We are so pleased that CodeCreate will be at Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire 2017! We had a chance to sit down with Jefferey Sweeton to find out more about their work. CodeCreate “empowers learners through creative design with everyday technology and learners’ own ideas: commands that students retain every other time they see those tools.” Jefferey Sweeton explained, “Too often, when we start in Python or HTML or, even algebra, the activities we engage in ask us to FORGET the content that we already know… We want to show the connections between technology and the world we already know- the things we want to say: which art does really well… Art is something all around us. Technology is something all around us.” With this mission in hand, CodeCreate has worked with fifty different organizations all over the world. CodeCreate holds numerous classes, such as Power Puppets where students make cardboard puppets and learn to add solenoids or motors to make them work, or The Science of Digital Time, where they explore time and build a digital clock. All of their classes are based on, Jefferey explains, “how I think technology should be taught—it’s a means of expression to tell the story that YOU want to tell…”
For Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, CodeCreate will be teaching the Cardboard Switching Challenge. Sweeton explains, “You make something out of cardboard – really whatever you want… and you use aluminum foil to decorate the thing you make [like] a cat or a guitar or drums. That aluminum surface is conductive so when we use that surface with a Makey Makey board we can make the computer, do things…” Examples include making a cat meow or another sound but that’s only the beginning. The idea is to tell a story that only you can tell. We can’t wait to see what amazing things makers will make with CodeCreate at the Faire!
Elisa Shoenberger is a writer and oral historian in Chicago. She has written for Ozy, the Billfold, LoveTV, Rebellious Magazine, the Reset, the City Creatures blog for the Center for Humans and Nature. She is the co-editor and co-founder of the Antelope Magazine. You can check out her blog Not Without Her Bowler Hat.