New group teaches electronics

Published 7:00 am Friday, August 15, 2014

LEARNING SKILLS: From left Picayune Make members Leland Thomas and Luc Lagard work on an LED cube. Photo by Jeremy Pittari

LEARNING SKILLS: From left Picayune Make members Leland Thomas and Luc Lagard work on an LED cube.
Photo by Jeremy Pittari

A new group of motivated young people has begun sharing their knowledge of electronics with the community.

The group fills an empty niche in the area, and goes by the moniker Picayune Make. They show other like-minded people in the area how to set up a simple work area that can be used to effectively build complex circuit boards, said group founder Luc Lagarde. Such a circuit board could then be used to construct an electronic device, such as an LED light cube.

Legarde is a senior at Pearl River Central High School and the lead programmer for Pearl River County’s robotics team, called Team CHAOS. His mother, Angelina, said Luc became interested in science and electronics as a child. She said after graduating high school Luc Lagard intends to attend college to earn a degree in mechanical engineering.

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He began the group in January of this year and they now meet on a bimonthly basis on the first and third Saturday.

Meetings are held at the family business, Kimono Dragon, located at 324 West Canal St.

Their next meeting is this Saturday at 5 p.m.

During their meetings, the group may build circuit boards, construct a 3D printer and install the proper software, or complete any other project that comes to mind.

So far, the group is operating off of a $200 grant from Rack Space, with Public Labs acting as the liaison, Lagarde said.

Currently group meetings average about three to seven attendees, but Lagarde is interested in increasing that number. 

Future projects include construction of a wooden arcade cabinet that would utilize a computer with emulation software in order to play a variety of old video games.

Through the group sessions, participants learn about working with electronics through first hand experience in soldering electrical components to a circuit board and using programing applications to control LED lights and micro controllers.

“This is something the entire community can participate in,” Lagarde said.

There is no charge to join the group and they welcome all ages.

They are also looking for donations and ways to apply for grants.

If anyone has old electronics around the house, Picayune Make will gladly accept them. They will recycle the internal components for use in building other electronics during the group sessions.