The workshop I attended was on building floor mats for use in interactive media. The workshop took place in the Engineering Science building on the Alfred State campus in a room known as the “Sweatshop.” This event occurred on March 25 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and ran in 30 minute intervals.
This workshop was presented by Alfred State faculty member Jeremy Schwartz. It consisted of building specialized floor mats to be used with Arduino technology along with student coding. The mats are to be used in a student exhibition with various interactive media pieces created by groups of students working together.
Rather than providing specific instructions on how to build the mats, the students were encouraged to use reason and critical thinking, along with the materials provided, to figure out how each part should be utilized and combined to create a functioning floor mat. It also allowed for an essence of leadership and production management with certain students taking the lead in determining the order of events that needed to occur.
Learning how to build these mats could potentially be useful for projects in the future, but that is not where the true value of this workshop lies. This workshop enables critical thinking and problem solving skills along with teamwork skills that could apply to any number of future projects. It also, as I mentioned earlier, allows for the growth of leadership and production management skills that could make any project be completed more smoothly and effectively.