DEP program

For 2014/5 was a youth technology program for young people with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder)
We coded for websites, games, interactive media and arduinos
made digital art and motion graphics and made dioramas with a 3D printer

You can see the project

It culminated in an interactive project at Nightcliff library on Wednesday 25th November 2015
Tech House

A number of mentors have worked on this project including Panos Couros | Ciella Williams | Billy Torres and Anton Koum

We have a great group of young people in this class who through this year have socially bonded and have developed a real work ethic making these classes very productive and great to be involved with. We have had a busy few months:

  • Preparing for our end of year exhibition
  • Entering the STEM game competition
  • Working on our individual projects
  • Doing group talks and common lessons

We have fostered and pushed the concept of being project driven, all participants are expected and encouraged to be working on a project or task that they have identified as interesting to them. We work pretty much exclusively on participants interests
The classes themselves are flexible and engaging, our program is delivered in an open an informal manner which lends itself to participants giving feedback and articulating what skills they require. In this way we try and keep everybody engaged, our most important metric! We have had only 1 person leave this class so far
Working to the GAS goals has been a little challenging, but we have done our best. This is an abridged collation of these goals:
Robots (6 people!) / Coding (C++ js ) / circuit board/ make friends / create a game / make youtube video clip / video editing- animation
These technology goals all require an extremely varied bunch of skills which is almost impossible to cover with such an eclectic bunch of people. Not to mention these goals often don’t match the skills, interests and abilities of the participants.

Our Solution

We decided to do a grand end of year exhibition for one night called “Tech House”
This flexible concept allows people to work in their own projects to be included in the exhibition but also to collaborate on a common project like we did for the STEM game competition (see below). We aim to tick off the things on their GAS list where appropriate and decided to build a communal robot as it was a stated goal for many participants
What should the exhibition be like? As robot building is a common goal, so we are building a robot to control everything
We did a class session on what is a robot, our class definition:
A robot is a machine that gathers information about its environment (senses) and uses that information (thinks) to follow instructions to do work (acts).
It doesn’t have to look like a human!!! in fact most don’t
So we will have a robot that will control our exhibition, it will take a variety of sensor inputs from the environment, process these to produce outcomes: sounds, motion and visuals
Our control system grows in complexity each week and we are gradually putting the exhibtion together and there’s a real buzz to make something that we’re all proud of.

So far we can measure:
motion / pressure / temperature / humidity / vibration / button (humann input) / dial (human input)
on order: infra red sensor / sound sensor

Individually many people are working on motion graphics (it’s far preferred to coding and even making games) and we will trigger these videos with sensors. It gives us an opportunity for coding electronics and displaying works

Some Examples of our work:

    STEM Game Competition
    This was a major project for us and required a huge amount of effort and energy to get it in. The project is described in the Game Development Diary (download it and have a play!)
    This project was a prototype of the way the group interacts and works collaboratively and is the model for “Night at the Library”. It’s a flexible and means that the coders code, videographers make video, everyone contributes in a way that they can
    Speaker Making

    speaker listening

    Pixel Art Deliverer
    We have built a program that displays our many and varied pieces of pixel art
    A push of the button changes the image
    Our bitmap images are converted into an array using: then uploaded to the arduino which powers the screen. It’s quite a programming feat!!

We try and get as much information on the net as possible. It will be updated and filled out over the next 2 months