The Largest Maker Faire in the Rocky Mountains! 

This year’s NoCo Mini Maker Faire, an all-ages festival featuring do-it-yourself makers, showcases never-before-seen creations including a fire breathing, laser shooting 30 foot Robot Resurrection, a BrickBuilder Expo, a Youth Entrepreneurship Showcase, a 6 foot robotic 3D printing arm and much, much more. Held October 4th and 5th at Loveland’s Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation and Technology, this event features a multitude of hands-on activities from soldering games with SparkFun to laser engraving with Epilog Laser and a Cardboard Challenge!   With opportunities to make, create, learn, invent, craft, recycle, build, think, play and be inspired, this second annual NoCo Mini Maker Faire is Colorado and the region’s largest with indoor and outdoor exhibits, hands-on demos and presentations spread out over 100,000+ sq feet.

Take a look at our Maker page to see who is coming! 

Make at your Local Colorado Library

Brighton Library

Anythink Library, Brighton CO

Pine River Living Library

Living Library – Pine River Library, Bayfield, CO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Colorado today new MakerSpaces are popping up everywhere, and they all seem to take on a new and different shape than the spaces before them. One hot bed for MakerSpace growth is in our libraries. Now that people can find information online, the library’s role has started to evolve. No longer are Librarians merely the gatekeepers to the vast quantity of information stored within, but a bridge between what people want to Make and the tools and resources they need to Make it. As Ashley Kazyaka of the Colorado Public library puts it, “Libraries are going from the supermarket to the kitchen.”

So, how can you get a Maker Space in your library? It all depends on what you want your space to look like. There’s no wrong way to make a space, but you’ll need a direction to start. Let’s take a look at a couple libraries around the state and see what they’ve done.

Anythink libraries are a series of Colorado libraries who have begun putting full MakerSpaces inside each of their libraries. These spaces include a ton of new technologies including 3D printing, a hands on computer-guts lab, and a digital photography lab. Though everything is available to all groups, these libraries have a focus on getting teens involved in using new technology and encouraging them to go forth and Make on their own. This style of space is very similar to the ideaLab in the Denver Public Library, which has just finished up it’s Summer of Tech, featuring a web development camp and a design your own punk patch (where teens’ virtual designs become real apparel).

The Pine River Library in Bayfield, CO has taken on a completely different approach. Rather than bring more technology into the library, they’ve moved the library outside. They call it the Living Library. The Space features gardening plots, which are cared for by members of the community and overseen by the local gardening club . It also has a geodesic dome, where classes are taught on 4 season gardening techniques (something desperately needed in the dry Southern Colorado climate). The classes and garden plots are available to people of all ages, there are nature inspired toys for the kids and group garden plots for seniors and teens. There’s even a tool rental library; so you can take your work home.

If you’re setting up a Space like Anythink, a space geared towards teens and technology, you’re in luck because the Colorado Department of Education is currently giving out Library Service and Technology Act (LSTA) grants. In 2013 the organization only received 16 requests and were able to provide funding for 12 of those. This included a grant for the Anythink Space in the Brighton Public Library, they used the money to purchase their 3D printer, among other things. Grants of this type gave the recipients anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000 to fund their spaces, and they are currently accepting new applications. So once you’ve finished this article and figured out how you’ll spend your money, check out their website and start your own grant application here: http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdelib/lsta

One of the trickiest steps can be deciding which pieces of technology to buy, and what all you’ll need to run them and to create a Space worth visiting. Luckily there’s help, visit create.coloradovirtuallibrary.org  to find a host of resources which can help you decide exactly which pieces to buy, including Make Magazine’s MakerSpace Playbook. Or visit the Library Makerspaces Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/librarymaker/  to hear stories of the success and failures of other libraries around the country.

Now, if your goal is to set up something more like the Living Library in Pine River, something with a little bit less of a strictly technological focus, you might need to take a different approach. Most of Pine River’s resources didn’t come from a grant process, but rather from other businesses and clubs in their own community. The geodesic dome was donated by Growing Spaces, a company based in Pagoda Springs about 40 miles from the library, and was put together by members of the library with guidance from a Growing Spaces employee. Some of the nature inspired toys were donated by other companies, some were made by library employees (the balance beam was once a tree on the President of the Library’s property). Many of these toys were inspired by Nature Explore, a company set on connecting kids and nature. Community garden plots are rented out at $25 a year and are overseen on a volunteer basis by the local Bayfield Garden Club. The food produced is harvested and used by a local charity who helps provide food to those in need in the local area.

The key to building either kind of Space is to get the community involved. Most of the classes taught at the ideaLab at the DPL are volunteer taught. All of the community gardens in the Living Library are looked after by a gardening club. As Nate of the DPL says “Trust the people who come through your door.” The library must become a place where people who know how and people who want to know how can come together in a place with the tools they need to create.

