A new fritzing discussion forum

The good old forum that has lasted us since 2009 has finally been replaced by a shiny new one. Please head over to https://forum.fritzing.org and help make it such a friendly and lively place as with the old one. 67166fd55b183b9cc31c69825f4044c038edc3b1 class= We have selected the fantastic Discourse as the new forum's engine, that we found to do a great job at nurturing a community in places like OpenFrameworks or Particle. It's interesting to see how something as simple as a discussion board has evolved since back in 2009. Tools like phpBB provided a ton of features, but it totally overloaded the user interface. Discourse also provides a lot of functionality, but it's all focused on keeping your participation in discussions simple and easy. Plus it helps with community building by letting you build up your reputation. You can use your existing fritzing.org login, but your profile will start blank–we didn't find a good way to migrate the old forum content, because the systems are too different. You can find the old forum's archive here, and it will remain a valuable resource.

Hackers, win a trip to SPACE!

Hey hackers, engineers and designers! Your chance to WIN A TRIP TO SPACE!

https://vimeo.com/92960084

The DIY page Hackaday.io offers a maker competition where you can actually win a trip to space (or take the cash option of nearly $200,000 instead)! Even if you don’t win the Grand Prize, to be left with a milling machine, 3D printer, a flight to Japan or or or is not too bad either.

But what do you actually have to do? The hackaday guys wondered about that too: „We’ve been vague up to this point on purpose, because spouting specific categorization stifles creativity. We want you to Build the Future — not fit inside of a tiny box made of disqualifying restraints.“ So your official task is to build the next evolution of hardware.

Heat up your soldering iron and start hacking!

Auf die Plätze, fertig, loooooos!

 

We wish you all the best!

Daniel and Amin Daniel and Amin at the Makerfaire Hannover

These days feel strange here in the Fritzing land. On the one hand, there is so much positive feedback about our project, services and products, on the other hand, Daniel and Amin left the Fritzing team.

Daniel, who was working several month very hard to clean up our Django web landscape, left in autumn to join another project. By this time he was almost done and it created the base for our new and improved website – yes, the front end is still work in progress, but the backend is now nice and shiny.

With Amin I worked together a lot. We had much fun, drank, cooked and traveled. (EDIT: Sorry for the funny misspelling :D )

He was my most important sparring partner in creating the Fritzing Creator Kit. It was a very good time and I already miss him. He is now up to work again in this former area, the solar technology.

We wish you guys all the best on your way and are looking forward to see you again, soon.

How can your kids learn with Arduino?

"It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I’ve done some pretty difficult things, like military service." - Stefan, Fritzing Coordinator, on working with kids.

When you are little, you don’t want to wait. You want to cut up some paper and glue it to the moon. You want to get your hands dirty. You want to (with a little assistance, maybe) make a light blink, attach it to a CO2 sensor, put it inside a balloon full of helium, and send it into the sky. That way you can figure out how much CO2 those big cars are coughing out.

I had the chance to do some heavy learning over the weekend as a mentor for children’s workshops, so I saw kids’ impatience firsthand. Hackidemia organized the workshops during the Singularity University EU Summit in Budapest, with the goal of bringing the possibilities of complex technology to children. The Creator Kit has a similar goal, to bring Arduino and electronics to children. The topics are tough, though!

My main takeaway was that teaching kids can be more complex than the technology. Here I outline some of my issues and provide some tips that you can use while using the Creator Kit with your family.

Using the Creator Kit with Your Kids

During the Air Pollution Workshop, I saw that one of the main barriers to teaching youth was keeping their attention. If you asked me to explain something, chances were that I’d quickly slip into my natural tendency toward dry, theoretical, and factual information (in lots of detail). Long story short: that didn’t work so well with 10 year olds. I got this look:

bored

And I noticed over at the next table the mentor Clément got these looks:

happy

What was he doing differently? What can you do differently when you play with children and the Creator Kit?

2 things mainly: metaphors and questions.

Explain via Metaphors

So you want to get the idea of an Arduino across. Ok, how about forgetting about the pins for the time being, and instead making a diagram like this. Extra kudos if you make the diagram on the spot and say a couple of words about each piece along the way.

ear

red-Co2

nose

green-Co2

Engage via Questions

Imagine you are at a cocktail party. To learn about another guest, you probably wouldn’t say, “Tell me everything about you, ordered by year, and please do not stop talking for at least 45 minutes. I do not want the chance to add anything, discuss anything, or ask you any questions.” Nope - instead you would probably ask a series of questions, which lead you to an enjoyable exchange where the person felt like they could express themselves.

Let’s apply this to children. Put the tools in their hands and ask them questions about it. Let them ask you questions. When they answer your questions about the Creator Kit, they are learning by doing and answering.

Do you think there is more CO2 in the air at street level or at the top of a building? If you make it to Mars, what will you have to take with you from Earth? Oh, so you say you want to be a lawyer when you grow up? Well, ever consider being a lawyer for robots?

With the Creator Kit, you might use it with your children. You should use it with your children. Use these tips! Engage them in the kit, play with the content, and get creative. The Creator Kit is a perfect jumping off point, so now it’s your turn to take it to the next level and keep them engaged.

Good morning Seoul!

Hello friends of Fritzing in Seoul! Guess who’s in town?

Reto

It’s Fritzing co-founder and godfather Reto :) He is visiting Seoul from today till Friday 6th of December and  he will be more that happy to meet you and chat with you about Fritzing, what projects you use it for, how you use it, your feedback, suggestions to improve our products and services offering, and if you are nice (which you definitely are) he might even offer you a goodie.

For those who don’t know Reto, he is someone who’s incredibly passionate and smart about everything he does (especially Fritzing), but here is a short summary of what he does: Reto is the founder and design director of IxDS, responsible for the overall design strategy. He is a Professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, where he teaches “Physical Interaction Design” and researches innovative, bodily-focused approaches to Human-computer interaction. Reto has previously worked as an Associate Professor with the Interaction Design Institute in Ivrea, and as a designer/researcher with Sony in Tokyo and Ideo in San Francisco. He studied Industrial Design at UdK Berlin and Mechanical Engineering at TU Berlin. Prior to his studies, Reto had an apprenticeship as a stonemason in Southern Germany.

Drop us a comment and we’ll get you in touch with him ;)