“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” -Albert Einstein
Name: Kyra Dhingra
Past Projects: Clap operated light bulb (using Arduino with Scratch)
Current Project: SweetReads for Smart Girls App(using MIT app inventor)
Favourite YouTube Channels: RCI, Beauty101, Open Green Energy
Kyra is the youngest maker in our Meet the Maker (series), at just ten years of age. She is soon to complete grade 5th and is an avid enthusiast when it comes to electronics, painting or rather making in general. She also plays the piano. Here is the excerpt of the conversation I got to have with Kyra and her Mum, Kavita Dhingra :
You got into making because…
Kavita: Well, we watch a lot of TED talks together, you know to learn about what is new and upcoming and she really started with electronics after watching this video about a suitcase that follows you around
Kyra: Yeah we were in the car going somewhere and we talked about this suitcase that follows you around and I really liked that and I want to make something of that sort.
Kavita: She has been painting and and learning the piano for a while and then she did Scratch for Arduino and that got her started on electronics. We also attended a drone flying workshop in Canada and she was really excited while flying the drone. We also did 3D printing together and it was a great experience for all of us as a family. So as she became interested in making stuff on her own, she started to learn Arduino after school at my office and I think because there is not so much pressure of school at her age she can learn and make things she likes, it is very important in developing an attitude of critical thinking.
Kyra: I also learned about Robotics with First Lego League and we had to do this challenge Animal Allies (It is a challenge based on a real world problem where kids aged 9-16 try to think like engineers to build a solution) I had a lot of fun. I also won the Scientific Temper award for my project at school. (The project involved LEDs and conductive tape to make a functioning and aesthetic circuit).
Currently working on…
Kyra: I am making an app for searching books called SweetReads for Smart Girls (using MIT App inventor). Its all about finding the perfect book for girls 8-10 years old with different genres to encourage and inspire them to step out of their comfort zone! It has a feature of Amazon search to easily find the book on Amazon and order plus written reviews by me and also reviews from GoodReads. And I made this sensor(detection sensor using PIR sensing ) that you can connect to your light in your say, washroom so if someone is there it lights up and if it is empty it is off.
Want to work on…
Kyra: um, something to check for pollution. Like a device that tells how much smoke is there in the air so you can check before going out. And I want to build a school bag that follows me around, my bag is too heavy to carry!
Kavita: And what about your fashion line? She sketches designs and wants to have her own line when she grows up.
Kyra: Yeah that too. And I was thinking of shoes where you could strap a new design on base so you can match your dress with your shoes. Like the sole is common, but the part covering the foot is stick on so you can have as many different pairs as you want. And more customise-able accessories with sensors. That would be cool!
Tools and kits you use…
Kyra: I worked with a LEGO kit and I work with Arduino. For art I use charcoal and water colours. And I love using the Glue gun.
Kavita: But we never let her use it without supervision.
Ideas and Influences…
Kyra: I like watching DIY channels and I love Star Wars. It’ll be cool to make a robot like BB-8. And I really like fantasy fiction. I read the Harry Potter series and I am reading Hunger Games. And we all watched the Assasins’ Creed movie together, so I guess that all this helps with imagining better things to make.
Kavita: Kyra’s idea for a device to check whether milk is safe or not has been accepted by National Innovation Foundation-India so we are going to work on that. And let’s hope it turns out to be a good project.
We wish Kyra the utmost success for all her endeavours and commend Mrs. Dhingra for encouraging and helping her daughter to be a maker.
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