We've been prototyping LEGO Art Machines in the Tinkering Studio, and along the way we've learned a lot about which LEGO parts to put out on the floor and how to better support explorations on making Art Machines. We shared our R & D process on this blog and through Twitter, which encouraged and inspired other educators to try the activity on their own by collecting parts and 3D printing pen holders to test in their own environments. This informal group of collaborators has been sharing their ideas through twitter and other social media through #LEGOtinkering. We've been inspired by what people have tried and incorporated their ideas into our development process.
To take the prototyping process further and expand the group of testers, we assembled a small number of kits of parts and distributed them to a wider group of collaborators so they could also try this activity and help us take the idea further. It was important for us to send the kits to different kinds of spaces – museums, schools, libraries – so that the activity could be tested in different environments with different audiences and different cultures.
The kits are arriving in their new homes, and people are beginning to share their experiments on social media. We've also started hearing lots more interest in LEGO Art Machines as people become curious about these kits! We thought it might be a good time to share some information about the kits and extend an invitation to everyone to gather their own materials and test the activity with us. If you do, you can use #LEGOtinkering to share your thoughts and what you try.
So, here we go!
This is a PDF file that shows the contents as well as the quantities and parts numbers in the kit. Click it so you can download.
We've also included this PDF which shows some base models that are helpful to get people started. Each of the "Base Models 1, 2 and 3" shows a different motion example: Off-set weight, Linkages, and Propulsion. We think of these models just as suggestions and inspirations for learners to take the ideas further, so please remix, iterate, and complexify them in your own way!
We were only able to send out a few kit to test this idea, but we've made other resources so more people can try making art machines on their own. Check out our Instructables Tinkering with LEGO: Art Machines, the parts list and the blog posts, LEGO Pen Holder Evolution, LEGO Art Machines, and LEGO Art Machines with the TS Team.
We hope you will try this activity in your class, at your museum or on your kitchen table. If you do, please share what you make! You can tag photos and videos of your experiments #LEGOtinkering if you want to share them with us through Twitter or Instagram, and be part of the prototyping process.
These kits are an experiment (just like using twitter for R & D) to test the idea of developing an activity remotely and collaboratively. We are interested to hear your feedback about this new idea, and we are so excited and curious to see what you try with the parts and how this remote collaboration will take shape!