Summer 2020

Summer 2020 is here, and it’s been quite a Spring. This year Discovery Lab is “virtual”, and the transition to the Ohio Valley Museum of Discovery has taken place. You can find information about this summer’s programming at

Check out the “news” section of the OVMoD homepage ( to sign up for the museum newsletter to learn about these and other opportunities.

Cue Robot – August 1; Deconstruction Night – August 8

Our last two Discovery Lab sessions are August 1 and August 8.

The special workshop on August 1 will explore the Cue Robot and its capabilities. These impressive characters can be coded using a Scratch-like interface and come with a variety of attachments for special missions.

Our final night we are looking to tear into a variety of electronics and appliances to see what is inside.

August 8 we cap the summer off by opening things up to look inside. We’ll have old computers, video players,small appliances, and whatever else we can get our hands on to pull apart and poke around inside. We will provide as many tools as we can get our hands on, but if you’d like to bring a few toolswith you (screwdrivers, pliers, …) that would be welcome. Make sure they are well-labelled and easily identifiable.

Game Design Workshop – July 25

On July 25 Jeff Kuhn will lead a workshop on game design. Last week looked at some of the technical details of making games using Unity. This week will focus on design and level design using a different software package. Jeff writes, “Making games, both paper-based and digital, is one part technical skill and one part design. In this week’s Discovery Lab workshop we’ll explore the art of game design. After learning some fundamental game design principles, we’ll apply our new knowledge by prototyping video game levels before playtesting them in a digital format. No prior knowledge is required to participate – just bring your creativity!”

As always we will have a bunch of other stations available as well, including the Maker Cart, Doodle Pens, Circuits, Arduinos, and Cue Robots.

Don’t forget that there is a special Artemis Night on Friday July 26 for those who are interested (see neighboring post), and the Discovery Fair is coming up on Saturday August 3 from 10 AM-1 PM.

Game Design and Unity – July 18

On Thursday July 18 Jeff and Hope will be leading a Game Design workshop as the main workshop. Come learn how to use the Unity Game engine to create a sample game. The first week will work with the nuts and bolts of creating a sample game in Unity, a powerful, freely available tool used by a lot of the game design community. In following weeks, they will continue to work with those who are interested on elements of design a game.

As always, our other stations – Maker Cart, 3D Printing, Doodle Pens, Cue Robot, Arduinos, … will be available.

Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator Night – July 26

Ever wondered what it might be like to work on the bridge of space ship?
Come join us for a special Friday evening playing Artemis.

Artemis is a Spaceship bridge simulator game, where multiple people staff each ship bridge (a full bridge includes a captain, helmsman, weapons, officer, engineer, science officer and communications officer). Basically think “Star Trek”. Up to 8 ships can play off of one server. It can be a lot of fun, but it does require multiple people to play. Information about the game can be found at

We will gather in Clippinger 045 for the event (the normal room). All are invited, including parents and other you think might be interested.

We will cart over a pile of laptops from physics  and anyone who has
a windows-based laptop can bring their own if they’d like. The software will be made available, but will need to be removed at the end of the evening.

For the afficianados, the intention is to use version 2.7.1 (the latest).

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

3D Printer Workshop June 13, 2019

Mr. Nick Conroy will lead a 3D printing workshop on June 13. We will have several printers available. Nick will discuss the basics of 3D printing and participants will learn how to create 3D models in Tinkercad. The printers will be available to print models, but the reality is that a single print may take a while, so some prints may need to be left for subsequent weeks. Tinkercad is a free online tool supported by Autodesk. In order to save your models, you need to set up an account at  There will be a limited number of temporary accounts set up, but if you can set up an account in advance (click sign up in the upper right corner of the screen), that would help.

In addition to 3D printing, a variety of other stations will be available for open work (video production, maker cart, arduinos, makey makey, etc…).

Facebook event:

Clippinger 045 – Ohio University, Athens Campus – 6-8PM

First Discovery Lab Session Thursday June 6

The first Discovery Lab session of the summer is upon us! The first gathering will be Thursday June 6 from 6-8PM in Clippinger 045. We will split our time between a building challenge/design activity and a look at some of the different kinds of activities that will be available this summer in Discovery Lab sessions.

Again, the age range is 6th grade through high school. Parents are welcomed and encouraged to stick around as well!

A Facebook event is posted for this first evening. Feel free to like it and let us know if you’re coming (reservations are NOT required). The link is

Due to the construction of the new chemistry building, the parking lot in front of Clippinger has permanently disappeared. The simplest way to get to the room is to enter through the door at the South West corner of the building (closest to Pond on South Green Drive) (see figure).





If you have any questions, feel free to contact Dr. Lucas as

Arduino Day Celebration – Saturday March 16

Come Celebrate World Arduino Day! The event will be held Saturday March 16 from 1-4PM in Clippinger Lab Room 035 on the Athens Campus of Ohio University. Co-sponsored by the Ohio Valley Museum of Discovery, the Ohio University Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Athens Makers (now Discovery Lab), we’ll gather for a time of workshops and sharing of sample projects for beginners and advanced users alike. Check out the pin at the Official Arduino Day website:

The event is free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome, though the work will be most appropriate for ages 11 through adult. Laptops and Arduinos will be available for people to borrow for the workshop time.

A variety of sample projects will be made available in the space. Beginner workshops will be available starting at 1, 2, and 3. Space will also be provided for those who would like to bring projects, either completed or in progress, to share with others in the community.

No registration is required, but if you have any questions or know in advance you intend to come, please feel free to contact Mark Lucas at

If you are coming from out of town, the best route is to take US-50/33 to the 682 exit south of campus. At the roundabout head North over the Richland Avenue bridge towards the Stadium. At the first intersection turn right onto South Green Drive. Clippinger is on the left just past the pond. Parking is available around the area. Do NOT PAY for parking. If you go past Clippinger, the lot on the right should have free parking as long as you don’t park in a metered spot. The best entrance will be the Southwest corner of Clippinger right off of South Green Drive. Head downstairs and you will find the event rooms.



Discovery Fair – Saturday August 4

What does a summer of Discovery look like? Come check out the Discovery Fair Saturday August 4 from 10AM to noon in the lobby of Clippinger Labs on the Athens Campus of Ohio University. There will be a combination of hallway activities and projects spanning the range of 3D printers, Raspberry Pis and Artificial Intelligence, Arduinos, Cardboard construction and engineering and anything else we’re inspired to bring. There will be a special appearance of the WOUB Learning Lab and their robotic friends. The event is supported by the Ohio Valley Museum of Discovery, the Discovery Lab/AthensMakers, State Farm (Discovery Lab materials) and the Department of Physics and Astronomy. If you are interested in showing off your latest or favorite project, contact Mark Lucas at We’d love to see what everyone is doing!

Parking ( The large lots in front of Clippinger (83 and 84) will be closed by then for construction of the new Chemistry Labs. Parking is available in Lots 86 and 88 directly behind the Clipping and in the Lots 87 and 93 by Ping (meters are 24 hours-7days a week). Lot 134 by Walter Hall is also an option.