The Second Annual NoCo Mini Maker Faire was a Success!

Thank you to everyone who came out to the 2015 NoCo Mini Maker Faire. There were over 120 makers who engaged attendees in all kinds of activities from shooting rockets to soldering and e-textiles! Thank you to all the makers and attendees for making this the best NoCo Faire yet! There is so much more to come!

The Heart of Creativity Beats in Loveland at the 2nd Annual NoCo Mini Maker Faire

Originally posted on MAKE:

Where do you find four of the nation’s top ten new technology start-up cities? Where do you find leading arts and sculpture production?  Colorado!  And what happens when you bring together tech savvy, arts creativity, and innovative thinking?  The largest and most amazing Mini Maker Faire in the Rockies!!!

At the 2nd Annual NoCo Mini Maker Faire, held in Loveland, Colorado on October 4th & 5th, inventors, entrepreneurs, sculpture artists, and kids alike wowed us with their creations and were inspired by over 130 hands-on activities and demonstrations. Go Fatherhood put it nicely when summing up the NoCo Faire

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 “The heart and soul of the Maker movement: the initial invention, the crazy, wild ideas, putting things together that don’t normally go together, and making things….Really, it was a lot of fun.”

Come join us for more Colorado maker fun – Denver’s Mini Maker Faire will be held in the Denver Museum of…

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Colorado WaterJet Company Takes the Stage!

One of the Makers from the NoCo Mini Maker Faire is taking the stage! Colorado WaterJet Company worked with the Central City Opera House to create a set for their upcoming show. The set piece is a two story birdcage made out of birch plywood and made to look like metal. Check out the picture below, we think they did a fantastic job!

CWJ

Read the whole story: Click Here.

Passport to The Maker’s Universe – A Maker’s Guide

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This year’s Faire will offer something new for middle and high school students! On Saturday only, kids will receive a Passport to the Maker’s Universe to guide their exploration of exciting career possibilities in Making.

Presented by CSU Office of Community and Economic Development and the NoCo Manufacturing Partnership, the passport will encourage and equip students to ask makers about what they do and how they got there. After some prompted reflection, they can return their completed passport for a cool prize!!

OBJECTIVES:

  • Improve students’ understanding of various career options in manufacturing and making
  •  Create an engaging experience to shift students’ perception about “making” and themselves

PROCESS:

  1. Volunteer ambassadors will greet students in line at both entrances, distributing passports and a list of suggested maker booths to visit. Additional volunteers will float around the site to assist students.
  2. The passport will guide students in their exploration of the 4 major planets of the Maker’s Solar System. It will include:
    1. An outline of each of the planets to include job descriptions, job outlook, pay, and training and education
    2. QR codes for webpages and videos to promote students’ continued learning and discovery
    3.  Incentive and support for students’ active engagement providing sample questions for makers and the chance to reflect on their intergalactic mission.

QUESTIONS YOU MAY BE ASKED:

Tell me more about what you do.                                                                                 How did you get to where you are today?                                                                 What other makers do you work with?                                                                         What are your goals for the future?                                                                               When did you know you were a “maker”?                                                               What’s a typical day like for you?                                                                                   What type of education and training do you have?                                              What’s the best part about your work? The worst?

You will not have to stamp passports! We ask only that you engage and entertain students’ interest.

3. Students will complete a short reflection exercise on the back cover                          of the passport and return this page at our booth (adjacent to the                              faire exit) to receive their prize

If you have any questions contact:   Paula Mills, paula.mills@colostate.edu, 970-491-3883

Brought to you by:

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Sponsor Profile: CSU LEAP Institute

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Imagine a car racing down the track at top speed that is made entirely of chocolate! Well you now is your chance to make that a reality, and the students of the CSU LEAP Institute to help by bringing you the Nerdy Derby! The Colorado State University LEAP Institute for the Arts is partnering with the NoCo Mini Maker Faire to bring you the Nerdy Derby. The Nerdy Derby is a spin off on the Boy Scouts of America’s Pinewood Derby. The big difference between the two is that the Nerdy Derby has no rules, on track or car size, or materials used. The point is to foster creativity, cleverness and ingenuity. One of the basic principles of the Nerdy Derby is “show what you make, share what you learn,” and that is how the LEAP program and many others are able to take this idea and take it to new places and new audiences.

The LEAP program has four guiding principles: Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Arts Advocacy, and the Public. All of which can be demonstrated by their professors and students in their involvement in the Nerdy Derby. The students are running this event and are able to exhibit their skills in many areas such as Material Acquisition, Facilitation, Assessment, Marketing, and Project Development. According to Professor Katie Rothstein: “With this partnership the LEAP Institute will provide its undergraduate students with valuable project management and facilitation experience which they can apply to other projects  and in their LEAP classes.”

The NoCo Mini Maker Faire welcomes the students and professors alike in this adventure. We are excited to see what the students come up with and to see the attendees enjoying the Nerdy Derby.

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

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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