Teen Art-Science Workshops

Making Sense - Sensor Design Workshop Series for Teens

In this series of weeklong design workshops, you get to dive into the amazing collection of creatures in the National Museum of Natural History’s Q?rius space, using the natural diversity found there as inspiration for your own electronic inventions. Explore the incredible ways that animals and plants sense the world through light, sound, touch, proximity, and  vibration. Using these organisms and their natural sensory systems as inspiration, you get to create sensing inventions that can extend our human perception of the world. We’ll also use some of the great technology at the Hirshhorn’s ARTLAB+ to explore how artists and musicians work with sensory technology and environments.  While working  with electronics, computers, screens and data, you will get to collaborate with scientists and artists to develop your own inventions and ideas about the future of sensing and human perception.

Whether you’re into art, technology, gaming, tinkering, making, design, fashion, science or nature, this workshop is for you.

There are three different workshops in this series. Sign up for one, sign up for all, take the second one, or just the third one.  The only pre-requisite is your interest. Space is limited, so sign up today.



MAKING SENSE 1: Sensors for Creative Expression
Monday, June 20, 2016 - Friday, June 24, 2016
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM each day

In Making Sense 1 we will explore biological sensors and we’ll build sensors for creative expression.  You'll get an introduction to sensors by investigating the connections between sensors and behaviors in the natural world. We'll look at how scientists study the senses and spend time with artists and scientists who use sensors in their work. 

In this workshop we will build a variety of makeshift/prototype sensors to explore touch (force/pressure), light (optics), sound (acoustics) and develop a larger project that you will invent.  You will learn about simple microcontroller programming to represent sensor inputs through the creation of unique outputs, including interactive animation, kinetic sculpture, and augmented acoustics, for example.

Sign-Up: http://makingsense-1.eventbrite.com

MAKING SENSE 2: Wearable Technology and Embedded Sensors
Monday, July 11, 2016 - Friday, July 15, 2016
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM each day

In Making Sense 2 we will explore biological sensors and design projects that extend our human sensing capabilities in a variety of fabricated ways. You'll get an introduction to sensors by investigating the connections between sensors and behaviors in the natural world. We'll look at how scientists study the senses and use sensors in their work. We'll spend time with artists who explore human perception and use sensor technology in their work.

In this portion of the Making Sense workshop series we will develop prototypes for ideas that include embedded sensors in clothing and objects. These sensors can potentially measure a variety of environmental factors, from light to proximity to geographical location. We will begin to examine how these embedded sensors can produce unique outputs that may include lights, motion, sounds or screen-based "representations."

Sign-Up: 
http://makingsense-2.eventbrite.com

MAKING SENSE 3: Sensing the Wider World
Monday, August 1, 1016 - Friday, August 5, 2016
10:00 AM - 4:30 PM each day

In Making Sense 3 we will explore biological sensors and design projects that extend our human sensing capabilities in a variety of ways.  You'll get an introduction to sensors by investigating the connections between sensors and behaviors in the natural world. We'll look at how scientists study the senses and use sensors in their work.  We'll spend time with artists that explore human perception and use sensor technology in their work. We will also consider how the human species can now sense places far from our physical location and use sensors to "see" the entire planet.


In this portion of the Making Sense workshop series we will develop prototypes for ideas that include storing data and mapping data onto a variety of representations. Discover unusual ways to visualize or sonify data, use seismic data to create a beat in a music track or create paintings from ocean temperature data.

Sign-Up: http://makingsense-3.eventbrite.com


PAST WORKSHOPS

Students draw tattoo designs on iPads in the Tattoo Universe workshop. Teens draw and create tattoos. Paul, the owner of British Ink, demonstrates the process of creating and pricing a tattoo for one of his customers.

Tattoo Universe Workshop - July 2014
Teens learned about the history and cultural background of tattoos, and gained a greater appreciation of this form of self expression. Understanding the science behind tattoos was also an eye-opening experience for all of the students. 

An educator helps two teens with an Ocean Aliens project Art-Science workshop materials A student works on an iPad at the May 17 Ocean Aliens Workshop

Ocean Aliens Pop-up Workshop - May 17, 2014
In this pop-up workshop, teens were challenged to examine the fantastic variety of life in the deep pelagic, get inspired, and use digital media to design their own ocean alien. Teens used iPads and animation apps to bring creatures to life and give the ocean aliens different abilities to survive in the deep sea.

Students visit a lab during the Human Dinosaur workshop Students listen to a paleontologist during the Human Dinosaur workshop Students work on an art project during the Human Dinosaur workshop

Human Dinosaur - Week-long Spring Break Workshop - April 14-18, 2014
What can we learn about prehistoric animals by looking at their bones? How can we learn about ourselves from paleobiology and paleoart? In this workshop teens conversed with scientists about how to examine prehistoric fossils to determine aspects of the animals’ environments and behavioral traits. Teens investigated how ancient creatures adapted to their environments and evolved over time, then considered how to express those changes in themselves by crafting their own wearable armor, accessories, or imaginative augmentations. Workshop participants also took part in activities using 3D-printers, sculpture materials, digital cameras, and pattern-making.

A butterfly wing being placed under a microscope Students observe objects under microscopes and on attached monitors

Amplify Pop-up Workshop - March 29, 2014
Expert MicroPhotographer Igor Siwanowicz shared his work and demonstrated photography skills through a microscope, presenting ways to experiment with lighting techniques and software to amplify microscopic images. Using microscopes to learn photography principles, teens explored a range of objects from the Museum’s collection. At the end of the workshop they received a USB flash drive full of their photographic images along with one matted print.

A student creates a bug sculpture Colorful insect wings from the Bugged Out Workshop A beetle and a grasshopper crawl on a volunteer

Bugged Out! Pop-up Workshop - February 28, 2014
This workshop gave teens a chance to explore different kinds of bugs, talk to an expert, then take actual bug pieces and turn them into works of art! Working with live and dead bugs, teens were able to choose from a variety of activities that allowed them to express their interests, including making buttons, creating and photographing a Frankenbug, and learning about stop-motion animation to create a dancing bug.

A student works on an iPad at the Ocean Aliens Workshop A cue card at the Ocean Aliens Workshop A student draws on an iPad at the Ocean Aliens Workshop

Ocean Aliens Pop-up Workshop - January 27, 2014
In this pop-up workshop, teens were challenged to examine the fantastic variety of life in the deep sea, get inspired, and use digital media to design their own ocean alien. Giving the ocean alien different abilities to survive in the deep sea, teens used iPads and animation apps to bring the creatures to life.