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Thursday, May 28 • 5:30pm - 6:00pm
Critical Making and Creativity in the Classroom

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This poster presentation will highlight the way that critical making tools were integrated into an Introduction to Science, Technology, and Society (STS) course. This course is by nature interdisciplinary, as the STS Program brings together undergraduate students majoring in disciplines such as engineering and the humanities. As part of this introductory course, students competed as groups on gamified quests to invent new technologies using critical making tools such as micro-controllers, 3D printing, and augmented reality. The quest was divided into four stages, reflecting the university’s emphasis that students “think and do”:

1. Research: In this stage they researched their selected critical making tool and reported back to the group with examples of how it has been used so far. 

2. Make: After learning about the tools individually, they worked together in small groups to become more familiar with the technology as they followed tutorials to re-create a project that has already been done. 

3. "Think" phase: Next, the students brainstormed a new or innovative way to use the technology. They submited a plan that is similar to a patent application, that showed how their invention is different from other similar technologies, and created drawings, designs, etc. of their planned project.

4. "Do" phase: Finally, students worked together to bring their invention to life using the critical making tools. They created the invention itself, as well as a multi-modal project that explained the new invention and how it connected to the STS theory that they learned in class. 

They created a wide range of invented technologies, including 3D printed cell-phone cases that allow for storage and protection of ear bud headphones, a mind-controlled robot, an arduino-powered glove that controls input to a computer - similar to a mouse, a 3D printed robotic arm with pressure sensitive arduino-powered fingers for amputees and children born without fully-formed limbs, and an augmented reality music creation art project. 

This assignment challenged students to use creativity to innovate a new technology, while exploring the creation process itself through traditional scholarship in the STS field, as a way to reflect the collaborative and changing nature of humanities research and scholarship. 

The digital poster will explain the assignment and show the results of the student quests using photos and videos recorded throughout the creation process.

avatar for J.J. Sylvia IV

J.J. Sylvia IV

J.J. Sylvia IV is a Ph.D. student in the Communication, Rhetoric, and Digital Media program at North Carolina State University. He is also a member of Duke's Ph.D. Lab in Digital Knowledge. His research interests include the philosophy of communication, big data, affirmative critical... Read More →

Thursday May 28, 2015 5:30pm - 6:00pm EDT
Lincoln Room Kellogg Center

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