Blog Posts

Unleashing Creativity: Exploring Arduino Uno and the Car Project with Young Innovators

The workshop on Arduino Uno had already left a lasting impact on both the children and myself. As we transitioned to the Car Project, I was eager to witness how the newfound knowledge from the Blink Project would shape the children’s understanding and enthusiasm for this more complex challenge. The excitement in the room was visible as the children gathered around their workstations, eager to embark on the next adventure. The Car Project required them to build a small robot car using Arduino Uno and various components like motors, sensors, and wheels. The task was more intricate than the Blink Project, but the children’s eagerness and confidence had grown significantly since the beginning of the workshop. The children’s previous experience with the Blink Project proved to be invaluable. They approached the Car Project with a newfound sense of enthusiasm, curiosity, and determination. It was evident that they saw the potential of applying their skills to create something more substantial and interactive.

The knowledge gained from the Blink Project laid a solid foundation for understanding the basics of Arduino programming and circuitry, which were essential for the Car Project’s success. Many of the children displayed an intuitive understanding of wiring and coding, making the initial setup and configuration more seamless. Throughout the Car Project, I noticed how the children embraced the repetitive process. They were not afraid to experiment, test, and revise their designs as they encountered challenges along the way. The willingness to adapt and learn from their mistakes showcased a newfound level of confidence and resilience, which I believe was fostered by the Blink Project’s debugging exercises.

One of the most remarkable transformations I witnessed was the emergence of natural leaders and collaborators among the children. Those who had excelled in the Blink Project took on mentorship roles, guiding their peers through the complexities of the Car Project. This collaboration created a positive learning environment, where knowledge was freely shared, and everyone felt supported in their exploration. Moreover, the Car Project fostered an appreciation for STEM disciplines among the children.

They began to see how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics intertwined in the real world, motivating them to pursue further studies and careers in these fields. As the workshop drew to a close, I was filled with a sense of fulfillment. The journey from the Blink Project to the Car Project showcased how these children had evolved into confident and creative young innovators. They had harnessed the power of Arduino Uno, gained a deep understanding of electronics and coding, and most importantly, developed a passion for learning and problem-solving.

Empowering Young Minds: A Workshop with Arduino Uno and the Blink Project

As I entered the workshop on Arduino Uno and the Blink Project, little did I know that I was about to embark on a journey filled with inspiration and wonder. The room was abuzz with excitement as the children eagerly gathered around the tables, their eyes sparkling with curiosity and anticipation. The prospect of assisting /teaching them about electronics and coding felt both thrilling and daunting.

At the beginning, Lead Instructor Peiyan introduced the concept of Arduino Uno, explaining how it served as the heart of our projects and the gateway to the world of electronics. The children were attentive, absorbing every word as he guided them through the basics. Witnessing their enthusiasm and genuine interest reassured me that we were about to create something truly special. Next came the Blink Project – a simple yet pivotal task that entailed programming an LED to blink on and off. To the children it was a revelation. As they meticulously connected wires, input components, and wrote lines of code, I witnessed the birth of their inquisitive minds transitioning into young engineers.

However, challenges arose along the way. Some children faced frustration when their LEDs refused to blink or the code produced unexpected outcomes. As an intern, I learned that patience and encouragement were vital. Guiding them through the debugging process taught me the art of instilling resilience and determination in young learners. The true beauty of the workshop lay in the children’s creativity. As they mastered the basics, they started experimenting with different components and pushing the limits of their projects. Witnessing the emergence of unique ideas and innovative solutions filled me with immense pride. I realized that the workshop was not just about teaching technical skills, but also about fostering creativity and confidence in these budding minds. Moreover, the workshop underscored the power of collaborative learning. The children formed bonds, shared ideas, and helped each other troubleshoot. It was heartwarming to see how they leaned on one another, encouraging teamwork and camaraderie. Throughout the workshop, I also learned valuable lessons. I discovered the significance of adapting my assisting approach to suit each child’s learning style, ensuring that no one felt left behind. I witnessed firsthand that children thrive when given the freedom to explore and experiment, even if it leads to mistakes.

In conclusion, the workshop on Arduino Uno and the Blink Project was a transformative experience for both the children and me. It reminded me of the boundless potential that young minds possess and how important it is to nurture their passion for learning. By empowering them with knowledge and the confidence to explore, we lay the foundation for a generation of innovative thinkers and problem solvers. I left the workshop with a renewed sense of purpose, knowing that I had played a small part in shaping these bright minds and igniting their passion for technology.

