Making for All: Reaching people with disabilities in National Science Week
Every Australian deserves the opportunity to participate in science and technology. That’s why we’ve designed STEM engagement activities to meet the unique needs of people with physical and intellectual disabilities.
To boost the participation of our disability community during National Science Week 2020 on 15 – 23 August, Making for All: Reaching people with disabilities will feature among more than 1000 events across the country. Supported by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, we’ll send
550 or so circuit-making kits to disability organisations around Victoria. The kits have been designed for young adults with sensory, significant motor or cognitive disabilities so everyone, regardless of skill level, can learn to make their own technology.
The maker kits contain easy-to-use components, such as large foam blocks that can be pushed together with the back of a hand. Conductive tape replaces fiddly fine wires traditionally used in circuit-making. And a button cell battery powers an LED light or vibration motor – either as a stand-alone or fanciful feature in arts and crafts.
If you’d like to learn more about Making for All during National Science Week, or to get involved, please email Dr Kirsten Ellis.
Take part in our research
Once you complete your circuit-making activities, we hope you’ll take part in some exciting research and tell us how you went with our maker kits. We’ll also ask you to share a photo of yourself with your creation, demonstrating how much people with disabilities can do in STEM when given the right opportunity.
Maker kits to suit all
#TapeBlock Made Kit
Pre-assembled TapeBlocks (four foam blocks wrapped in conductive tape with a bi-colour, fail-proof LED light, vibration motor and battery holder). The kit also includes a 3V button cell battery.
Only gross motor skills are needed to push TapeBlocks together to make a circuit that activates the light or motor.
#TapeBlock Making Kit
Do-it-yourself TapeBlocks to form a circuit. These are easy to make with a bit of fine work, such as holding and cutting.
The kit includes four bi-colour, fail-proof LED lights, four foam blocks, conductive tape and a 3V button cell battery and holder.
#TapeBlock Character Kit
Create a light-up character with a dragon or train kit. These are easy to make with a bit of fine work, such as holding and cutting. Decorating is adaptable.
The kit includes one or two bi-colour, fail-proof LED lights, conductive tape, foam and a 3V button cell battery and holder.
Watch character train video
Design a light-up box. These are easy to make with a bit of fine work, such as holding and glueing. Decorating is adaptable.
The kit includes a bi-colour, fail-proof LED light, conductive tape, wood pieces, acrylic and a 3V button cell battery and a TronicBit battery holder.
Join the dots with a bright light. These are easy to make with a bit of fine work, such as threading and taping. Decorating is adaptable.
The kit includes LED light with long wires, conductive tape, acrylic sheet with holes, a 3V button cell battery and a TronicBit battery holder.
#TapeBlock Weaving Kit
Weave it up. Harder to make, this requires a bit of fine work such as threading and taping. The weaving pattern is adaptable.
The kit includes three LED lights with long wires, conductive tape, weaving loom, wool, a 3V button cell battery and a TronicBit battery holder.