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Timberline's Digital Hackerspace

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Timberline's Digital Hackerspace is a school-community operated workspace where students with common interests in computers, technology, and digital art and music, can meet, socialize and collaborate.  The goal of the Hackerspace is to create hackers, in the original sense of the term:  students who are capable of using technical knowledge and creativity to overcome problems with playful cleverness.

All courses run out of Timberline's Digital Hackerspace are taught in a teacher-guided, self-directed manner through our custom designed online learning platform.

All of the software we use in the Hackerspace is free, and most of it is open source.  Where possible we also use open-source hardware.

​Follow us on Twitter Twitter or Instagram Instagram to see some of the creativity that occurs in Timberline's Digital Hackerspace.

 HTML5 Demo Hacks

Try clicking each of the links below to demo the kind of things students can learn to create in the Hackerspace's Computer Programming courses. Just refresh your browser to return things to normal ;)


 Course Descriptions

Computer Modelling & Animation 10/11/12

Want to design and print your own chess set or other board game pieces? Want to create a model of your favorite game character and print a figurine? Learn to build 3D models on the computer, then print them on the Hackerspace’s 3D printer, or animate them using Blender’s built-in physics, lighting, and rendering engines. This course uses Blender, a 3D computer graphics program used for creating animated films, visual effects, art, 3D printed models, interactive 3D applications and video games. Model, animate, print. Collaborate with friends in Digital Art and Game Design to form a 3D Game Creation Team! You create the models and animations, the artist creates the textures and images, and the game designer will put them together and build the game’s framework. Or you can team up with a friend in Digital Photography to create a model with a relief image in it for printing in 3D, or even create a model of yourselves by turning photographs into a skin map texture.

Computer Programming 11

Whether you just want to try dabbling with code, or you want to become a professional programmer, this course will get you started.  You will have the option to learn one of several programming languages, based on your area of interest:

  • Android programming with App Inventor: This is a codeless method of programming for those who might find the other options intimidating, or for those who just want to taste the power of programming before jumping into a more advanced language.  Create basic Android apps using this drag-and-drop block-based programming environment.

  • Web Programming with JavaScript and HTML5: If you are interested in learning how to program for the web. Create a browser based games, customize your Tumblr theme, or make your own website from scratch.

  • Scripting with Python: Python is rapidly becoming one of the most popular languages, and it's possibly the easiest programming language to learn.  It is also the language used to customize and script Blender.  If you've taken Computer Modelling and Animation and want to be able to automate modelling or control your animations with code, you'll want to learn Python.

  • General Purpose programming with Java: The most popular and versatile programming language in the world:  Java is the language of everything from Minecraft, to Android OS and its apps.  If you are interested in becoming a programmer, this is probably the language you want to learn.

Computer Programming 12

Advance your programming skills in your choice of Python or Java. This course will help preparing you for post-secondary courses in programming.  It covers many of the topics that you will face in a 1st year programming course at college or university. If you are thinking of taking a post-secondary program in engineering, business, science, geography, or computer science, this course will provide excellent preparation. The course provides you with the essential knowledge and basic programming and trouble shooting skills that are required to get a good start at the post-secondary level. You will spend the majority of your time on the computer. Your time will be divided equally between solving programming puzzles to practice your skills, and designing simple games from scratch.

Digital Art and Design 10/11/12

For budding painters, sketchers, sculptors, and graphic designers, this course will show you how to transfer your talents in to a digital environment.  Junior students will learn how to use a suite of free and open source software:

  • Krita, for digital painting, sketching, drawing, and doodling with a WACOM drawing tablet that is sensitive to the pressure, speed, and tilt of your hand as you draw! Draw with a digital pencil, pen, pastel, watercolors, oil paints, chalk, or almost any other brush you could imagine.

  • Inkscape for graphic design.  Graphic design is the creation and combination of words, symbols, and images to create a visual representation of ideas and messages.  Uses include identity (logos and branding), publications (magazines, newspapers and books), advertisements, posters, billboards, website graphics, online comics, and font design.

  • Blender for sculpting in 3D with digital clay. Use a 3D printer to print your sculpts!

Advanced students who have previously taken this course will have the option of focusing on a particular area, either drawing and painting, graphic design, or sculpting.  Students will build a portfolio of digital creations throughout the semester.

Digital Photography 10/11/12

Want to learn how to use all those settings on your digital camera's mode dial? Or do you just want to turn yourself into a zombie through photo manipulation? Did you know you can manually set the ISO on your Android phone's camera? 

This course contains two major units:

  1. How to use a DSLR camera—your own, or one of our Canon T3i's—to take good photos, starting with the basics and progressively building towards using the most advanced shooting modes.

  2. How to manipulate photos using the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), from simple photo-touch ups to adding outrageous special effects.

Want to carve an amazingly accurate image your face onto a pumpkin for Halloween? Want to create an old school red and blue 3D image of yourself?  Collaborate with a friend in Computer Modelling and Animation to print a relief of an image on a 3D printer, or even create a model of yourselves by turning photographs into a skin map texture! For advanced students who have taken this course in a previous grade, your mastery of the camera will be combined with your photo manipulation abilities to create fantastic effects

Game Design 10/11/12

Create graphically intense 3D levels or a simple 2D platformer using the Unity 5 game engine, then experience them on the Oculus Rift! Create web-based games using HTML5, create games for Android devices using the MIT App Inventor, or learn a scripting language such as Python or Lua to create add-ons and mods for your favorite game.  First time students will be introduced to each of these topics.  Advanced students will have the option of choosing a single platform and spending the semester designing and building a game for that platform.  New ideas are especially welcome in this course!  If there's a platform you want to create games for, we'll figure out how to do it! 

Digital Hack Lab 11/12

Have you ever played Tetris on your camera's LCD screen? Do you know what a Raspberry Pi is? A smorgasbord of multi-media and programming skills.  If you think all of the courses listed under the Digital Hackerspace have something interesting about them, this is the course for you.  Dabble in all of them to find something that you are particularly interested in, and perhaps take a more focused course next year.  Alternatively, if you have a digital project you are interested in that doesn't quite fit into one of the other courses, the Hackerspace can provide you with the place, resources, and guidance for you to hack away.   Some past project examples include tinkering with the Raspberry Pi to turn it into a multi-media hub for the class, in another example a student used the Canon Hack Development Kit (CHDK) to install an alternate OS on her Canon digital camera, in yet another a student removed the polarizing filter form a computer monitor and build specialized glasses needed to view the screen! Students have even built a working computer submerged in a fish tank. Explore the digital world.