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Microsoft is Turning Their Stores into Classrooms With STEM Saturdays

It’s Microsoft’s latest educational initiative, and it’s happening every Saturday this month.

Don’t have any plans this Saturday? If you show up at a Microsoft Store, you can get a crash course on the inner workings of the greatest computer interface device of all — the human hand! It’s the first course in Microsoft’s new STEM Saturdays program, which is putting on fun STEM workshops in Microsoft Stores all across the country.

STEM Saturdays will get started on May 6, when all Microsoft Stores will hold 30-minute workshops, teaching anyone interested how to build a flex sensor. A flex sensor is something that can read the movements of the human hand, including the flexing of fingers, and translate that into machine control — the kind of thing that will let you control a robot with your hand!

In fact, that’s exactly what will happen at this workshop. After learning how to build a flex sensor, the workshop will demonstrate how that sensor can be used to control a robotic finger using your own movements.

The workshop will cover not only anatomy, but the electrical and mechanical skills needed to actually build machines like these. Kids of all ages are welcomed (who wouldn’t want to build a robot-controlling glove?), but the most intriguing prospect is that teachers are invited, too. That’s an awesome thought — I don’t know about the kids of today, but if science class meant building stuff like this when I was a kid, I would have been all in on that!

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