Repurposing Obsolescence through Circuit Bending: "Toy Hacking" Workshop Overview

Uploaded by garnethertz on 13.08.2011

Our research is targeted at engaging women and minority groups through “circuit bending”
workshops in electronics.
Circuit bending is the creative short-circuiting and manipulation of electronic devices such
as battery powered children’s toys to create new musical instruments or sound generators.
In these workshops, students learn how to disassemble toys, how to work with electronics,
and how to customize the devices with switches, knobs and light sensors.

We authored an
innovative instructional guidebook to introduce students to circuit bending in English, Spanish
and Chinese and have held workshops in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Irvine and Berlin to test
and refine our curriculum.

We are currently translating our guidebook into more languages,
creating a kit for students and teachers, and envision this project being put into a
mobile lab - a customized "low rider" taco truck - that offers workshops through communities
in Southern California.

The combination of a clearly designed guidebook, the leveraging
of artistic and musical creativity, and low technical requirements contribute to the strong
success of this initiative in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education.