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Barbara Brink Internship: Week Five

At the moment, I am in the process of construction a facilitation guide for homopolar motors and prototyping Ozobot activities as my next tinkering assignment. Ozobots, as line following contraptions, are tiny robots which obey coloured codes and perform various commands. In my remaining time at Science World, I will be leading a handful of tinkering sessions to develop Ozobot activities and compose a facilitation report.

I am also wrapping up my first Arduino project — a touch sensor fan. The project will be a component of the Future Science Leaders (FSL) curriculum as an introduction to electronics and Arduino programming. Over the process of designing the fan, I have dedicated plenty of time towards research and experimentation. In doing so, I had the opportunity to taste the essence of tinkering and grow from the hours of troubleshooting and problem-solving.

My project is constructed in a modular nature, so it will assist students to develop their programming and electronics knowledge, step-by-step. It builds upon the most elementary LED blink system by adding touch sensor, an L293 H-Bridge, motors, and various programming statements. The fan is interactive and I am devising extensions for participants to explore. Programming and electronics are areas I wish I had explored at a younger age so, I am immensely grateful to have the chance to work with FSL to assist youth in discovering their interests early on.

This Tuesday, I crossed off an experience from my wish-list — operating the 3D printer. A fellow facilitator led me through the procedures of running the printer, changing the filament, utilizing various printing software, etc. The entire process was super exciting. I printed a fan for my Arduino project, having the chance to adjust the thickness of the walls, select varying filament densities, and witness scaffolding in action.

On top of facilitating in new stations this week, I was able to experiment with storytelling and assisting a different group of Science World campers. Having spent the last two weeks with Generation Innovation, a tween group, I was hesitant about joining a younger camp, Junior Inventors. However, the children surprised me with their eagerness to connect. They are a joy to interact with. I loved sharing quirky stories with the campers and joining them in various outdoor games. In retrospect, through encountering a wide variety of experiences this week, I have become more appreciative of new challenges and the extent of growth they provide.

On Thursday, I had the chance to meet Paige, the 2009 Barbara Brink Intern. We toured the new BodyWorks gallery, our feature gallery — Made in Canada, and Search. During that time, I was able to learn more about Paige and her educational journey. She recently finished medical school at the University of Toronto and is settling back in Vancouver for her residency at St. Paul’s Hospital. Having learned of Paige’s accomplishments, I am really looking forward to meeting the other interns at the annual Barbara Brink Intern Reunion Lunch next Wednesday!

 Are you entering grade 12 this year? A Barbara Brink Internship at Science World is a once-in-a-lifetime work experience that will help you explore your interests as well as a scholarship towards post-secondary studies. Applications open in the Spring of 2018.