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Monday, March 20, 2023

Meet Mariah! – Information – SparkFun Electronics

Meet our latest Inventive Technologist Mariah and be taught all about what introduced her right here to SparkFun!




Hey all! My identify is Mariah Kelly and I shall be your Technical Documentation and Content material Help Specialist for this night. Now, in case you’ll take a second to assessment the protection information positioned within the seatback pocket in entrance of you – ah, simply messin’ with ya! I’ve labored at SparkFun for nearly two years and am so excited to now be on this workforce, interacting with y’all and making cool issues collectively!

Now for the half the place I let you know a bit bit about myself, which I’ll attempt to preserve quick and candy as a result of I generally tend to inform lengthy tales: it began once I was born… simply kidding. It began once I went to varsity!

I went to high school at Berry Faculty in Rome, Georgia, the place I majored in Inventive Applied sciences (CRT) with a minor in Chemistry. The easiest way to explain CRT is a form of “Jack-of-all-Trades” main. Whereas there I discovered 3D printing, laser reducing, vinyl reducing, Processing, Arduino, stitching, woodworking, steel working, and even PCB design and fabrication, all on the on-campus makerspace, HackBerry Lab! There have been many different issues I picked up alongside the way in which, however these are the primary ones.

Mariah sitting under a net of LED lights with two others

And boy did I lean into that program as a lot as attainable, after which some – I really began school double majoring in CRT and Chemistry, however dropped chemistry right down to a minor as a result of I had develop into so invested within the ardour I had discovered at HackBerry. After I took my first-class in this system, I used to be introduced on as a lab assistant. My job was to assist preserve the lab and all its gear up and working for everybody to have the ability to work on their tasks and to assist suppose by means of issues with college students, generally even educating them one-on-one throughout open lab hours!

Being a lab assistant is among the most rewarding work I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing, and I’m so excited to be getting into into this new position and getting again to serving to folks make what they need to make.
Talking of creating issues: I’d like to share some tasks of mine with you! The massive internet of LEDs I’m sitting underneath within the photograph above is a cool place to start out: that undertaking is known as Occasion Horizon and is an interactive mild set up consisting of 9,216 neopixels embedded into massive sheets of window screening and held up by a 20x20ft square-steel body. It ended up on show on the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Artwork in Demorest, GA for about six months!

Mariah under a net of LED lights

Attending to be part of a undertaking like this solely served to extend the fervour I had for Inventive Tech and the entire potentialities it opened my thoughts to. I began diving into the unknown and making an attempt to determine find out how to do issues I’d by no means executed earlier than–and that’s once I found PCB (printed circuit board) design.

Now, along with discovering my ardour for PCB design, I additionally discovered that I’m extremely motivated by curiosity and enjoyable, which guides nearly each considered one of my tasks. So, I design boards that I feel will both be cool to play with, or will reply a query. Or each!

I’m solely gonna contact on two boards right here as a result of I’ll go on without end (I like to inform tales, keep in mind?), and the primary board I’ll discuss is the PacMan Ghost PCB; this was my first “PopArt” board and is unquestionably meant to be enjoyable (and a bit nostalgic). It has 51 Neopixels and three animations: the primary is a blue sparkle that simply quickly adjustments each different LED between white and cyan, the second is supposed to imitate PacMan making his approach throughout the board gathering PacDots, and the ultimate is identical animation that’s displayed within the recreation to warn the participant that the ghost is about to renew its pursuit. It’s run off a single ATTiny85 chip and a 3.7v lipo; I’ve not examined how lengthy it could actually run off the battery because it’s fairly brilliant and I’m not making an attempt to recreate that scene from Raiders of the Misplaced Ark. the one.

This undertaking actually challenged my notion of what circuit boards have been meant to be. I’m a reasonably artsy individual and I spotted that this was only a new medium for me to create with. So, once I was accepted to take an Academic Expertise Overseas course journey to Norway, I knew that I needed to make a circuit board that might be enjoyable for youths to discover an idea with. And thus, the RGB Pinwheel was born!
The concept behind this board is to show youngsters (or anybody, actually!) in regards to the main colours of sunshine. The board quickly flashes between purple, inexperienced, and blue so rapidly that it’s imperceptible to the bare eye and seems as if the entire LEDs are white. However, using the impact attributable to persistence of imaginative and prescient, when the board is spun the breakdown could be seen! And the secondary colours could be seen as effectively by urgent the button: white, after all, breaks down into purple, inexperienced, and blue; cyan breaks down into simply inexperienced and blue; magenta, purple and blue; and yellow, purple and inexperienced. Sadly, it’s very troublesome to seize this impact with a digital camera, so the entire pictures prove with a rainbow gradient, nevertheless it’s nonetheless fairly cool wanting and exhibits that the whole seen spectrum of sunshine could be created with simply purple, inexperienced, and blue!

And I’m pleased to say that these boards nonetheless have a house in a 4th grade classroom in Norway!

Mariah with a class of kids in Norway

Bonus – in case you’re ever feeling discouraged by the prototyping part, this hilarious mess is how this undertaking began! (Not pictured – the horrible contraption I needed to make in an effort to get all of this to spin round, haha)

And that’s me! I’m so thrilled to be occurring this journey with y’all and may’t wait to see the entire cool issues we’ll be taught alongside the way in which! If there’s something specifically that you just’re curious about, be at liberty to counsel a undertaking or ask a query; let’s dive into the unknown collectively and see what we will create!

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