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Fuse Hosts Student Make-a-Thon with TI and IEEE

May 2015

In April, Fuse partnered with Texas Instruments (TI) and IEEE to host a Make-a-Thon. Iliana Bray, an EE undergraduate, led the event and chose the term "Make-a-Thon" to emphasize the creative process in electrical engineering. The daylong event was held in the Packard Atrium.

The Make-a-Thon attracted both EE students and students considering EE; all exhibited their "maker spirit." Nearly fifty students joined together and spent their Saturday deconstructing, reconstructing, transmitting and fine-tuning various projects. Several participants are currently enrolled in EE101B and E40.

The morning began with a workshop lead by a TI engineer, Rick Chelminski. The students created alarm clocks using TI's MSP430 Launch Pad. After the sponsor-provided lunch, the students were free to work on their own projects, using a variety of sensors provided by TI that could connect with the LaunchPads.

Many students formed groups for their projects, embodying the collaborative spirit of creating. A few student projects included:

  • a plant moisture monitoring system, which alerts the user when the plant needs to be watered,
  • a motion-activated music player
  • and a theremin.

Students from the Internet of Things (IoT) used this opportunity to continue working on long-term projects, including:

  • smart sprinklers
  • and a remote-controlled microwave.

Everyone enjoyed exploring how various devices and sensors could help them realize their goals. A panel of judges gave prizes to several teams, based on their project and presentation. Overall, the Make-a-Thon was an exciting, engaging event, leaving students and sponsors looking forward to future Make-a-Thons.