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June 06, 2014

Bigshot camera: the DIY digital camera

Bigshot is a neat DIY digital camera that children can put together and brings to life many principles in math and science for children.

I have this blog to thank for getting the work with the children across to Shree Nayar the inventor of the camera who gifted 10 to see what the kids from a rural setting would take to it.

I am hoping that this is an opportunity to engage with teachers I have not had a chance to work with at school and also engage the teachers in the classes that I am involved in.

The first step was to make the cameras myself, fortunately, I have not had the time and while Udavi is still to open a few kids in Isai Ambalam had started coming even though admissions are ongoing. This gave me a chance to build the camera along with kids who would be interested. I took a bunch of games to class and after we played a few rounds suggested that I would build it and anyone interested could sit and watch. As I started to assemble the camera and the kids saw that I was only following instructions they first started to help me with the instructions identifying the 30 odd components. Before I knew it one of them was screwing some of the screws in and then the other. Three kids remained with me through the 20-25 minutes it needed to put the camera together. We had a bit of a bug with the switch initially and then with the LED in the front that would not lock, but otherwise it worked like a charm. 

The kids took over the camera and went in a group around the sparsely populated school (its admission time, but children interested can come in this week) and took some pics (132 of them). They also tried out the different modes including the 3D photographs, they still need to figure out the lighting, etc as only 80 odd pics were usable.

The kids are now keen to put the camera together and I sat in the next class and disassembled the camera to allow for a second round of re-assembly. It took me a little less time to take it apart (why is it that it always takes longer to build something than to take it apart) while the children were busy assessing what they remembered from last year. 

Here is the picassa album with some of the photos. Note a few pics in the end are 3D pictures.

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