creating better designs by bringing ideas to work as quickly as possible — building and tinkering with prototypes to better understand and improve products and user experiences. The girls were able to apply this approach with their Art.Bots because of the kit’s ease to code, test, and iterate, which allowed them to learn new skills and exercise their creativity through adjustments.