Internet of Things Making for Kids

One of the great things about working and playing together at DoES is that every now and then one person’s idea, becomes a shared idea.  One of these led to a joint MCQN ltd, Imagication and Open Labs application to Nesta to take Internet of Things into schools.

Lily-mai, 11: in school we have never done anything like what we did in the workshop. It was very fun and I learnt a lot from it.

With Adrian developing the programming, Kirsty developing workshops and kit, and with support from Kev and Cefn we developed a weather station built using shrimping, and tested and refined our resources and instructions with over 300 children aged 7-16.  We had great fun teaching children first to build Persistence of Vision kit (That’s Eleanor in the picture below demonstrating hers) and then adding to it to build the weather station.

Luke, 11: Me and my best friend Joel had lots of fun, even though we had some trouble we got through in the end.

The Weather station scrapes data from BBC weather [update: we had considered scraping the BBC weather site, but found that the Met Office had an API – Adrian] talks to the Met Office’s Datapoint service and then does two things with it.  A small servo moves to show the temperature, popping out like an old fashioned clock in one version, or twisting the top of a lighthouse in another, and they both display LED’s which show the prevalent weather condition.  This is the first of many resources and add-ons that we’ll be posting as up resources, and we hope just the start of developing Internet of Things, ‘Things’ with children.  Three things:

  1. You can find the instructions here – do download them and have a go.  You can get the kits or parts from Cefn, or follow the links on his site to order your own.
  2.  We’re holding a session in September for teachers and group leaders- if you or anyone you know wants to come, let us know @imagicationuk
  3.  We’ll be running a @_futuremakers_ session with shrimps in September – beg, borrow or steal children if you don’t own some already and join us!

Persistence of Vision in action

 Thanks to Nesta, Nominet Trust and Mozilla for supporting us to develop these first of many resources!

Help improve DoES Liverpool with our survey and open meeting

UPDATE: The start time for the meeting has now been confirmed for 12:30, 26th January 2012

DoES Liverpool has been in its new home for almost exactly 6 months now. We’ve had an amazing time so far; some great events like the return of BarCamp Liverpool, meeting lots of interesting freelancers and co-workers, and helping people learn all sorts of things – including using a laser-cutter, sewing, and better ways to run their business. We want the next 6 months to be even better though and so we’re asking for help from everyone that has had some involvement in DoES. Yes, that means you!

We’re going to have a meeting later this month, most likely at lunchtime on the 26th (January 2012). We would call it a “Resident’s Meeting” but we don’t want people to think it’s only for people who have a permanent desk here. In fact we want as many people as possible to turn up who would like to be involved in the future of DoES Liverpool. We’ve previously had “Organisers Meetings” that involved only the people who were initially involved with setting DoES Liverpool but we now want to open this out to allow more people to be involved.

In preparation for this meeting we’ve put a survey on Google Docs, please fill in the survey so that we can get an idea for how you think we’re doing now and what you’d like to see happening in the future. We’ll report the results of that on here and at the meeting.

Keep an eye on this blog, sign up to the Google Group or follow us on twitter for final confirmation but barring any major changes, we’ll see you on the 26th!

Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day at DoESLiverpool

Ada Lovelace Day aims to raise the profile of women in science, technology, engineering and maths by encouraging people around the world to talk about the women whose work they admire. This international day of celebration helps people learn about the achievements of women in STEM, inspiring others and creating new role models for young and old alike.

Taken from About Ada Lovelace Day

To celebrate Ada Lovelace Day, and to celebrate the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and entrepreneurship, we have decided to hold an Open Day for women at DoES Liverpool. On Friday the 7th October, all of the services of DoES Liverpool will be free for use by women. Use a hot desk for the day and have a welcoming place to work with power, wifi and tea & coffee available. If you’re a more crafty type use the facilities of our workshop to work on your projects, getting feedback and help from the other attendees.

DoES Liverpool is successfully bringing together people of various disciplines and allowing great collaboration and sharing of ideas. With this Open Day we hope to bring even more people into the space to enjoy the benefits of co-working.

This offer is open to all women, including existing friends of DoES Liverpool. The day will not count towards your hot desk quota and if you’ve never been before you will still be able to come at a later time and get a free day when you bring cake.

Men are, of course, welcome to come and work from DoES and find out more about what the women of Liverpool are achieving. This will count as a normal day for you so you will need to pay for a hot desk day or bring cake if it’s your first visit.

We’re really hoping that we’ll see some new faces in the space as a result of this so come along and see what we’re about. Ping us on twitter or sign up on lanyrd if you think you’ll come, or just turn up on the day.

If you are at DoES for Ada Lovelace Day, you might also be interested in attending:

UK Northwest study group for Stanford University’s free distance learning AI courses

You might have seen that Stanford Uni will be offering 2 exciting courses Free and Online in Autumn 2011, in “A bold experiment in distributed education”.



The course content will be delivered by video, and there will be exercises and opportunities for discussion.  There’s no certificate as such (though you get a “statement of accomplishment” if you complete it.)

Remote learning is all very well, but we’d also like to have a local study group.  We’ll set up a monthly meeting at DoES Liverpool, and everyone who’s following along on either course in Northwest UK is welcome! [1]

Though many of us will be studying the AI class, you’re welcome whether you’re doing that or the ML one.

There will be wifi, a projector, coffee (and stronger drinks available by donation for after-study), and we will get hold of the (optional) course books.

If you’re interested in coming, then please:

  1. Register for either course above
  2. join the DoES Liverpool mailing list  and let us know which course(s) you’ve signed up for!


We will meet twice a month, on Tuesdays, Sep – Oct, 7-9pm. Please note there are some additions/changes since the original mailing!

  • NOTE CHANGE: the Oct 11th meeting has been moved to 4th + 18th
  • Tues Oct 4th
  • Tues Oct 18th
  • Tues Nov 8th    (1.5 weeks before mid-term exams)
  • Tues Nov 22nd
  • Tues Dec 13th  (a few days before the final exams for the advanced track)
I’ll advertise any changes on the DoES mailing list!

We’ve already met once, on Tues Sep 13th  to look at Linear Algebra, one of the prerequisites, and discuss our approaches.


We will do some/all/none of:

  • watch course videos
  • discuss things we’re finding hard
  • work together on exercises
  • use the time as an opportunity to read/study by self
  • present something to group
  • commiserate about how hard it is and how dumb we are


If you have any questions, then please shout on the DoES list, or ping @osfameron on twitter!


[1]  If Liverpool isn’t convenient for you, then why not join Geekup and talk about forming a group closer to you in the NorthWest.  People have already been discussing the possibility of groups in Manchester and Leeds/Sheffield.

Alternatively, there are online study groups at and


As DoES is a co-working space, you are welcome to arrive early (or even during day, to hot-desk) if that is more convenient.  (And remember, first time hotdesking is free if you bring cake!)

Last trains back to Chester / Manchester / Leeds are after 11pm, and Lime Street and Central stations are within 5-10 minutes walk.