Maker Spotlight: Baila and Trish

By Adam Skobodzinski


Balia and her mom Trish tied for First place in our Make It BIG Challenge. 9-year-old Baila won the hearts of our Challenge judges with her interactive “Sock Game.” According to Trish, this is the third project Baila has created. Prior to Sock Game, Baila used littleBits to create two other household hacks; a hot cocoa blender and flashlight. Watch the clever video for Sock Game below:

Trish created a stunning installation titled “Dream Flowers.” This beautiful mobile was inspired by her preschool class’s study of  Wassily Kandinsky’s “Concentric Circles and Squares.” Now, the display hangs in her classroom to ignite wonder. What the judges loved about this piece is that it’s motion-activated and only moves when someone is near.

Trish and Baila’s family stays busy with a variety of indoor and outdoor activities. Thankfully, they had time for a quick interview with us upon their return from a weekend camping trip.

How did you hear about littleBits?

My husband, Ben, actually found littleBits online when he was searching for electronics teaching kits for the kids.  He had purchased a kit for our son (age 11) but it was too abstract to catch his attention.  When my husband stumbled onto littleBits, he was instantly excited!  It turns out Baila was even more excited than her brother!!

Baila, what grade are you in school? What are your favorite subjects and extracurricular activities?

I am in third grade. I like geography and science and playing violin. Gymnastics is my favorite sport right now!

Baila taking an old hard drive apart to make a mobile.

Baila taking an old hard drive apart to make a mobile.

Trish, how long have you been teaching?

I have been an early childhood educator for the past 16 years!  I currently own and operate my own private Montessori school for children ages 3-6.

What are your favorite weekend activities?

We love being outside whenever we can!  We like taking our RV around to many different places to enjoy kayaking, hiking, snow shoeing, and biking.  Just this past weekend we did our longest family bike ride – 17 miles, in the Catskills.  Baila was just terrific, even passing me a couple of times.  We love these adventures so much that we will soon be leaving on a one year RV tour across the country.

Baila loves to kayak, she's been doing it since she was 2-years-old!

Baila loves to kayak, she’s been doing it since she was 2-years-old!

Any ideas for your next littleBits project?

Our whole family is brimming with ideas!  Our 11-year-old son is busy designing a sign for his room that says “good night” and will light up when the room goes dark.  My husband decided he would like to get the kids to help him design some sort of controller for our RV heater.  I am going to work on a Rube Goldberg-style machine and maybe a mini version of Dream Flowers too!  Baila has a pretty cool new idea that will help her decide what necklace to wear with her outfit. We are working on the design now, but it seems like it will rotate her necklaces around as she stands in front of a mirror so she can see which one looks best!

We can’t wait to see what this creative and adventurous family dreams up next. To checkout more amazing projects, or to upload one of your own, visit our project page!


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