Some of the workshops created and led by our ChickTech: High School volunteers:


Take Home Item: A robot you’ve built and programmed!

Overview: In this workshop, you’ll learn how a sophisticated robot is built and programmed … while building and programming your own at your own pace! And after the workshop, it doesn’t stay with us … you get to take it home!

We’ll begin with a brief discussion of what makes a robot, then each of you will assemble your own basic robot framework. We’ll have a bunch of experts available to teach you how to use simple tools and to solder (a cool skill that you’ll use all the time once you know how to do it). Then, we’ll move on to custom bodies and decoration. You’ll cut and fit plastic body pieces, decorate with paint, stickers, and even colored LEDs to make your robot look unique and super cool!

Then, you’ll get to program your robot! You’ll learn how to write a program to make your robot move in simple or complex patterns, to sense and avoid obstacles, to flash LEDs either at random, in sequences, or as an indication of the control process.

Finally, we’ll take a look at some things you can investigate on your own. You’ll take home some sensors, additional LEDs, and other hardware so you can continue to enhance your robot on your own.


Take Home Item: Microcontroller project you’ve customized!

Overview: Using Lilypad Arduino, an e-textile technology, you will add some high-tech bling to a tote bag or clothing item.  You will learn to design, create, and program electronics into your project that can sense inputs such as touch or light, and respond with outputs like sound or LEDs.

Computer Games

Take Home Item: A copy of the game your team designed so you can show your friends and family!

Overview:  Whether it’s High School Story, Minecraft, Temple Run, or Scrabble, everyone plays games on their computers and mobile devices. But what goes into designing and building games like these? In the Computer Games workshop, technology and design professionals will guide you through working with a small team to design and prototype a game on the first day, and through building your game using Stencyl on the second day. You’ll go home with a copy of your team’s awesome game and the tools you need to make it even bigger and better!

Computer Construction

Take Home Item: A desktop computer you’ve built!

Overview: Build your own desktop computer … for free! In partnership with Free Geek, a Portland nonprofit that refurbishes technology, you get to take apart a computer, learn what the components do, how they work together, and how to tell why one component might be better and faster than another, and then build your own working computer!

Website Design and Creation

Take Home Item: A website dedicated to your favorite music that you built and designed!

Overview: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript make the web go ’round. Learn to code your own web page, site or dynamic application. You’ll build web pages from scratch and learn about tools that can do most of the work for you.

Smartphone App

Take Home Item: A smartphone app you created!

Overview: There really is an app for everything! Apps to help you buy your groceries, check Facebook, read the news, play games, listen to music, and an endless amount of other things. Apps are really simple to make, and you can use your own creative idea to even come up with the next big thing! We’ll will help you learn App Inventor, which is a program to create apps for Android phones, create your own app, and have a really fun weekend!

User Experience Design

Take Home Item: A digital prototype you’ve designed to solve a problem for a Portland nonprofit!

Overview: “We’re not just designing pretty interfaces, we’re actually in the process of designing a better environment where we’ll spend most of our time for the rest of our lives.” – Wilson Miner

Do you love Instagram, Wechat, Snapchat, Skype, and Google? Ever wonder who gets to decide what goes on the screens of your phones and computers?

In the User Experience Workshop, you’ll spend two days collaborating with your team of five to solve a problem for a local non-profit. Over two days you’ll learn how to conduct user interviews, draw interfaces, and design features from scratch. At the end of our workshop you will have created a new and improved design for your non-profit to implement on their website!

We are living in a world of screens, and as experience designers, we are the ones who decide what goes on them. We are excited to show you why we love doing it every day.

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