Monday, January 11, 2016

Fun In The Hack Shack

By Lilia Pettit

A lot has been happening over the past few weeks in the Hack Shack.  New people are coming in to
check out the cool technology, the new items are being added to the Hack Shack and the fun and interesting events are happening every week. 

One of the coolest weeks of this semester was Hour of Code week, which was the week of the 7th in December.  During this week all Hack Shack employees and some teachers held workshops to give students a chance to try out coding.  Many people used online tools, like coding games and programs.  For my activity, I decided to show my advisory an online coding game called, Code Combat.  The game lets you select which type of code you wish to use and through different levels and tasks, teaches you how to use that

Before starting the game, most of the students in my advisory did not seem that into the idea but by the end many were so involved with the game they were screaming at the computer screen.  All the students seem to enjoy their experience and were surprised at how fun the game was. 

These past few weeks, many workshops have been held in the Hack Shack to show students the
technology in the Space.  One workshop that I held was for the LittleBits.  LittleBits are little magnetic circuit pieces that you can mix and match and attach to each other.  They each do something different in your design.  There are three types, the pink ones control a green one that come after it and the orange connect different pieces or designs together.

During the workshop, many of the people that attended made great designs.  Two students in particular made a huge design with lots of different moving parts.  Once they finished, they felt very accomplished and told me how much fun they had building the design and seeing what each part did. 

Many students have also been visiting the Hack Shack for non-technology related activities.  The space now has projects like an adult coloring book, Bendaroos, Legos, and a lot of different arts and craft supplies.  Many students are enjoying getting in touch with their little kid side and just having fun.  One visitor insisted her design be shared with the world.  She had come in one day and made a turtle out of the Bendaroos, its name, Toto the Turtle. 

As the year progresses, more and more students and teachers come into the Hack Shack for assistance or to have fun with the equipment there.  The fan base is growing rapidly, come check it out before the crowd gets too big.    

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