A University of Iowa professor is making technology more accessible to the greater Iowa City community.

Lindsay Mattock, an assistant professor in the Library Information and Sciences department, helped create Makers by Mail, a company that ships out small pieces of technology in “kits” to students who don’t have access to the same resources you would find on a college campus or classroom.

“We started talking about using technologies that were small enough that we could package and ship out cheaply and get them out to students or people hesitant to work with technology and reach populations that haven’t been encouraged to play with technology,” Mattock said.

With help from the 2017 Theme Semester, Our Lives Online, Mattock was able make bring her inspiration to life.

“Theme Semester has allowed us to purchase the Lilypad Arduino, which are small pieces of technology you can sew into your clothing that teaches students to build wearable technology,” Mattock said.

The kits are designed for students of all ages – K-12 and into college. Individuals interested in getting their hands on one are encouraged to contact Mattock directly at lindsay-mattock@Uiowa.edu.

"A lot of the kits are designed for students K-12 and into undergrad and graduate students. Our goal is to extend our reach and get people to tinker with the technology," she said.

Other projects funded by Theme semester include the purchase of Rasberry Pi computers which are the size of a credit card and hold the same capacity as a regular laptop. Students are encouraged to assemble the computer, make their own web server and operating system.

“The feedback we have from students in the courses has been very positive and students are excited to bring the technology home and build it from the ground up,” she said.

For those who aren’t technologically savvy, Mattock says not to worry. The kits come in all ranges of difficulty and everyone should be able to pick it up.

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