Barrel of Makers’ volunteers had an awesome time this past weekend, at the Brandywine Festival of the Arts!
We learned so much from the individuals and families who tried out our drawbots. They helped us figure out how we can improve them, and how we could use them in the future.
We spent a lot of the day adjusting the way the marker fit into the old clock face we used as a weight for our “person operated drawing machine”:
One of our volunteers, Stephanie, taught us something we were missing at our last public event: If you hand the pulleys to a child and say, in a calm voice, that they should “pull gently,” they won’t pull on the machine all super-hard and flip the clock face!
Jason, Karen, and Jessi took the show on the road with the sandwich board version:
And under the tent, our drawbots burned through lots of batteries, but not very much paper:
We learned that pushing the red button “just once” to lower the marker to the paper isn’t going to cut it, because you just keep wanting to press it! We also learned the drawbots have a tough time on that flimsy a surface, and we’ll be trying out our newly constructed “dry erase arena” at the Taste of the Riverfront Event this Saturday, Sept 14th.
Here’s a few action shots– I especially love the look on the little boy’s face in the bottom right (Philly’s shirt):
Lots of people who work with kids who have some disability told us that all of these bots would be really fun for kids who can’t draw in traditional ways. We built these bots because it was fun, and we wanted to learn by doing. If they can end up helping people, we are super excited about that!
Most importantly, we learned that we have awesome volunteers. : ) We gave out 70 of our 75 brochures on Saturday, and I was all tuckered out. I figured one day was good enough, but a lot of them wanted to come back. Wow. You just couldn’t stop these guys. Not only were they there to help, they were creating the whole time. For example: It was Candice’s idea to try out dry erase boards for all this stuff. Later on, she noticed we were piling up a lot of empty water bottles, so she started figuring out what she could make with them! Meanwhile, Steph was working on a design for our future business cards.
Thank you all so much. It was a great time. Tom, Karen, Greg, Candice, Jason, Steph, Jeff, and Evan, you guys are awesome!