06/05/2017 – 06/09/2017

On Monday, June 5, I dedicated the majority of the day to researching potential elements of our toolkit. I found LED strips, LilyPad SimpleSnaps, silver coated thread, a silver ink pen, and silver spun yarn that I would be interested in ordering and playing around with to determine their plausibility as elements of the toolkit. I updated the ShareLaTeX document after reading Quilt Snaps: A Fabric Based Computational Construction Kit and Fabric PCBs, electronic sequins, and socket buttons: techniques for e-textile craft. Dr. Siek recommended that Anne and I read these two papers and incorporate them into our Related Work section of the ShareLaTex document. Near the end of the workday, I read a couple of e preliminary papers for the workshop on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, June 6, Ben, Anne, and I drove to Twin Lakes Recreation Center to meet a few lap quilters who participated in his last workshop, which was conducted in the spring. Anne and I mostly listened to the quilters speak about their lives. They spoke about topics ranging from family to health problems to quilting techniques such as appliqué. The atmosphere was warm, inviting, and comfortable, and the quilters showed a genuine interest in who we were as people.  After meeting the quilters, we drove back to the Informatics building to discuss our plan for the week. Anne and I agreed that we would finalize our wish lists for the toolkit by noon tomorrow and practice laser cutting and 3-D printing throughout the week. After the meeting with Ben and Anne, I continued working on the Related Work and Methods drafts and the outline of the Introduction for our paper. I also completed my wish list and completed several tutorials to familiarize myself with Tinkercad. After work, I headed to the Student Building to attend the first class of the summer GRE course. Our instructor, Mr. Hartwell, eloquently explained the different sections of the GRE, which includes an essay and verbal and quantitative sections.

On Wednesday, June 7, Ben, Anne, and I met in the laboratory downstairs that contains 3-D printers and a laser cutter. Although Katie already familiarized us with the technology on Friday, Ben walked us through the processes of 3-D printing and laser cutting to solidify our understanding. I created a red heart ring and a key chain with a sun on the front! After our fun in the laboratory, I helped finish the outline of the Introduction for our paper. Ben gave Anne and I an SD card to download videos from his previous workshops to our computer. Later this week or on the weekend, I plan to analyze these videos and record my observations in an Excel file. At 2:00 p.m., I participated in the Writing Research Workshop and learned valuable information about the structure of academic papers. Below is a link with notes about how to construct a quality essay! Afterwards, I continued working on the Maker Technology portion of the paper’s Related Work section.


On Thursday, June 8, Anne and I finalized the drafts of the Related Work and Methods. We also completed the outline of the Introduction. We spent most of the day reading literature related to art therapy and the benefits of tangible objects in design. After work, I walked to my GRE class in the Student Building by Kirkwood. Mr. Hartwell covered the essay portion of the GRE by walking us through example prompts and explaining how we could formulate our arguments.

On Friday, June 9, Anne and I met with Dr. Siek to discuss the progress of our paper and our wish lists for items that could potentially be part of the toolkit. She gave us suggestions for creating a “roadmap” of sorts at the beginning of the Related Works and Methods sections, but overall, she was pleased with our work. She also gave us several ideas for our wish lists. After the meeting with Dr. Siek, we headed straight to the general REU meeting, where everyone gave brief updates on their week’s work and shared their spirit animals. Afterwards, I finalized my wish list and emailed both mine and Anne’s to Dr. Siek. Unfortunately, my laptop broke today, so Ben and Dr. Siek helped me find another to borrow during the summer, for which I am greatly appreciative! Anne and I met with Ben at 1:00 p.m., and we touched on the progress of our paper as well as ideas for an example object to create that will prepare us for designing the toolkit. Ben also provided us with several recommendations for eateries and fun activities around Bloomington. From 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., the REU students regrouped to have tea and cookies and discuss graduate school experiences with the mentors. After the tea, Dr. Siek, Anne, and I went downstairs and practiced sewing!

This week, I struggled with making the subsections – Maker Technology and Creativity – of the Related Works section cohesive. I also struggled with framing the Related Works section in terms of our own work, rather than simply summarizing the work of others. Through collaborating with Anne, I was able to transition smoothly from paragraph to paragraph.

Regarding our timeline for the summer, I am on track! During weeks 3 and 4, our goals are to prep for the Participatory Design workshop, explore Maker Technology, and select items to purchase for our toolkit. This week, I challenged myself to draft large portions of our paper, explore laser cutting and 3-D printing, and choose tools for the toolkit – all of which I completed! Therefore, next week I plan to explore options for the toolkit further and prep for the Participatory Design workshop.

Food of the Week: Marshmallow and peanut butter treats for Katie’s BBQ… er… their ingredients, that is..