Meet Mariah! – Information – SparkFun Electronics


Meet our latest Artistic Technologist Mariah and be taught all about what introduced her right here to SparkFun!




Hey all! My identify is Mariah Kelly and I might be your Technical Documentation and Content material Help Specialist for this night. Now, when you’ll take a second to evaluate the protection information situated within the seatback pocket in entrance of you – ah, simply messin’ with ya! I’ve labored at SparkFun for nearly two years and am so excited to now be on this crew, interacting with y’all and making cool issues collectively!

Now for the half the place I inform you slightly bit about myself, which I’ll attempt to hold quick and candy as a result of I generally tend to inform lengthy tales: it began after I was born… simply kidding. It began after I went to school!

I went to highschool at Berry Faculty in Rome, Georgia, the place I majored in Artistic Applied sciences (CRT) with a minor in Chemistry. One of the best ways to explain CRT is a kind of “Jack-of-all-Trades” main. Whereas there I realized 3D printing, laser chopping, vinyl chopping, Processing, Arduino, stitching, woodworking, steel working, and even PCB design and fabrication, all on the on-campus makerspace, HackBerry Lab! There have been many different issues I picked up alongside the way in which, however these are the principle ones.

Mariah sitting under a net of LED lights with two others

And boy did I lean into that program as a lot as attainable, after which some – I truly began school double majoring in CRT and Chemistry, however dropped chemistry all the way down to a minor as a result of I had develop into so invested within the ardour I had discovered at HackBerry. After I took my top quality in this system, I used to be introduced on as a lab assistant. My job was to assist hold the lab and all its tools up and working for everybody to have the ability to work on their tasks and to assist assume by way of issues with college students, generally even educating them one-on-one throughout open lab hours!

Being a lab assistant is a number of the most rewarding work I’ve ever had the pleasure of doing, and I’m so excited to be getting into into this new function and getting again to serving to individuals make what they need to make.
Talking of constructing issues: I’d like to share some tasks of mine with you! The large internet of LEDs I’m sitting underneath within the photograph above is a cool place to start out: that venture is named Occasion Horizon and is an interactive gentle set up consisting of 9,216 neopixels embedded into giant sheets of window screening and held up by a 20x20ft square-steel body. It ended up on show on the Mason-Scharfenstein Museum of Artwork in Demorest, GA for about six months!

Mariah under a net of LED lights

Attending to be part of a venture like this solely served to extend the eagerness I had for Artistic Tech and the entire prospects it opened my thoughts to. I began diving into the unknown and attempting to determine the way to do issues I’d by no means executed earlier than–and that’s after I found PCB (printed circuit board) design.

Now, along with discovering my ardour for PCB design, I additionally realized that I’m extremely motivated by curiosity and enjoyable, which guides just about each certainly one of my tasks. So, I design boards that I believe will both be cool to play with, or will reply a query. Or each!

I’m solely gonna contact on two boards right here as a result of I’ll go on perpetually (I really like to inform tales, bear in mind?), and the primary board I’ll discuss is the PacMan Ghost PCB; this was my first “PopArt” board and is certainly meant to be enjoyable (and a bit nostalgic). It has 51 Neopixels and three animations: the primary is a blue sparkle that simply quickly modifications each different LED between white and cyan, the second is supposed to imitate PacMan making his approach throughout the board amassing PacDots, and the ultimate is similar animation that’s displayed within the sport to warn the participant that the ghost is about to renew its pursuit. It’s run off a single ATTiny85 chip and a 3.7v lipo; I’ve not examined how lengthy it may possibly run off the battery because it’s fairly vibrant and I’m not attempting to recreate that scene from Raiders of the Misplaced Ark. the one.

This venture actually challenged my notion of what circuit boards had been meant to be. I’m a reasonably artsy particular person and I noticed that this was only a new medium for me to create with. So, after I was accepted to take an Instructional Expertise Overseas course journey to Norway, I knew that I wished to make a circuit board that will be enjoyable for teenagers to discover an idea with. And thus, the RGB Pinwheel was born!
The thought behind this board is to show youngsters (or anybody, actually!) concerning the major colours of sunshine. The board quickly flashes between crimson, inexperienced, and blue so shortly that it’s imperceptible to the bare eye and seems as if the entire LEDs are white. However, using the impact brought on by persistence of imaginative and prescient, when the board is spun the breakdown may be seen! And the secondary colours may be seen as properly by urgent the button: white, in fact, breaks down into crimson, inexperienced, and blue; cyan breaks down into simply inexperienced and blue; magenta, crimson and blue; and yellow, crimson and inexperienced. Sadly, it’s very troublesome to seize this impact with a digital camera, so the entire photographs end up with a rainbow gradient, nevertheless it’s nonetheless fairly cool wanting and exhibits that all the seen spectrum of sunshine may be created with simply crimson, inexperienced, and blue!

And I’m completely satisfied to say that these boards nonetheless have a house in a 4th grade classroom in Norway!

Mariah with a class of kids in Norway

Bonus – when you’re ever feeling discouraged by the prototyping section, this hilarious mess is how this venture began! (Not pictured – the horrible contraption I needed to make with a purpose to get all of this to spin round, haha)

And that’s me! I’m so thrilled to be happening this journey with y’all and may’t wait to see the entire cool issues we’ll be taught alongside the way in which! If there’s something particularly that you just’re serious about, be at liberty to counsel a venture or ask a query; let’s dive into the unknown collectively and see what we will create!


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