Hack Your Life for National Engineering Month

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“Building community and great stuff” is not our official motto at Symbility Intersect, but is definitely something we strive to practice every day. We have some really great talent on our team and using their talent to help the community around us is something we believe strongly in

– especially if that help comes in the form of fun learning experiences for the community. That’s why we teamed up with the Toronto chapter of the Google Developer Group and ACCES Employment, an employment centre that specialises in helping new Canadian residents to find work, to celebrate National Engineering Month.

In the spirit of learning something new and of National Engineering Month, we helped create a full-day program that we dubbed “Hack Your Life – An Intro To Hardware Hacking.” This event was aimed at people interested in learning more about areas such as IoT (the Internet of things, ie connected devices) and how hardware can be manipulated with software. We were proud to have a full group on hand for the event that included both people from the local tech community as well as clients of ACCES that were eager to learn.

The "Hack Your Life" Participants

The morning started off with learning sessions where participants were given an introduction to the basic concepts needed for hardware hacking, such as how to build a circuit board, how sensors and controllers work, and how to control motors using Arduino, which is open source hardware and software that many people use as a starting point for learning hardware hacking.

The afternoon is when the real fun started. All of the participants split into groups and began to put their new knowledge to work. Armed with ideas, tools, and a strong sense of curiosity, the teams went to work on some pretty cool projects:

Hack Your Life Event - Learning in the morning

Hack Your Life Event - Taking stock of what we have to work with

Hack Your Life Event - Time to start putting things together

Hack Your Life Event - A delicate touch is needed

Hack Your Life Event - Things are taking shape

By the end of the day, we saw pretty amazing projects emerge. These included LED clothing, automated sensor-driven miniature cars, and even a robot that dished out high-fives.

Hack Your Life Event - High Five Robot!

All in all, the Hack Your Life event was a great success. People gained hands-on experience with some pretty interesting tech, new skills were developed, friendships were made, and one lucky participant even went home with a robot arm that will give them high-fives whenever they want.

We want to thank our partners at the Google Developer Group and ACCES Employment again for hosting the event.

If you would like to be informed of other upcoming community hack events we’ll be hosting, please sign up for our newsletter.