Creating new from old

IT’S A BUG: Jake Millar with his sculpture made from old technology at the half-day holiday programme at The Mind Lab in Gisborne. Pictures by Rebecca Grunwell
TECHY KIDS: Using e-waste Johnny and Adrianna Batarrita-Clarke have pulled apart a circuit board, a keyboard and an old camera and created this quirky sculpture with a small light which is connected to a low-voltage battery.
MAKING IT GO: Rowan Mayhew figures out how to make his sculpture interactive by using problem solving skills and experimentation.

A new holiday programme workshop at The Mind Lab has a focus on re-purposing old technology by pulling it apart and creating something new.

Old technology, or e-waste, is one of the fastest growing sources of waste globally and is having a negative impact on the environment and health.

The children use tools like wire cutters, wire strippers and screwdrivers to disassemble and re-use e-waste that would otherwise be going into the landfill.

Mind Lab edtech innovator Emily Walpole said the children learned about how the technology worked, and were encouraged to make sculptures with an interactive component from the old technology.

Rather than being prescriptive, the workshop is designed to spark the children’s creativity as they make sculptures while learning about the simple components and mechanisms inside the technology, from how a motor operates to how a circuit board works. This hands-on learning also requires a certain dexterity as they pull apart everything from circuit boards and old robotics components to PlayStations and keyboards.

“We teach them to be safe with electricity and only use low voltage batteries and there is also a degree of problem-solving involved.” Creating art from e-waste is an ideal way to upcycle, and challenges creators to think about sustainability on a local level.

The Mind Lab will be running three-day workshops later in the holidays for children aged 12 and over.

“This is in response to interest from the community for more advanced workshops,” said centre director Shanon O’Connor.

During the three-day digital art workshop, teens would bridge the gap between traditional and digital painting, exploring techniques such as layering, texturising and photo manipulation, she said.

At the three-day robotics workshop, teens will be introduced to the basics of Arduino — an open-source hardware and software company, project and user community — and experiment with electronics to construct a self-driving robot.

A new holiday programme workshop at The Mind Lab has a focus on re-purposing old technology by pulling it apart and creating something new.

Old technology, or e-waste, is one of the fastest growing sources of waste globally and is having a negative impact on the environment and health.

The children use tools like wire cutters, wire strippers and screwdrivers to disassemble and re-use e-waste that would otherwise be going into the landfill.

Mind Lab edtech innovator Emily Walpole said the children learned about how the technology worked, and were encouraged to make sculptures with an interactive component from the old technology.

Rather than being prescriptive, the workshop is designed to spark the children’s creativity as they make sculptures while learning about the simple components and mechanisms inside the technology, from how a motor operates to how a circuit board works. This hands-on learning also requires a certain dexterity as they pull apart everything from circuit boards and old robotics components to PlayStations and keyboards.

“We teach them to be safe with electricity and only use low voltage batteries and there is also a degree of problem-solving involved.” Creating art from e-waste is an ideal way to upcycle, and challenges creators to think about sustainability on a local level.

The Mind Lab will be running three-day workshops later in the holidays for children aged 12 and over.

“This is in response to interest from the community for more advanced workshops,” said centre director Shanon O’Connor.

During the three-day digital art workshop, teens would bridge the gap between traditional and digital painting, exploring techniques such as layering, texturising and photo manipulation, she said.

At the three-day robotics workshop, teens will be introduced to the basics of Arduino — an open-source hardware and software company, project and user community — and experiment with electronics to construct a self-driving robot.

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