chain reaction symphony

Tokyo, Japan – October/November, 2022
ongoing workshop idea

Trying out some workshop ideas with the Children Institute for the Future at Tokyo Gakugei University and a group called STEAMers. We feel we are  “biting off a bit more than we can chew”, e.g. trying to build chain reactions with physical computing and music. We might be adding too much into the mix – it’s all an experiment. In these workshops we used a wide variety of materials to build chain reactions. We also incorporated the Makey Makey and Scratch. We began each workshop by exploring the Scratch Music Extension and then we began exploring switches connected to the Makey Makey, and programmed the music with the Makey Makey Scratch extension. The participants then built chain reactions that could activate their switches, which in turn would play a piece of music built in Scratch. Again, it felt like we were adding in too many ideas for one 2 hr. workshop, but surprisingly it worked quite well. Below is a “case study” with a participant who really focused on iterating their switch, creating many, many different versions. We contrast this with other participants who really focused on the music making part, while others focused on building chain reactions. In the end we suppose the reason why these workshops were so successful is that there were a variety of entry points for different types of creators.