If you pass by one of our classrooms in Brooklyn or the Upper East Side, you may notice something new in our windows–our very first seasonal window displays, just in time for the holiday season! This season’s theme is Robot Wonderland. We wanted to combine our love for all things mechanical with the fun of snowy winter weather. Look closely at those tumbling snowflakes, and you may also notice that they are also shaped like gears! And you may notice that the snow caps on the mountains, the little snowflakes in the backdrop, and the green ball ornaments are all made from recycled gears!
Read more below on how we built our displays:
When designing the windows, we wanted to use a lot of the materials that we have on hand here at the Foundry–and especially materials that get sent back to us after class that we could then recycle and use in a new way. This meant lots of styrofoam balls that we had sitting around, and LOTS of gears.
Our lovely design team member Patti had a ton of amazing ideas of how to use these gears as a crafting supply! She came up with pinning green gears to styrofoam balls to make ornaments, hot gluing white gears together to make little snowflakes, and hot gluing gears onto the tops of our mountain cutouts for a snow-capped effect.
Here’s some progress pictures from when we were creating the windows in our workshop:
The mountains we made from blue foam insulation board, painted with house paint, and decorated with gears. The trees are styrofoam cones wrapped in foam paper and pinned in place with nails. The ground cover is quilting polyfill. To make the snowflakes, we cut out the shapes from foamcore posterboard, sprayed them with spray adhesive, and covered them in iridescent glitter. The stands for the snowflakes are just made from pre-cut wood from the hardware store, screwed together with a T-shape at the base.
It was important to our design process to use the same electronic components that the kids in our classes use, so that they can see familiar concepts from class come together in a bigger scale. In this window display, we used gearboxes and motor speed controllers to create the turning movement of the large snowflake-gears. Hopefully, our window will show just one of the many ways you can use these components, and open up kid’s minds to the creative possibilities in building robots.
And we hope everyone who passes by enjoys the final result as well!