NoCo Faire Coming This October

Join us at Colorado’s Largest Maker Faire!  The NoCo Mini Maker Faire is a hands-on festival that brings people of all ages together to Make, Create, learn, invent, craft, tinker, play and be inspired by a wealth of innovation and creativity. Check out this video of last year’s event.

The Call for Makers is now open for the 2nd Annual NoCo Mini Maker Faire is coming back to Loveland October 4th and 5th!  Featuring Maker Showcases in Rockets and Robots, Mad Scientists and Artisans, Fiber Arts and 3D creativity – take a look at our Makers page for more information.  

The Maker Movement Meets Big Business

Can indie-minded tinkerers get comfortable in the corporate world?

By Reena Jana

http://designmind.frogdesign.com/

Above, scenes from Genspace, a community biology lab in Brooklyn, NY: TED Fellow Oliver Medvedik, co-founder of Genspace; Medvedik and Genspace President and co-founder Ellen Jorgensen; experiments.

On a recent rainy morning I walked through the front door of a former bank in downtown Brooklyn to find myself in a dusty lobby with cracked windowpanes. An elevator ride took me to another floor where I found cluttered rooms filled with lopsided bookshelves, used beakers, and dirty wine glasses. Finally, I arrived at my destination: a NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION called Genspace, where an unlikely community of artists and attorneys, high school students and Ph.Ds, VENTURE CAPITALISTS, and architects regularly come together to get their hands dirty, literally—experimenting with, say, growing synthetic leather from bacterial cellulose. Continue reading

How the Maker Movement Is Moving into Classrooms

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The Maker movement is a unique combination of artistry, circuitry, and old-fashioned craftsmanship. Certainly, learning by doing or “making” has been happening since our ancestors refined the wheel.

Don’t treat making as a sidebar to an already overtaxed curriculum. As you investigate the principles behind teaching STEAM via making, you’ll see sound research from many educators throughout history, including Jean Piaget who, in 1973, wrote:

[S]tudents who are thus reputedly poor in mathematics show an entirely different attitude when the problem comes from a concrete situation and is related to other interests.

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Smartphone Rocket Launcher

Originally posted on MAKE:

In the iPhone ad “Powerful,” actors launched a group of model rockets with an iPhone. You can view the adhere. I thought this was insanely cool, but in typical Apple fashion, I couldn’t find out how they did it. I decided to take matters into my own hands and build my own system from scratch using a Raspberry Pi, Web IO Pi Framework, Relay Board and a modern smartphone.

The software portion of this project isn’t too hard. I used the WebIOPi framework to control pin 17 on the Raspberry Pi. I chose this framework because it made it very simple to control a GPIO pin. You can download the html and python file from my github. You can also learn more about configuring WebIOPi here.

I attempted to build my own relay board, but I ended up using a relay board I already had. The…

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Come join us! The Call for Makers is out NOW!

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Maker Camp 2014: Worldwide And In Your Neighborhood

Originally posted on MAKE:

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For the third straight year, Google and Make have come together to put on Maker Camp, a free, online summer camp for teens on Google+. Building on 2 million past participants, Maker Camp 2014 officially kicks off today at 11 a.m. PDT / 2 p.m. EDT today with a Hangout featuring NASA and Buzz Aldrin.

We’ve always believed that everyone, especially young people, should be able to feel the joy that comes from imagining and creating something that didn’t exist before.

Nine years ago, we hosted our very first Bay Area Maker Faire, an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, hobbyists and artists. The event was partly inspired by the idea that the special creative energy produced by kids is even stronger when they’re brought together. Since that first get-together, it has grown globally with more than 100 events in places like Tokyo, Rome, Santiago and Oslo. Recently, a…

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NoCo Mini Maker Faire Call for Makers is now OPEN!

        Call for Makers is Open!

Applications will be accepted in July and August for Maker Participation  Continue reading

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Happy 4th of July Makers!

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Can the Maker Movement Infiltrate Mainstream Classrooms?

 | July 2, 2014 | http://blogs.kqed.org/

New York Hall of Science/Maker Faire

At the White House Maker Faire recently, where President Obama invited “makers” of all ages to display their creations, the  President investigated a robotic giraffe, a red weather balloon and shot a marshmallow cannon made by a student. With so much fanfare and media attention on the event, some educators are hopeful that the idea of tinkering as a way of learning might finally have made it back to the mainstream. But will the same philosophy of discovery and hands-on learning make it into classrooms?

