Short Circuits

Short Circuits: Crafting e-Puppets with DIY Electronics

Kylie Peppler
Katie Salen Tekinbaş
Melissa Gresalfi
Rafi Santo
foreword by Christina Cantrill
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: MIT Press
Pages: 392
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qfb1b
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  • Book Info
    Short Circuits
    Book Description:

    Short Circuitsoffers students opportunities to undertake physical computing projects, providing tools and methods for creating electronic puppets. Students learn how to incorporate microprocessors into everyday materials and use them to enhance their language and writing skills with shadow puppet shows featuring their own DIY flashlights.

    eISBN: 978-0-262-32001-6
    Subjects: Education, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. SERIES FOREWORD
    (pp. vii-viii)

    In recent years, digital media and networks have become embedded in our everyday lives and are part of broad-based changes to how we engage in knowledge production, communication, and creative expression. Unlike the early years in the development of computers and computer-based media, digital media are nowcommonplaceandpervasive, having been taken up by a wide range of individuals and institutions in all walks of life. Digital media have escaped the boundaries of professional and formal practice, and of the academic, governmental, and industry homes that initially fostered their development. Now they have been taken up by diverse populations...

  4. FOREWORD
    (pp. ix-xii)
    Christina Cantrill

    At a recent national meeting, a group of National Writing Project (NWP) educators participated in a workshop based on a Design Challenge from thisShort Circuits: Crafting e-Puppets with DIY Electronicscurriculum. The workshop, led byShort Circuitsauthors Kylie Peppler and Melissa Gresalfi, was organized so that we started with a few provocations about systems and “systems thinking,” got an overview of circuits and switches, and then had some time (as well as scaffolded support and materials) to dive into our first puppet-making task. After that, we would debrief about what we had just done and reflect on the...

  5. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND PROJECT HISTORY
    (pp. xiii-xx)
  6. SYSTEMS THINKING CONCEPTS IN THIS BOOK COLLECTION
    (pp. xxi-xxvi)
  7. ALIGNMENT TO COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS (CCSS)
    (pp. xxvii-xxxiv)
  8. NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS (NGSS)
    (pp. xxxv-xxxviii)
  9. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-18)

    Few would argue with the idea that the world is growing more complex as the twenty-first century unfolds. We live in a time that not only requires us to work across disciplines to solve problems, but also one in which these problems are of unprecedented scale, coming from a world that is more interconnected than ever. In such a context, power rests in the hands of those who understand the nature of the interdependent systems that organize the world, and, more important, can identify where to act or how to intervene in order to change those systems. Effective intervention requires...

  10. TOOLKIT
    (pp. 19-84)

    In this chapter, we transition from talking about the ideas and principles behind this book to share more about how they can be realized in practice. Here, we offer a toolkit and various tips on how to foster a productive climate of making with Do-It-Yourself (DIY) electronics.

    Throughout this volume, we encourage instructors to follow the spirit, rather than the letter, of the upcoming Design Challenges. Every learning environment is different—a classroom is dramatically different from a library space, which is also different from an after-school program. Every group of youths is different—tweens are not teens, youths who...

  11. DESIGN CHALLENGE OVERVIEWS
    (pp. 85-86)

    The goal of this challenge is to familiarize youths with the notion that all systems are made up of components, that each component has a specific set of behaviors, and that the way that a system functions depends on the interconnections among its components. In this challenge, they will be introduced to the idea of electronic circuits as systems and will learn to identify the system’s components (e.g., load, energy source, and wire), behaviors (e.g., conductor versus resistor), intended goals (e.g., to turn on a light-emitting diode [LED]), and an overall function that depends on the system’ interconnections (i.e., the...

  12. DESIGN CHALLENGE 1: INTRODUCTION TO THE ELECTRONIC CIRCUIT
    (pp. 87-120)

    The goal of this challenge is to familiarize youths with the notion that all systems are made up of of components, that each component has a specific set of behaviors, and that the way that a system functions depends on the interconnections among its components. In this challenge, they will be introduced to the idea of electronic circuits as systems and will learn to identify the system’s components (e.g., load, energy source, and wire), behaviors (e.g., conductor versus resistor), intended goals (e.g., to turn on a light-emitting diode [LED]), and an overall function that depends on the system’s interconnections (i.e.,...

  13. DESIGN CHALLENGE 2: IT’S ALIVE! MAKING E-PUPPETS
    (pp. 121-172)

    Building on the systems thinking concepts introduced in Design Challenge 1 (i.e., systems have components, behaviors, and goals), youths will probe more deeply into a system’s interconnections in the creation of a simple switch for an electric puppet (e-puppet). Through this process, youths uncover ways to preserve limited resources by identifying potential leverage points, that is, places to intervene productively by changing a component of the system with the result of changing the overall goal of the system. In addition, youths also learn about character development and aspects of storytelling in ways that support them in beginning to think about...

  14. DESIGN CHALLENGE 3: SPEAKING STORIES
    (pp. 173-206)

    This Design Challenge encourages youths to see a story not as a collection of settings, characters, and plot elements, but as a study of relationships. They explore the interconnections between the goal or resolution of a story, its structure, and the behaviors of its components through small-group brainstorming, game play, and collaboration. The idea of story-as-system is contrasted with the incorporation of a recording/playing device (part of an electronic system) into one of the activities. Comparisons between stories and circuits as systems help youths to recognize that systems can exist anywhere.

    Youths will work together in small groups to create...

  15. DESIGN CHALLENGE 4: DIY FLASHLIGHTS AND SHADOW PUPPETS
    (pp. 207-264)

    The goal of this Design Challenge is for youths to learn about how a system’s structure can determine specific component behaviors and larger system dynamics or interconnections. Youths experiment with different circuit structures and battery voltages to discover how circuits can be structured in series and parallel formations. They apply this understanding toward the design and development of flashlights made from inexpensive materials, and then they use their creations to put on a shadow puppet show.

    Youths will create a do-it-yourself (DIY) flashlight out of cardboard, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), a battery, and a slide switch. Then the flashlight will be...

  16. DELVING DEEPER INTO SYSTEMS THINKING
    (pp. 265-276)

    So what is systems thinking, and why is it important? With so little time to cover what seems like so much, why should systems thinking get a seat at the educational table? We find the answer in part by looking at the vast problems in the world around us, which range from environmental degradation to global financial meltdowns, growing inequality to ballooning costs of health care, and so many more issues. At their core, these difficulties are about systems, and all can be linked fundamentally to perspective: people have a tendency to look at things in terms of isolated parts...

  17. Appendix A: GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS
    (pp. 277-284)
  18. Appendix B: ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
    (pp. 285-290)
  19. Appendix C: SHORT CIRCUITS FORMAL ASSESSMENT
    (pp. 291-294)
  20. Appendix D: SYSTEMS THINKING CONCEPT CARDS: SHORT CIRCUITS
    (pp. 295-304)
  21. Appendix E: SHORT CIRCUITS CHALLENGE CARDS
    (pp. 305-338)
  22. NOTES
    (pp. 339-340)
  23. REFERENCES AND PHOTO CREDITS
    (pp. 341-344)
  24. INDEX
    (pp. 345-348)