There are a lot of things that I will need to know and do in order to begin my research. I know what I want to find out, but it’s not easily measurable. So, I am very frustrated. I want and need to know if Chibitronics is something my first graders can successfully use in our classroom. Chibitronics “combines familiar adhesive stickers with electronic components, such as LEDs, sensor circuits, and even a programmable microcontroller, to create a play set that educates while adding some flash to one’s works of art or otherwise mundane birthday cards” (Hoopes, 2014). I want to know if it is something that I can add to my future makerspace for our school or if it is going to be too difficult for students to use successfully. I spent $150 of my own money on Chibitronics and batteries (if I purchase different copper adhesive tape, then it will be even more expensive) so I would really like to be able to use them. If my students can’t use them, then it was a huge waste of my money. I need to know how and if I can make them successful, but without a viable research question, I can’t start or do my research.
If I can come up with research that is measurable, then I will be using arts based research because my students will be using their Chibitronics light up stickers as part of their holiday artwork (cards or pictures for parents). In “arts based approaches, the role of the art or image making takes on a more central role. This is often the case in action research studies when participants are asked to create some sort of drawing, collage, or symbol to express something” (Merriam & Tisdell, 2016). I found the instructables.com website that has many ideas for Chibitronics cards and some ideas even come with an instructional video. I especially like the Glowing Rudolph Card (Carrillo, n.d.). I don’t have the stencil, but I think I could easily come up with one for my students to use. I also like how simple it would be for my students to run the copper tape, because it is very delicate and flimsy. The really great thing about the instructables.com website is that they have many ideas that my students could use and adapt to work for what they would like to make.
I really believe that Chibitronics are a valuable technology to research if I can find a measurable research question. I think my students are going to struggle, but ultimately love the stickers if they can get them to work.
Carrillo, E. (n.d.). Holiday Card with Chibitronics – Glowing Rudolph Card. Retrieved September 17, 2015, from instructables: http://www.instructables.com/id/Holiday-Card-with-Chibitronics-Glowing-Rudolph-Car/
Hoopes, H. (2014, January 22). Chibitronics connects circuits with stickers for entertaining electronic education. Retrieved September 18, 2015, from Gizmag: http://www.gizmag.com/chibitronics-circuit-stickers/30558/
Merriam, S. B., & Tisdell, E. J. (2016). Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.