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MAKER: Star Car 2014

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Make It!

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1119.1 - 26.1119.6



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Paper Authors


Emily Ann Marasco University of Calgary

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Emily Marasco is a Ph.D. student at the University of Calgary. Her research focuses on cross-disciplinary curriculum development for engineering students, as well as K-12 and community outreach programs.

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MAKER: Star Car 2014 Star Car 2014 is an interactive art car that was originally designed and created by aninterdisciplinary team of graduate students for a local engineering and art festival. Designedaround space exploration and aliens, the car served an educational purpose in addition to itsartistic elements. Three separate interactive stations were placed around the car, allowingfestival-goers to explore different elements of mechanical and electrical engineering throughhands-on activities. This paper will outline instructions for creating the three interactive stationsfeatured on the art car.1) The primary focus for younger audience members (K-9) is an alien creature or mascot that can be customized to match any theme or presentation. Two mechanical systems are incorporated to give the creatures, in this case a two-headed alien, two separate vocal systems. The public can interact with the creature by pumping air into its lungs and modifying the voice sounds while learning about acoustics, vibration, and biology.2) The second interactive station is teaches audience members about basic circuit connectivity and conductive materials. A conductive circuit is set up on the side of the car and integrated into thematic elements, such as a baby alien and a rocket ship. When both elements are connected through touch, lights and alien sounds begin to play as the circuit is completed. Groups of people can also join hands to create a larger circuit, using the conductivity of human skin to complete the circuit.3) The final station is the most technically complex, and uses basic programming to create a light-sensitive planet that will emit varied tones, depending on the amount of light measured. This module uses an Intel Galileo board, which can also be substituted with any Arduino or similar system. Older students and adults are interested in the programming and electronics behind the sciences, while audience members of all ages enjoy creating simple tunes through the use of light. These three elements can be used for any educational or hands-on presentation, and are notexclusive to art cars. This display will include instructions for creating the three interactivestations, photos of the final art car, and demonstrations.

Marasco, E. A. (2015, June), MAKER: Star Car 2014 Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24456

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