The Final Post: The End of the Maker Journey (For Now)

It’s hard to believe class is already over. Summer classes go by so quickly.

My final project is complete!

Translucent light growing green from a planter with basil

You can find the full directions on Instructables.

Once I finally got all the right materials and got to actually work on the project, I really enjoyed working through this. It wasn’t always easy (I’m looking at you, time.h library) and I spent a lot of time trying different coding combinations and looking at other examples. Oddly enough, I enjoyed the coding aspect the most, and it was also the area that gave me the most problems.

However, working on an actual project that I had chosen made it much more fulfilling to me. Before this, I was working through Arduino lessons, which were fun, but there are only so many times you can get excited about making an LED blink in a different pattern. And working with non-working materials was always more frustrating than rewarding, because you couldn’t actually test what you were working on.

I think this is a great example of project-based learning. While I am nowhere close to being knowledgable about electronics or the Arduino code, I learned a lot more and cared more about a project I had designed and chosen, than if I was working through the instructions provided by someone else.

I also learned that I’m not as comfortable with sharing my project when I’m in the middle. I found it hard to actually blog about what I was working on (rather than talking around it). I often put off blogging, because I was waiting to figure out just one more thing. Now that I think about it, I did feel more comfortable sharing my progress in short-form on Twitter. And I really enjoyed making the Instructable as well. So, I just need to extend that to other areas!

What’s Next?

This has been a really rewarding project to take on this summer. In fact, I’m already drafting ideas on upgrades to make to my light. However, I’ve also been doing some looking at projects involving microcontrollers and beehives. My parents are still avid, new apiarists, and I think it would be fun to make something for their beehives. I’ve found Open Source Beehives, who are still developing their sensor set-up. But, I love their printable beehives and look forward to learning more from them!

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