Skateboard Upgrade – Maker Project

SkateBoard Upgrade 2015 Six Word Story from shillinberlin on Vimeo.

In the spirit of Genius Hour I embarked on my own Maker Project.
Inspired by light and motion in Extreme sports I discovered the LED Skateboard Project!
I sought further inspiration from Light Installations at Festival Lausanne Lumière and Jacob Sutton’s ‘Glowing Man’.
My Six Word Story
This Maker Project was captured in this Six Word Story to illustrate both a tinkering inquiry and Mobile Learning Experience.
Guided by the Ruiz Brother’s project with, controlled by Flora, lit with Neopixels the project also investigated 3D printing under the guidance of Adam Hughes on Cubify.
Look out for the Snowboard upgrade!
To highlight the potential of mobile learning and technologies I used the project to curate a film piece in the form of a six word story following the work of Don Goble (see previous post) features in a collaborative iTunes U course: Developing Leaders – Making Thinking Visible designed with fellow Apple Distinguished Educator Caroline Haebig.
My Six Word Story was captured and edited on iPhone with the soundtrack created in Figure.

Lights in Lausanne

I shared my design thinking process in recent Genius hour introductions with middle school students to support them developing their own ideas into achievable steps. I adapted ideas from an approach shared by the Royal Institute Christmas Lectures presented by Professor Daniel George which broke problems down into achievable steps.
How to hack household technology and turn everyday gadgets into radical new devices was this year’s theme of Britain’s most prestigious public science lectures.
The Christmas lectures revealed how to ‘hack your home’
Danielle George of Manchester University demonstrated how common household devices can be transformed in ways that could change the world. Reclaiming the lost joy of tinkering she demonstrated how, with some creative thinking, common devices from lightbulbs to smartphones and electric motors can be transformed in ways that could change the world.

Big Idea: Night Light Film Project

Problem to be Solved: How to light up my longboard with rainbow lighting?

Broken into smaller steps:

1. Sourcing Materials- Adafruit, Flora Microcontroller, NeoPixelStrips.

2. Fixing Hardware- 3D print project, hot glue gun, soldering, hack a digital camera charging unit

3. Learning the code- Flora uses Arduino code


This format was later used by students to plan their new genius hour projects under the umbrella theme of ‘Fire’

These maker projects have taken me on a new journey where anything possible, where new technologies open discussions beyond ‘screen time’ adding new techxtures to our lives.

Remixing the skateboard project, I added the lighting to a laser print project last week.


Thanks to Adafruit for featuring the project on their blog.

Look out for my Tron style hoody and ‘Night Riders’ snowboard movie.


Photograph captured at Barilette, Vaud, Switzerland.


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