HACK YOUR NOTEBOOK, a series of 4 booklets and associated electronics that you use to learn to design paper circuits.
The project is a powerful way to get introductory design and engineering experiences to more kids and teachers. We think thought of paper and notebooks as more than familiar formats – we saw a ready-made platform for tradition and innovation, perfect for “wide wall” learning experiences with low-cost technology. The materials and practices reflect deep craft traditions, the iterative approach in the scientific method, and a transformational mindset for teaching and learning in the 21st century.
As the campaign closed on June 29, 2018 more than 375 people contributed to fund the project and print Hack Your Notebook series, booklets 1-4.
Watch the video, learn more about the project in the details below, and find us on NEXMAP.org where you can register for updates on the launch of our pre-order website and learn more about our work with paper and electronics. (Don't miss the detail on Open Data/Open Minds -- that's where we're headed next...).
Thanks for your support! We look forward to connecting with you.
BOOKS 1 - 4 : Paper Circuitry & LEDs, Pop-up, Microcontrollers, Servos
We’ve co-authored each booklet with a brilliant artist/engineer. Jie Qi, co-founder and creative director of Chibitronics. Susan Lowdermilk book artist, pop-up specialist, and design instructor. Natalie Freed, a computational craftsperson and CS instructor, and Jeannine Huffman, a STEM and engineering educator passionate about creating low-cost introductory robotics experiences.
MATERIALS & KIT COLLECTIONS
We source the supplies for our projects with each booklet. We use Chibitronics’ circuit stickers in our projects because the “solder-free peel-and-stick electronic modules for crafting circuits” makes an introductory experience with electronics and circuit play nearly intuitive. As you move through the booklets, from LEDs to a Micro Servo, the circuit designs and the techniques and application become more complex. You’ll annotate and draw, fold and bend; you'll work in Arduino, program your microcontroller, solder your project together. The booklets and the materials are scaffolded to function like a bootcamp for storytelling and introductory electronics.
WHAT'S IN A BOOKLET?
Each 32-page booklet is organized in three sections: 1) preface on teaching and learning, 2) activity by the co-author and artist/engineer, 3) a set of storyboards presenting an example of a sample project that uses the materials and techniques presented in a learning setting. Typography specialist and graphic designer Carolina de Bartolo at 101editions.com does booklet layouts and design for activity templates.
Below you'll find a selection of page layouts from Book 1, Illuminate Your Thinking and a full v1 mockup of an early draft here.
ARTWORK & ILLUSTRATIONS
Below are some examples of the drawings by illustrator Chamisa Kellogg. Based on early prototypes, Chamisa re-imagined this Kickstarter’s entire Hack Your Notebook series, from initial character sketches to multiple storyboards to technical drawings for components, materials, and circuit layouts.
WHY & HOW
NEXMAP is a STEAM-learning non-profit. We broaden access to transformative teaching and learning experiences that blend physical materials, craft, and literacy with introductory electronics and computation.
Each of our co-authors, in their own tools, methods, and respective habits of mind, are working on these subjects too. Ninety-nine percent of the kids and teachers we work with are non-technical and come to the practice with a desire to create and express more than to wire up and program.
Their projects are a mix of storytelling, craft, and communication where participants use paper and electronics to amplify their thinking on interest-driven topics that look more like art projects and core subject area explorations than Arduino 101.
And equally important, the experience provides accessible, tangible ways to explore essential concepts related to science learning, systems thinking, engineering principles, and computation. Notably, it was Program Your Pages co-author Natalie Freed who brought David Mellis – one of the co-designers for the Arduino programming language and line of hardware devices – to our attention through his work on the TINY AVR programmer as a low-cost way to introduce the basic coding of a microcontroller.
Hack Your Notebook is built on the notion of inclusive, “wide walls” experiences that in the hands of crafters, makers, teachers, and curious learners of all kinds can look like a Butterfly-in-Flight project by a teacher in Kodiak, Alaska:
Follow our updates. We'll share more examples of creative learners who – like us – are not technologists or engineers but curious makers and collaborators who sketch, prototype, and trouble-shoot their way into delightful, connected projects.
Offset printed by Scoutbooks.com in Portland, Oregon using vegetable-based inks, and 100% recycled papers sourced from American mills. Dimensions: 3.5 x 5 inches. 32 pages. Saddle-stitched. Corners Rounded. Cover Printing: 2 Standard Ink Colors - 2 Outside / 1 Inside. Cover Paper: 18 pt Chipboard, Kraft Interior. Printing: Custom Pages in Black Ink. Interior Paper: 70# Text, PC100 White Staple Color: Silver
The HACK YOUR NOTEBOOK series was developed by David and Jennifer. David, Claudia, and Elisabeth work on the Hack Your Notebook production from the copy work to prototype testing. Myriam oversees pricing, sourcing, and fulfillment. Chamisa does the illustration and Carolina provides graphic design and production support.
Risks and challenges
We’ve worked hard to reduce the risks and challenges for backers.
1) We’ve done this before! Our initial prototyping and workflow with the early editions of books one and two put us through our paces with content development, collaborative design, testing, and review with our illustrators, graphics support, and co-authors.
2) You're not funding unknown content development work. This campaign will provide the support the print run for the full series – the content is nearly complete. Thanks to support from the National Writing Project, the Moore Foundation, a group of trusted NEXMAP donors, and visionary supporters like you, we've been able to develop and test these booklets. We’re in the home stretch.
3) Our components are readily available. We purchase the items needed for each booklet from industry suppliers. The circuit stickers come to us directly from Chibitronics, Jie Qi's creative hardware and learning design company, which has been producing stickers for crafting with electronics since 2014. The Ultra Micro Digital Servos that accompany Automate Your Ideas are on back order. However, we anticipate submitting orders at the close of a successful campaign so that we procure materials in house by mid-August and ship in September.
4) Lets talk about shipping and fulfillment. Packing and shipping is handled by Myriam Bouchard in New Paltz, NY. Among other things, Myriam worked for 12 years as a certified business advisor for the State of New York at the Mid-Hudson Small Business Development Center. She is miraculous with numbers, deadlines, and logistics. For large orders she uses Mid-Hudson Works (www.midhudsonworkshop.org/), a non-profit organization that works with physically and medically disabled veterans and other individuals to assist small businesses managing their fulfillment and e-commerce requirements. We will use Easy Ship (www.easyship.com) for overseas shipments and tax and duty requirements and BackerKit to help with communications with our backers.
Don’t hesitate to be in touch with questions or concerns. We’re thrilled to be getting HACK YOUR NOTEBOOK into the world helping to build the network of paper and electronics devotees. By nature we don’t jump until we are ready. We wouldn’t feel comfortable running this campaign if we didn’t feel confident to deliver.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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