José Manuel González Martínez and FabLab Benfica: An Introduction to Artistic Research Based on micro:bit

For this exchange, José Manuel, a maker and educator from Spain, visited FabLab Benfica in Portugal and collaborated with André Rocha and the team of professors at the Escola Superior de Educação de Lisboa (ESELx). The purpose of the exchange was to create a set of activities for educators aimed at being implemented in a school makerspace setting.

The exchange was integrated in a wider ESELx / Fablab Benfica strategy called Fabschools which is aimed at developing activities that promote Maker Education practices into formal education, advocating for its values. These activities were planned to be become Open Educational Resources (OER) lessons based on the Fabschools Framework and they blended digital fabrication, physical computing, light art and design artifacts creation.

For the final workshop, the exchange team hosted a discussion about technology and kinetic art. After that the participants started working with the micro:bit Grove Inventor Kit (a pocket-sized micro-controller and development board that introduces how software and hardware work together), creating several patches by themselves to make fun prototypes with lights and sensors. At the end of the workshop all of the participants reflected on their needs, their expectations and the endless possibilities of implementing the micro:bit technology in the classrooms with teenagers and kids with special needs .

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