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About Hack Your Notebook Day


About Hack Your Notebook Day

This past summer, NEXMAP and CV2 partnered with Educator Innovator to offer Hack Your Notebook Day on July 9th. This program was part of Summer to Make, Play and Connect, a MacArthur Foundation-sponsored initiative powered by theNational Writing Project and the Mozilla Foundation. We had the chance to support be educators and learners of all ages with activity kits and resources as they explore how 21st century notebooking can engage youth in creative STEM learning.

We're planning more pop-up events and design challenges like Hack Your Notebook Day so if you’re new to paper circuitry or slinging copper tape like a pro, be in touch; we'd love to have you joinus for another day of coast-to-coast notebook hacking! 

Check out our hashtag -- #HYNB2014 -- to see some of the activity from last summer's activities.

7/9/14 Live Webinars

Join us for a day of notebook hacking, making, tinkering, learning and reflection. We’ll be speaking with educators, youth and makers across the world about why paper circuitry and notebook hacking is important. In addition to these conversations, we’ll also have an open hangout for you to drop-in and share your own notebook hacks and ask questions of the team. Bring your projects and share them with #HYNB2014. 

Schedule (all times Pacific)


Take your notebook to the next (power) level by adding a dedicated battery and built-in power leads. Illuminate your thinking and highlight your best ideas with circuit sticker LEDs. Experience the deep engagement and learning experience that comes with making and tinkering with your team. Share what you made with the larger community of notebook hackers on our Google+ group or on Twitter (#HYNB2014).

Our activity cards will walk you through how to do the following using the circuit stickers and other materials in CV2’s Hack Your Notebook Kit:

  • Design a simple circuit illuminating one light

  • Design a parallel circuit illuminating multiple lights

  • Design a circuit that includes a mechanical switch

  • Hack a notebook to include a dedicated power source that can be tapped anywhere in the notebook

We’ll provide downloadable and printable activity cards, troubleshooting tips and remix ideas. You bring your notebook, additional art supplies and your imagination.

Participating Sites


We'd like to thank the following individuals for their continued collaboration and support: Jie Qi of the MIT Media Lab; Natalie Freed of Lick-Wilmerding High School; Paul Oh and Elyse Eidman-Aadahl of the National Writing Project; Kim Douillard of the San Diego Area Writing Project; Lou Buran and Peter Kittle of the Northern California Writing Project; Kevin Hodgson of the Western Massachusetts Writing Project; Dr. Larry Hovarth of San Francisco State University; and Dr. Susan Spero and her Museum Education class at JFK University.

Hack Your Notebook Day is brought to you by:


Hack Your Notebook Day Kits & Materials

Hack Your Notebook Day Kits & Materials

Though the July 9th Hack Your Notebook Day event is over, workshops and explorations in paper circuitry continue -- we have everything you need to get started with your own project and basic notebook hacking. Our Notebook Hackathon Kit is available from CV2 for $425. See below to order your kit today.

The Basic Notebook Hack

Each kit provides materials for 20 makers and includes the following:

  • 240 LED Circuit Stickers: 120 RYG, 120 White (12 per hacker) from Chibitronics
  • 2 rolls of 1/8" copper tape with conductive adhesive
  • 20-3V coin batteries
  • 1 spool of conductive thread (400 ft.)
  • 20 sewable coin battery holders
  • 40 alligator clip test leads
  • 5 needle threaders
  • 4 crochet hooks
  • Educator orientation letter with a list of online resources including activity cards, instructions and design challenge cards for download

Want to organize your own materials? Visit nexmap.org/notebook-materials for alternate sources.

Additional Recommended Materials

Hacking your notebook means personalizing it, making it uniquely yours. Our Hack Your Notebook Day kits contain everything you need to get started with adding paper electronics to your notebook but you can further support the creative and artistic exploration involved by providing additional supplies to your notebook hackers.

This is not meant to be a comprehensive list—you know your audience best! Pick and choose what materials make sense for your participants, time frame and available resources. Have ideas for cool materials that aren’t listed here? Contact Jen at NEXMAP (jen -at- nexmap.org) so she can add them to the list!

  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Markers, colored pencils and/or crayons
  • Colored paper
  • Glue sticks
  • Washi/decorative tape
  • Beads
  • Yarn and/or embroidery floss
  • Scrapbooking paper
  • Hole punches

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Hack Your Notebook Day Resources

Hack Your Notebook Day Resources

Print Materials

Activity Pages - NEW!

Hey, notebook hackers! V.2 of our four notebook hacking activity pages are now available for download. Please review before your event and share any feedback you have with us so we can get these as tuned-up as possible for Hack Your Notebook Day. Click images to download the PDF of each activity.

Download ZIP of all activity pages. (Last updated - 6.19.14)

Simple Circuit Activity - v2.2

Parallel Circuit Activity - v2.2

Simple Switch Activity- v.2.3

Level 1 Notebook Hack - v.2.2

Want a bit more structured guidance in putting together a notebook hacking event for your students or peers? With help from Chad Sansing, a Mozilla Webmaker Mentor and NWP teacher, we've put together a Teaching Kit that has everything you need from learning goals to illustrated step-by-steps to discussion questions to assessment criteria.

Want to customize for your own situation? Remix your very own notebook hacking kit! Learn more about Webmaker here.

Video Tutorials for Notebook Power Lead Construction

Available at http://www.OrigamiBonsai.org This video teaches how to braid three strands of anything. 

Braiding (easiest)

PRO TIP - Add a splash (or two) of color by combining yarn or embroidery floss with your conductive thread.

Confused? Click Here: http://www.beyondbracelets.net/beginnerbasics 

Knotting - Friendship Bracelet Style

PRO TIP - Add a splash of color by knotting yarn, embroidery floss or other materials with your conductive thread.

For written instructions and photos please visit: http://newstitchaday.com/crochet-101-how-to-crochet-the-chain-stitch-for-beginners/

Crochet - Chain Stitch

PRO TIP - Want to kick your chain stitch up a notch? Consider adding beads! 

http://www.beadaholique.com/yt - In this video, learn how to chain stitch crochet with beads.