SpringBoard Animation Pilot

SpringBoard Animation Pilot – by Brandon L

In February 2022 I had the idea of opening an animation studio. Of course, it will take some time & effort, but I am very passionate. Passionate enough that I’m willing to put in the effort. Weeks went by and before I knew it, it was March. I had to rethink my actions. Then the CEO of Springboard suggested a workshop, a “pilot”. Students from local high schools can come in and learn the basics of animation, a course that most colleges would teach but high schools did not. We decided to plan our upcoming “pilot” for the summer of 2022.

As the months of planning & collaborating with other schools & youth programs went by, we hired a brilliant instructor name Lopez. He is an awesome animator. He downloaded a free animation program called Kirita which is simple for the students to use. Then the big day arrived. On August 27th, 5 students came in ready to learn the basics of animation. It was a free open house that would run for 2 hours. The 5 students certainly enjoyed their time with each other. 2 of them were high schooler One high schooler was Eva. Her younger brother, Jaden was in middle school. This pilot was geared towards high schoolers but her brother showed interest in the program and so we allowed him to come along too.

Animation Studios in Long Island Part 2

Animation Studios in Long Island Part 2

View on a storyboard editors table. Coffee, colored pencils and a smartphone on the table.

I’ve said in my previous blog that “Art/Animation is a medium I have the utmost respect for.” And I still stand by that. I am writing a 2nd part to this blog because I will make it my mission to convince you the viewer and the populace to open various animation studios on Long Island and give animators & storyboarding artists young & old job opportunities.

If you didn’t read it yet, here is Part 1 of the previous blog: Animation Studios in Long Island

There is plenty of empty buildings to rent out, next to a local barber shop or a convenience store. And when you do find the right building to open your animation studio, you’ll need a layout of how the office SHOULD look.

I am by no means an architect and it depends on how big or small the building itself is. But when first starting out, it’s important to keep the layout of the office simple. Even if it means having 2-4 cubicles, computers, drawing tablets, etc.

Santa Monica Animation Studio | California

This image is from Santa Monica Animation Studio based in California Keep in mind that there are some things. Santa Monica Animation studio has been around for a long time and has significant changes to their office layouts. I know I said, it’s important to keep it simple but I used this as an example to give you an idea of how an animation office should look. But you are free to customize it to your likeness.

I would like to use another animation studio office layout as an example. This one is based in Tokyo Japan. Eastern offices have a completely different layout than in the west. But after taking a glimpse of the inside of Studio Mappa’s office, you could surely sprout ideas to your liking.

I’m showing you these examples because it’s important to be presentable. You’re not just showing off your office to animators & storyboarding artists who are trying to look for a job, you’re presenting your studio and its employees to inverters, and publishing companies who wish to do business with you & to see if your studio can meet their standards.

Becoming an Animation Producer!

Becoming an Animation Producer!

To be an animation producer you should know what animation producers are. They have the responsibility to oversee the production of animation (short, series, and movie). It’s a matter of starting your own business and that is a separate kind of education and finances. You will hire & gather workers such as directors, animators, writers & so on. When I said “responsibility” I meant that you have to give insight to your employees on what they need to do to make the animation.

For example. Ramsey Naito is the current president of Nickelodeon studios. However, in the past, she has worked on many shows & movies such as The Spongebob Squarepants movie & The Baby Boss as an executive producer. The difference between these two is that while all employees report to him/her for everything an executive producer doesn’t get too involved in a production. It’s like being the king/queen of the castle in a way.

For more information, click here: Ramsey Ann Naito | Wiki , Nickelodeon Animation Studio | Wiki

Is Social Media bad for Artists?

Is Social Media bad for Artists?

Before I begin I would like to inform the viewers of a few important things. I’m only going to speak about the benefits for artists when it comes to being on social media sites. NOT for people in general. You are free to roam social media every day. However, I do not recommend “all day” every day. Moderation is very important to one’s mind, body & soul. Thank you.

Let’s be positive first before I give you all my honest answers. Artists can benefit from social media in a couple of ways. You, artists, want to be productive yes? So consistently posting is key to gaining attention on social media sites like Instagram for example. Adding hashtags (Like this #) helps shows your posts to a wider audience.

