Secret musical message card
At the Intel Computer Clubhouse annual conference in Denver we attended a session to learn about Build In Progress! This is an awesome tool to document the creative process. We were issued the challenge to create a collaborative project around the theme of "mystery messages". This project was created by Melody from Los Angeles, Anele from Johannesburg, Paballo from Soweto, and Galen from Denver.
The initial idea:
We drew two cards from a set of prompts. The green card indicates a material to use while the yellow card indicates a theme to build your project around. We chose music as our theme and lights as our medium. As a group we came up with the idea of making a greeting card that would use LEDs to reveal a hidden message.
Cardstock, markers, 3 LEDs, scissors, glue sticks, copper tape, 1 watch battery, and 1 needle to make holes in the card stock.
We drew music notes on the colorful cardstock and cut them out with the scissors. Then we wrote random words on the notes and placed the 3 words of our message along a path that we planned for the circuit to follow. We glued the notes down and punctured holes in the paper for the LEDs using a sowing needle.
With help from Sara we planned out this parallel circuit to light up 3 LEDs with a watch battery.
We initially hoped to make the LEDs turn on ONLY when the card opened but we ended up deciding to activate the light with a pull tab instead. This compromise of the design was due to a time constraint and our lack or experience with making the type of switch we wanted to. Oh well, the next iteration of this project can figure out how to make it work when the card opens.
Sara from San Francisco helped us to plan our parallel circuit and she showed us a great technique for twisting the leads from the LEDs around a pair of needle nose pliers. This twisting technique makes a better connection for the LEDs to be in contact with the copper tape. She also showed us how to make the positive and negative leads bend to be either a square or a circle shape, which helps to tell them apart from one another. Also, her advice to fold the copper tape under and over the leads made for a stronger connection. Thanks Sara!!!
As you can see, only 2 out of the 3 LEDs lit up. We didn't have time to trouble shoot what was the cause of the third light not working. Our connections seemed good so we speculate that we might have gotten the positive and negative leads reversed. Next time we'll be more careful to make sure our leads are all oriented the same way.
This was a fun project because we worked as a team to integrate everyone's ideas into a single project. It was cool to see how each of us contributed something unique to make it work. From ideation, to sketching, planning the circuit, photographing the process and applying the copper tape, we were all busy the whole time. Our group was excited when the card actually lit up, and I look forward to passing that sense of accomplishment on to our Clubhouse members.