Discover Summary: March 3rd

This past Tuesday, March 3rd, we had our third technology session, focusing on creating some cool circuits and soldering. At the beginning of the session, we were split up into two groups, a soldering group and a circuit group.  Halfway through the session, the two groups switched activities so we would be able to get a taste of both soldering and basic circuitry.

The first activity I did was creating basic LED circuits.  Using Arduino, an “open-source electronics platform” we hooked up various wires from the Arduino to the Breadboard in order to create a circuit able to light up LED’s.  After we had finished assembling the circuit, we took bits of code from Arduino’s Experimenter’s Guide in order to make the LED’s light up at various speeds and in various orders.  We started off simply, first just trying to light up one LED. Once we had accomplished that, we were able to play around with the tempo at which the blinking LED light would light up.  After completing that, we moved on to a more difficult task – lighting up 8 LED’s.  Eventually, we were able to get to the point where we could change the order in which each of the eight lights lit up and how fast they would light up.  It was definitely an interesting experience in working with basic circuits.

Afterwards, my half of FSL worked on soldering.  In groups of two, we each shared a soldering iron and practiced soldering two pieces wires together.  As someone who soldered for the first time on Tuesday, it was a very unique experience.  In terms of appearance, it was pretty freaky to see how similar the soldering iron looked to a curling iron!

Credit: Windell Oskay
Credit: Windell Oskay

Once we were finished practicing we were further split up into two groups of 5.  One group had the chance to solder little lights (I think they were LED’s?) onto a board which used was able to detect movement and flash the little lights according to where your hand hovered over the board.  Some of the more experienced solderer were able to whip through soldering the lights to the board, while others took a little longer, but it was good fun either way.  The group that wasn’t soldering was being told of our homework assignment – the Finkbeiner test.  This test is a list of things that are often used in articles when someone writes an article about an accomplished woman.  Here is the list:

  • She is a woman
  • Her partner’s job
  • Child care situation
  • Nuturing nature
  • Surprised by competitiveness
  • Role model for other women
  • How she is the “first woman to…”

Although the Finkbeiner test was creating with women in science in mind, I really feel that ALL women are subjected this sexism and the test can really be applied to all women.  We have to write an article about a woman in science that passes this test, meaning that it does not include any of the checklist.  Afterwards, we had a brief discussion about how men and women are treated differently, and how we noticed that in our daily lives. All in all, it was a very interesting session!

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