“Most of the people that I know who got into science and technology benefited from a set of informal experiences before they had much formal training,” said Dale Dougherty, editor of Make Magazine and founder of Maker Faire on KQED’s Forum program. “And I mean, like building rockets in the backyard, tinkering, playing with things. And that created the interest and motivation to pursue science.”

That spirit of play and discovery of knowledge is missing from much of formal education, Dougherty said. Students not only have no experience with making or the tools needed to build things, they’re often at a tactile deficit. “Schools haven’t changed, but the students have,” Dougherty said. “They don’t come with these experiences.”

Dougherty often watches kids as they interact with hands-on experiments or materials at Maker Faire events. “It’s almost aggressively manipulating and touching things because they’re not used to it,” he said, which is unfortunate because that kind of work is in high demand in doing engineering or mechanical jobs.

“Even at the university level we’re choosing talent based on math scores, not on capabilities and demonstrated abilities,” Dougherty said. He thinks engineering programs could learn something from art schools when it comes to the application process. No art school accepts a student without examining a portfolio of work that demonstrates the student can do the work required required of them and has the potential to grow. Dougherty helped lobby MIT to begin accepting “maker portfolios” along with other application materials to ensure the things kids make are considered alongside test scores, essays and recommendations.

STUDENTS WILL DRIVE THE MOVEMENT

Dougherty is hopeful that events like the White House Maker Faire will help catalyze a movement that accepts maker-style self-directed learning in schools. He sees a lot of interest in affluent communities, but a lot less involvement in low-income areas. Incorporating the maker movement into public schools would reach help reach all students, perhaps sparking a life long interest in kids that might not otherwise be exposed.

“I think kids are going to be the drivers of change in this.”

“The context of making is playful,” Dougherty said. “At the high school level that’s when it stops being fun.” It’s that playful spirit that gets kids engaged, not a set curriculum or even access to technology. Kids have to feel invested and passionate about something to care about it for the long term. “If we are really about STEM, how do we make if fun, how do we make it engaging, how do we keep it playful?” Dougherty asked.

Parents are even starting to recognize the motivating power that this movement has on kids. “I think kids are going to be the drivers of change in this,” Dougherty said. “They’re going to be the ones asking for this, and asking if their parents can support them in this.” Dougherty knows many young people ready to go to high school who don’t see their passions being supported there. A lot of high schools got rid of classes like shop and metal work that were the “maker spaces” of a previous era. Parents didn’t see a use for those skills and they were gradually phased out.

“The key idea here that I’ve promoted is I want people to see themselves as producers, not just consumers,” Dougherty said. “I’d like to see it become a capability that we use in home life and at work and that we’re proud of it, where we see ourselves as having these powers to do stuff.”

Dougherty hopes that if students raise their voices, parents demonstrate support and passionate teachers are willing to champion the cause at individual school sites, maker spaces could become a fixture of school. They don’t have to include the fanciest 3D printer, they just have to be spaces for exploration, hands-on learning and a playful attitude towards discovery.

For original article, click here.

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How Bike Touring Introduced Me to Making

cknich5:

Colorado has many bike makers! Would you like to see more of them at the NoCo Mini Maker Faire?

Originally posted on MAKE:

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Many makers can pinpoint their origin story. Though I’m a novice, I can see mine well enough. I decided to go on a bike tour — a big, long one, across Africa. Like many people, learning to ride was part of my childhood. I was comfortable on them, familiar with them, but what did I really know about them? Not that much. Most crucially, bike repair was a mystery to me.

Bike touring has one particular characteristic in common with making: Self reliance. You can’t carry all the tools and parts you need to fix a bike, and chances are good you’ll be far from the nearest shop. And you will break down, so you better be prepared.

With that in mind, I figured the simplest way to prepare was to build one myself. With a $40 frame from Craigslist, I hung around a local bike shop until they…

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Powerful Ad Shows What A Little Girl Hears When You Tell Her She’s Pretty

A new Verizon commercial cites a sad statistic by the National Foundation of Science: 66 percent of 4th grade girls say they like science and math, but only 18 percent of all college engineering majors are female.

What do you think Makers?