Why Build Pablo this School Holidays?

This July School Holidays we will be partnering with Wollongong Art Gallery again to offer our creative robotics program. In this 4 day workshop during the second week (July 11-14) students aged 10-14 are invited to build there own ‘Pablo’ – our custom designed programmable drawing machine (or robot).

In this workshop students spend their first day with us building a robot from scratch from their own kit. This completed robot is the student’s to take home and to continue creating with . Students assemble all the electronics. They learn about each of the Pablo’s parts, why and how we use them as part of the robot, and how to use our custom software to draw amazing programmatic drawings.  In subsequent days they explore the creative possibilities of working with code and mechatronics (fancy term for electronics that move).

The important thing to understand, however, is that this workshop is not foremost about code or about robots – its about creativity, the power of playful exploration.

Pablo gives you a reason and a means to engage with code in open exploration of its creative possibilities. This marks our approach as quite distinct from the many educational robotics platforms that challenge the student by constructing an abstract problem space (navigate a maze is a common activity). Pablo’s mode of aesthetic exploration provides a means of exploring what computers and machines do well and how we might use them creatively and productively.

The real power of this platform and workshop lies beyond robotics and code. It is really about developing strategies of creative play. Understanding that open (undetermined) action and observation is the  source of new ideas is much rarer and more valuable skill than being able to code or build a robot (which Google will show you how to do).

Part of the creative power of code and robotics is that they are a very useful device – a useful synonym – for creative practice generally. Code and robotics allow a very useful suspension (or outsourcing) of agency that both illustrates and performs the way that action and observation, rather than expression, are the key drivers of creative production.

The important thing to understand, however, is that this workshop is not foremost about code or about robots – its about creativity, the power of playful exploration.

Pablo provide a means for students to get stuck in – try something, observe the results, and extend the qualities they’ve observed. The only pellet and the end of this maze is the endless joy of discovering novel outcomes – of discovering that creativity is process of acting and observing. If we can get students to experience that process then when they get home they might well find a reason to code and the motivation to work out what they need to learn – but they might just as well find a reason and means to paint, to write, to play, to compose, to engineer or to collaborate. The power of our approach lies in the demonstrating a creative strategy, not a particular technology or set of technical skills.

Join us at the Wollongong Art Gallery from  July 11-14 2017. More information and tickets available here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/build-your-own-pablo-create-spectacular-robotic-art-july-school-holidays-2017-tickets-34846815764?aff=pdwebsite

 

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