In the last year, Garnet developed a 63-page guidebook as a curriculum aide for students to learn “circuit bending” – the hand-modifying of battery-powered children’s toys to build custom electronic instruments (Ghazala, 2004). His goal was to instruct individuals with no prior experience in computing or engineering in the fundamentals of electronics.
To test this curriculum guide, Garnet Hertz led a one-day workshop in January 2010 at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California that was a resounding success: although many had no experience with electronics, 90% were able to successfully produce their own custom electronic device from scrap materials in under four hours through our curriculum. Due to this success, the workshop was also given at the Institute for Multimedia Literacy in the School of Cinematic Arts at USC in August 2010.
We believe the combination of inexpensive and familiar materials, low technological requirements, a clearly designed curriculum and guidebook, and a sensitivity to the social topic of environmental waste have contributed to the strong success of this initiative.