Twenty-two teenagers spent a part of their TET week at Fab Lab Oulu
A TET week (Työelämään tutustuminen) is a week in which school students learn about job life and different occupations. Twenty-two teenagers aged 15 spent their TeT week at the university of Oulu to learn more about researcher work. Researchers from the Multidisciplinary GenZ project organized TeT week’s activity consisted of students building a robot arm and learning about machine learning, as well as developing business ideas related to the robot arm/AI.
Two 2,5-hour Fab Lab workshops were also offered to the teenagers as part of the program in order to familiarize them with the potential of the Fab Lab equipment and possibly make something related to their business ideas. We, Fab Lab staff, prepared the design of a robot origami to be laser cut. The design included the fold lines of the origami, the outline of the origami to be laser cut, and a groove for attaching the LED strip behind the robot (to be laser cut). To customize, each student chose a name to be laser engraved on front side of the origami robot. After laser cutting the robot, following our instructions, the teenagers folded the origami using engraved fold lines, and then attached a 5 LED strip to the back of each robot aligned with the groove. Afterwards, following our step-by-step instructions, they programmed the LEDs using ESP32 programmers and lit them up. Also, they programmed using different LED color patterns to cycle through the LEDs.
After the workshop, we asked the participants about their Fab Lab experience and how the Fab Lab equipment could be used to further their business ideas. Most of the students came up with ideas for implementing their business ideas using Fab Lab equipment, including laser cutters, 3D printers, coding, and soldering.