What brought you to the MAKERSHiP Project?
I had lost my job in California almost 10-11 months ago and wasn’t able to find a comparable job. I moved to Pittsburgh in December because I have family here. My mom told me about a man she had met named C.W. Kramer who I contacted to see if he knew about any jobs, or a good way to go about going back to school. He told me about TechShop and specifically the MAKERSHiP Project. I came to the Open House that day after talking to him and I have been in this awesome program ever since.
What classes have you taken?
I have taken classes specifically geared towards the skills that I want to develop – Arduino building and Arduino programming classes. I am also taking sewing classes so I can expand on my knowledge of wearable electronics and how they are built and programmed. My favorite class that I have taken so far is the first sewing class. I relearned all of the things that I had forgotten in high school about sewing.
What have you made? What do you plan to make?
Most of the things that I have made are beginner projects. The first project that I completed was a piano using a Piezo on my Arduino board. I hooked it up so that you could push buttons that would make different sounds like a piano. I was only able to hook up 4 buttons but one of them did nothing and I wasn’t sure why.
The current project in my picture is a digital magic 8 ball. You ask it questions that have yes or no answers and it gives really silly answers. It uses a tilt sensor LCD screen and my Arduino program to make it all work. For example, if you ask it, “Will I ever get married?” and it will respond with 1 of 8 answers like “No” or, “You should just quit trying.”
I have about 15 projects that I want to make and it is tough to decide what to build a lot of the time. One thing at a time.
How do you envision using the digital manufacturing skills you have learned through the MAKERSHiP Project in your career?
The skills that I am learning through MAKERSHiP are priceless. They are allowing me to realize my goals and dreams for my future. To be able to develop these abilities in an environment like TechShop that allows me to work towards a positive future is amazing. I envision using the skills that I am learning to help myself and the people around me any way that I can and giving back to my community and to the people who have gone out of their way to help me. I feel that it is important to share the wealth of knowledge that you learn with other people so that they can feel empowered to make their own path in life and teach others these skills.
Specifically I’d like to use what I have learned about electronics and sewing to create new and exciting ideas in the wearable electronics industry.by