Hi, I’m Becky Stern

Hi, I’m Becky! I’ll be your instructor for Making Studio. Here’s a little bit more about me: I love to make things and share them. Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve loved to do all sorts of crafts, like sewing and knitting. I learned some DIY electronics in college at Parsons School of Design and fell in love with combining electronics with soft materials to make art, costumes, and other gadgets. Right now I’m a product manager at Instructables, which is part of Autodesk. I’ve published several hundred step-by-step guides about everything from jewelry making to internet-connected displays. Before Instructables, I worked as director of wearable electronics for Adafruit, and senior video producer for MAKE Magazine. You can find more of my work on my website and my YouTube channel and Instagram. After Parsons, I went to Arizona State for grad school, where I dropped out twice– once from a Ph.D. program and the second time from an MFA in sculpture. I’ve lived in New York City for 15 years, and I was raised in Connecticut. I’m really excited to get to know you and your creative work. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time. I’m always happy to schedule a 1:1 meeting or help over slack or email between 8 am and 10 pm Eastern Time.

I’d love to get to know you a bit more, as well as get you set up on the class blog. Please check your email for a WordPress invitation to MakingStudio.blog, create your account, and introduce yourself in a new blog post. Please include a recent photo of yourself, and let me know where you are from, what you were doing before coming to PoD, any other info about your background that you care to share, some of your favorite things to make, do, and eat, what you are most looking forward to in this course, and what you are most apprehensive about in this course. I’d also love to follow you on social media if you want to share your links.

Final project requirements and presentation schedule

Please post up your final project to the blog by 5pm the night before your presentation date. Please include:

  • A link to your published Instructable
  • Your video embedded/linked
  • Some photos (final, in progress, sketches)
  • A brief description of your project’s purpose, function, form, construction, and future projections

As a reminder, your materials and final class dossiers are due 4pm on 12/18 (last day to submit grades) and required for a passing grade, so don’t be late. They can be built around your Halloween costume or final project, it’s up to you.

Continue reading “Final project requirements and presentation schedule”

Week 12 Homework

Great job on your project brainstorms and wifi work, folks! For homework this week, you should build a prototype circuit for your project, and continue developing its final form and code. Don’t forget to take in-process photos and video! Many of you have two parallel development tasks (form and function)– don’t put off any unknown part of your project! It’s unacceptable to say “I couldn’t do X because Y had to be complete first”. The sooner you uncover the unknown parts of your project, the sooner the finish line will be in sight. Please feel free to schedule a 1-1 with me if you need one, or email with any type of questions.

Write an outline for your project tutorial, including an introductory paragraph describing the use case, a materials/tools list, and single sentences describing each likely step. If you are able, write more by fleshing out each step with instructions. Please write with complete sentences (except your materials/tools list) and do your best with grammar and punctuation. Work in a Google Doc at first, since we’ll use it next class for peer-review.

Draft up your instructions into an Instructable (do not publish it yet), including any process photos that are ready. I have composed a sample draft to help guide you (you must be logged in to Instructables to view this unpublished preview).

Next class we will have a peer-supported writing workshop, work time, and 1-1 meetings. In preparation, please make a blog post (Works in Progress/Proposals category, due 5pm Nov 26) containing the following:

  • Link to Google Doc version of your draft tutorial
  • Link to your draft Instructable (get this from your Drafts page by right-clicking on the project thumbnail)
  • Description and/or storyboard for your project video
  • Your circuit prototype/parts needed to work in class
Continue reading “Week 12 Homework”

Week 11 Homework

For homework this week, please complete the remaining lessons in the Internet of Things Class:

Lesson 4
Lesson 5
Lesson 6

and create the following for your final project (select your idea by Friday):
-Bill of Materials (BOM) (list of components and parts)
-Circuit diagram (made using Fritzing, Tinkercad Circuits, or drawing)

Please make a blog post with video or photo evidence of your lesson completion, and your proposed BOM and circuit diagram for your project (Works in Progress/Proposals category). Due 5pm Tuesday 11/19.

Week 10 Homework

Finish watching this playlist of project documentation videos.

We will be working in class next week with your Huzzah ESP8266 boards, so bring all your Arduino gear, laptops, and questions!

Brainstorm ideas for your final project. Please make a blog post with three ideas and sketches, due Nov 12 at 8pm (Works in Progress/Proposals category).

Your final project should be a physical object that uses what you’ve learned about Arduino so far. It should solve a problem or enhance an experience. You will publish your final projects in the form of a step-by-step tutorial and video, showing others how to replicate your design. You may work in groups if you choose. You may include internet-connectivity in your project, but it is not required. Some examples:

Week 9 Homework

Prepare a formal presentation about your Halloween costume project. You will present from the class blog, where your post (due 8pm 11/5, Halloween Costumes category) must contain:

  • Final photos of you in your costume
  • In-progress photos
  • Sketches
  • Inspiration links/images/projects
  • List of materials and tools used
  • Circuit diagram
  • Arduino code
  • Paragraph text about your costume, why you made it, how it is to wear it, what you learned in the process, and what you would do differently if you had to do it over again

Additionally, complete the first three lessons in the Internet of Things Class:
Gather Your (Internet Of) Things
Software Setup
Hardware Setup

Please make a blog post with video evidence of having completed the IoT class exercises (Arduino Homework Exercises category). Deadline is 8pm 11/5.

Week 8 Homework and NYC’s 46th Annual Village Halloween Parade

For homework, please finish building your Halloween costumes. Don’t forget to take photos and video of the process. Post up some progress photos, your circuit diagram, and code for your homework blog post, due by 10/29 at 8pm.

In class on 10/30, we will get into costume and have a rehearsal for the parade including a small “last looks” critique, and take some photos. Hopefully any necessary last-minute adjustments can be identified during class and completed before the parade on 10/31.

In the evening on 10/31, let’s march in The Village Halloween Parade!

#nychalloween #nycostume #halloweenparade

Meet in the south classroom at 6pm. We’ll be departing PoD at 6:15pm on 10/31.

We will take the 1 train from 23rd st/ 7th ave to Canal Street.

If your costume doesn’t fit on the train (I think everyone’s will), take a large car service/taxi and meet us at Varick Street and Canal Street.

Once together as a group, we’ll proceed to the parade entrance at Canal Street and 6th Ave. We should expect to wait in a crowded holding area there for about an hour before being released into the parade.

The parade proceeds up 6th Ave and ends around 16th-18th street. At that point it’s easy to walk the rest of the way back to PoD or go on about your merry evening. We should be done walking by 8-9pm.

Becky’s Parade Rules:

  • STAY TOGETHER! Make sure you can see one of your Guiding Skeletons throughout the parade, until we reach 16th Street.
  • Put my cell phone number in your phone contacts
  • Get your picture taken: Smokey and I will both be snapping pics of you during the parade. Make sure we get pics of you with your amazing costume!
  • Let me know if you need to leave early: it’s pretty easy to get out of the parade if you absolutely need to (panic attack, etc.), but you can’t get back in.
  • If there’s a parade-wide emergency (meteor strike, terrorism), please meet back at PoD for a check-in.

Some tips for having the best time possible:

  • eat beforehand
  • wear comfortable shoes
  • prepare for cold weather with thick socks and an underlayer or other way to make your costume warm (gloves, scarf, hat)
  • bring a bag, utility belt, etc. for your belongings and carry some water and extra batteries for your costume.
  • practice your dance moves in-costume in front of a mirror
  • wave to the TV cameras around West 4th Street