A new partnership with the Philomath (pronounced fill-OH-muth for you out-of-town readers) High Robotics Engineering Division (PHRED) helped the HMSC Free-Choice learning lab overcome a major information design hurdle. An on-going challenge for our observation system is recording usage of small, non-electronic moveable exhibit components – think bones, shells, levers, and spinning wheels.

PHRED mentors Tom Health and Tom Thompson will work with students to develop tiny, wireless microprocessor sensors that can be attached to any physical moving exhibit component and report its use to our database. The team will be using the popular Arduino development tool that has been the technological heart of the Maker movement.

This is a great partnership – the PHRED team has all the skills, enthusiasm, and creativity to tackle the project and build successful tools – not to mention gaining the notoriety that comes from working on an NSF-funded project. Oregon Sea Grant gains more experience integrating after school science clubs into funded research projects, while meeting the ever-challenging objective of engaging underserved communities.
Thanks to Mark for this update. 
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