When you post, people will leave positive comments/helpful feedback. It can be one person but it can also be 100 people. You slowly but surely grow an audience of people who love your work & are willing to support you. And of course, seeing/hearing works from other artists no matter how famous they are, can be a very helpful inspiration/motivation for you. The word “aspiring” is an illusion. The moment you put your pencil on that paper and draw an apple for example or a poem about apples, or make a rap song about apples, then congratulations, you’re an artist (regardless if you like apples or not). You’re inspired by others and you want to make things as good as them or better.

BBBSLI – Raspberry Pi and Sphero Workshop

BBBSLI – Raspberry Pi and Sphero Workshop

With great success at our STEM workshop at BBBSLI this past saturday, Bigs’ and Littles were able to learn about Raspberry Pi circuits and work with Sphero kits. We all worked as a team and had fun while we were learning how to program. It was a great experience to share our knowledge of SpringBoard incubators Inc. Shoutout to our corporate and event partners for making events like this possible.

Thanks to Instructor Will King for giving us great insight on how to conduct a Raspberry Pi Circuit. Thanks to instructors Tuly Reyes and Marilyn Castro for helping our Bigs’ and Littles learn how to code and program a Sphero. More importantly special thanks to BBBSLI for having us.

Black Animators in the Animation Industry

The animation industry truly began it’s “revolution” in the late 1960s when more and more animated films were produced and released in the public. You’d think it would be the “Walt-Era” when Disney films were being released as the years went by but so many other companies besides Disney were keeping up as well. Regardless, many people found opportunity to find jobs in the animation industry.

June 22nd 1935 in Santa Barbara, California was the day the first African-American animator was born. His name is Floyd Norman. Currently 86 years old but still very active in the animation industry. What made him join the industry was him watching old Disney movie classics such as Bambi & Dumbo. Early in his career he started as an inbetweener or also known as“Tweenening” animator. This means when an animator adds frames so the final animation is more “smooth” and fluid. Eventually he moved on to work as key animator for notable motion pictures such as Disney’s Sleeping Beauty & Disney’s One Hundred and One Dalmatians. He may have been an animator of color but he like many others had to start somewhere in the early and every growing industry.

Frank Braxton

Another few examples of African Americans in the animation industry are Frank Braxton who has done key animation for a handful of Charlie brown TV specials and LeSean Thomas who at first started off as an animator, in later years has opened his own animation studio in the eastern countries and created/produced & directed a handful of original anime series such as Cannon Busters & Yasuke. These men of African American decent have made their mark on the animation industry no matter the genre.

Big Brother Big Sisters STEM Workshop and Mentoring – Part II

The second part of our workshop with BBBSLI will include the Raspberry PI. Here is another preview of the type of projects you can do with SpringBoard. If your organization is interested, please contact us at 516.414.2000. We (SpringBoard) put the fun in STEM Learning.

The Raspberry PI is a pocket computer. Yes, a really cool computer about the size of a credit card. For this project we will use the serial ports and a breadboard. Think of this as Engineering 101.

Raspberry Pi has a GPIO “General Purpose Input/Output” serial interface, that is composed of two parallel rows of metal pins. The GPIO provides an interface between the software and the physical world.

With these pins we can program the Raspberry Pi to interact with physical objects in the real world. We can receive signals from external sources such as a button or a device for measuring wind speed. We can also use it to control physical objects such as turning a light on and off or even operating a 3D printer. In this case The project you see in the photo below is the traffic light simulator.

After you learn how to connect the circuits on the breadboard, you will learn how to program the traffic light simulator in python. Pretty cool if you ask me. – By Tuly Reyes

Big Bother Big Sisters STEM Workshop and Mentoring

Big Brother Big Sisters of Long Island’s mission is to “create and support one-on-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth.”

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island provides children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported, one-on-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. To this end, BBBSLI has many different mentoring programs.

SpringBoard will be doing a STEM workshop for Bigs’ and Littles’ on September 25, 2021. I am very excited to be part of the team that will be teaching the workshops. So what will we be doing? Here is a preview.

My workshop is a gentle introduction to robotics. I will introduce the concept of autonomous robotics using the SPRK + robot. What can Bigs and Littles expect? They will work together to program our robot to do simple tasks, hence, autonomous robotics. It will be a great learning experience and I cannot wait. – by Tuly Reyes

Click Here to Learn more About BBBSLI: BBBSLI