This summer through an opportunity from the Maker Ed Initiative and a Project:Connect grant, we partnered with the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and Design School to pilot five physical and interactive murals at five Free Library locations. The project, Connected Messages, introduced youth to electronics, technology, and the Maker Movement through art and community dialogue. Each site created a four-ft x four-ft mural that consisted of individual five-inch square decorated boxes with an LED and a circuit on the inside. When the mural was plugged in, the entire community-created piece was illuminated from within. Youth could also access the board through a web application, which allowed them to turn individual LEDs on or off, or send a message which scrolled across their mural or other murals.
Connected Messages was invited to exhibit at the 2013 World Maker Faire in New York on September 21-22, 2013, where more than 55,000 visitors were in attendance. It received both the Editor’s Award and the Educator’s Award. Visit an article on the makerjawn blog to learn more about Connected Messages!