Hackademia: Creating functional engineers one blinky LED at a time

Saturday night my ever-helpful boyfriend and I went shopping for some furniture to help make the hackademia lab space a little more usable. We’ve been lacking a good workbench — not to mention chairs. After couple stops at some chain stores and our local Goodwill, we headed to campus to unload our finds.

He took one look at the small office that functions as the lab and cleared his throat. “Um….”

I looked over at him.

“Maybe we could clean this place up a bit?”

I looked around. I’d been hoping some inspired student would get excited about organizing, but it hadn’t yet happened. To be honest, it was a bleak, jumbled mess.

So our evening plans took a turn and we set about moving furniture, cataloguing electronics components, and labeling drawers. We also puzzled at the four (4!) staplers and three tape dispensers that I’d inherited when the office passed to me a few months ago. I’d already managed to get rid of two of the three floor fans. Some Windows NT add-ons went to software heaven.

By the time we left, it started looking like a usable hackerspace, though we really, really need a multimeter. And a dremel.

And I also now know what the students and I will do for our next meeting, which is the first real meeting of the term. We’ll do a real inventory, and I figure the process of cataloguing stuff together will also be a way to show the students with less technical backgrounds some basics like what a capacitor looks like.

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m hoping some of the students will either recognize or be able to track down some of the more obscure components we uncovered.

We were pretty inspired after that, so after a delayed dinner, we decided it was time for the lab to have a proper sign — courtesy of his amazing laser cutter.

Behold the awesome:

I’m genuinely looking forward to the next few months of hackademia.

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