For project ideas and inspiration visit; makeitatyourlibrary.org

To check out other ideas and examples of what is going on now in Colorado Libraries, stop by one of these awesome locations;

Teen focused programs and spaces:

Anythink libraries- anythinklibraries.org

IdeaLab at the Denver Public Library- teens.denverlibrary.org/idealab

Boulder Public Library Teen Space-  teens.boulderlibrary.org

Skyview Schools STEM weather balloon program

Library-based spaces for all ages:

Arapahoe Library District- Spaces across a number of libraries which showcase new DIY technologies including sound recording booths, green screens and other new tech. Arapahoelibraries.org or @arapahoelibraries on twitter

Pine River Library- A library which has programs focused on community involvement and the great outdoors including a community garden, a tool lending library and classes for all ages on new green tech. prlibrary.org

- By: Dan Weimer

Sign up as a Maker at the Largest Maker Faire in the Rocky Mountains!

This year’s NoCo Mini Maker Faire, an all-ages festival featuring do-it-yourself makers, showcases never-before-seen creations including a fire breathing, laser shooting 30 foot Robot Resurrection, a BrickBuilder Expo, a Youth Entrepreneurship Showcase, a 6 foot robotic 3D printing arm and much, much more. Held October 4th and 5th at Loveland’s Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation and Technology, this event features a multitude of hands-on activities from soldering games with SparkFun to laser engraving with Epilog Laser and a Cardboard Challenge!   With opportunities to make, create, learn, invent, craft, recycle, build, think, play and be inspired, this second annual NoCo Mini Maker Faire hosted is Colorado and the region’s largest with indoor and outdoor exhibits, hands-on demos and presentations spread out over 100,000+ sq feet.
There are just 10 days left to sign up as a maker/exhibitor and join the amazing makers already signed up.

Highlights

Robot Resurrection:

SparkFun’s soldering workshop:

SparkFun is a presenting sponsor of the event and will be holding their signature soldering booth teaching folks of all ages and skill levels the lifelong skill of soldering!

Loveland BrickBuilder Expo:

In partnership with the Colorado Wyoming LEGO User Group (CoWLUG), this Expo will include displays from master builders, a brick building play area, and a building competition.

Sculpture Games:

Cardboard Challenge:

Sound Puddle:

  • The SoundPuddle is an interactive space of visual-acoustic synesthesia. This spectrographically colorful spaces creates color and light from sound, illuminating every noise you make on an immersive canopy of light. Bring your voices and musical instruments, and 5,760 LEDs will unify your ears and eyes.
  • Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKy5J4lC1wI#t=11

Nerdy Derby developed by CSU LEAP students:

  • The Nerdy Derby is a no-rules* miniature car building and racing competition. With a larger, undulating track and no restrictions on the size of the cars or materials participants can use, the Nerdy Derby rewards creativity, cleverness and ingenuity.
  • Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMUOAvvRuwc

 

“As producers of the event,” says Elise VanDyne, Executive Director, “our job is simply to find the most creative makers in the region and help make their visions come true within the Faire. There is nothing more fun than bringing together an awestruck audience with the great people and groups that are imagining, building and sharing their creations.”

This event would not be possible without the generous support and participation of our sponsors and community collaborators including:

SparkFun – creators of DIY electronics for tech tinkerers everywhere

Make Magazine –DIY projects and inspiration for and from geeks

Rocky Mountain Center for Innovation and Technology and the City of Loveland

Epilog Laser – Laser engraving, cutting and marking systems

Aleph Objects – leading the open source 3D printing industry

Idea-2-Product Lab – a 3D lab speeding innovation, creativity and product development

And many more community supporters and collaborators.

 

Sponsor Profile: Idea-2-Product Lab

Idea-2-Product Lab Logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know that right in Fort Collins we have a public access 3D Make Lab that can get you up and running with your 3D dreams?  CSU’s Idea-2-Product Lab’s (I2P) mission is to enhance innovation within their community, increase industrial productivity, facilitate education, and foster engagement both within the University and the community at large.

The I2P Lab is involved in so many interesting projects. One of these is The Walk Again project, which is an international nonprofit collaboration among many leading institutions to help paralyzed people to walk. Walk Again created a prosthetic exoskeleton directly controlled by the the brain, which enables a paralyzed person to walk. I2P created a liner for the helmet that holds electrodes to read brainwaves which tell the prosthetic exoskeleton to move. The Walk Again Project’s coming out was at the 2014 World Cup in which a paralyzed teen made the first ceremonial kick off.

Idea-2-Product Lab is also helping local Loveland artists with their creative process. One artist by the name of Mark Hopkins says that: “Technology is important to my creativity especially since 3D printing has started. Leonardo and Michelangelo would have used it.”

If you are a business or individual who is in need of this kind of service, a subscription to the I2P Lab provides everything one needs to do additive manufacturing: training; machine time; design/CAD assistance; and/or full-service production – all rolled into a single price. For more information on projects or to sign up, check out their website and newsletter.

Terry Gold’s Denver Mini Maker Faire Blog Post!

Terry Gold wrote about his fun experience at the Denver Mini Maker Faire claiming that “The best part was seeing all the kids running around, excited to see and get their hands on all the projects.” He also credited one of our sponsor’s SparkFun with really engaging visitors at the Faire. 

If you are a Maker and want to engage visitors to the NoCo Mini Maker Faire coming this October 4th and 5th be sure to sign up now! The Call for Makers ends August 31! Hit the big blue MAKE button to sign up! 

Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

You can read  the whole post by Terry Gold here: Terry Gold – Denver Mini Maker Faire

 

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

davis-maker-movement-history-460x345

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.

Continue reading

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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