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Meet Your Maker

Ann-Louise Davidson and her team assemble a who’s who of Makers to mark World Arduino Day
May 20, 2020
By Elisabeth Faure

Education Maker Rima Abou-Khalil soldering the components to connect to an Arduino microcontroller for a project

From the seasoned Maker nerd to the at-home tinkerer looking for DIY projects, there will be something for everyone at the May 23 event co-hosted by Concordia’s Education Makers and the Milieux Institute in partnership with 4th Space.

“This event will enable participants to discover the world of coding, learn what exciting projects can be done with open-source electronics, and meet the Education Makers team and their partners,” says Ann-Louise Davidson, an associate professor in the department of education, and Concordia University Research Chair in Maker Culture.

The date celebrates Arduino Day, named for an open-source electronics platform based on user-friendly micro controllers and software, intended for anyone who wants to make an interactive project.

Arduino Day 2020 took place on March 21. It is a 24-hour worldwide event to celebrate all things Arduino. 

“It’s organized by the Arduino community to share the passion,” Davidson explains. This year, 509 Arduino events took place in over 90 countries.

With the initial date of their event cancelled due to COVID-19, Davidson and her team embraced the DIY spirit of Arduino Day and decided to hold a virtual event.

“As a group, we'll describe our current initiative: a series of weekly online "coding jams" where our group members with different experiences and levels of expertise learn collaboratively about the Arduino platform,” says Ivan Ruby, a PhD student of Davidson’s taking part in the event.

Some participants will showcase projects they built while others will talk about their experiences and learning journey. Many participants started learning computer programming during the coding jams held by Ruby, in trying to solve common problems they were facing during the Covid-19 shutdown.

“Personally, I got curious about Arduino ever since I joined Education Makers and we started experimenting with Arduino Uno during our maker jams,” says fellow student Farnaz Gholami, whose project that helps users to remember to ”drink water” using an Arduino and a simple display.

“As someone who has always had a dual interest in electronics and crafting, I enjoy meshing the two by creating aesthetically pleasing crafts (clothing, jewelry, cushions, etc.) that integrate electronics,” says Nathalie Duponsel. Her project is a space nightlight banner for children where lights turn on the banner when the lights go out in the room.

Joining the Education Makers will be Arduino co-founder David Cuartielles, and Tomas de Camino, a mathematician, computer scientist, musician, maker and professor at Lead University in Costa Rica. 

Other projects to be featured include a portal gun, electroknitting, and a smart car assistant.

Ben Douek, the inventor of Robot in a Can, will present how his invention helps kids become more curious and self-confident.

The event will wrap up with a Q & A session, where audience members can ask questions in both English and French.

“Participants of all ages can learn about the potential of Arduino for empowerment, creativity and problem solving,” says Davidson.

“This is a wonderful at-home learning opportunity for anyone curious about Maker culture.”

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