Category Archives: Makers

Come Visit Hacker Scouts at Seattle Mini Maker Faire!

Busy Participants at the Hacker Scouts Booth

Busy Participants at the Hacker Scouts Booth

Catherine Seitz Nichols

June 4, 2013

Why Hacker Scouts?

I’ve been asked why I decided to get involved with Hacker Scouts instead of a traditional scouting organization.  Originally, I was inspired to start a group in Seattle called the Geek Scouts, but after participating in last year’s Seattle Mini Maker Faire, I soon found out that there was far more interest than I expected.

We decided to join forces with the newly formed Hacker Scouts, based in Oakland, California because they developed a well thought-out program that perfectly aligned with our ideals and values that appeals to a wide age-range of kids with different learning styles and abilities.

When considering what kind of group I want my family to be involved in, it was very important to me that it be an organization that is open to all children and family members.  Hacker Scouts is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, or religion in their educational programs and activities.

While I am happy to see that the Boy Scouts are now allowing gay kids to participate, excluding gay parents sends the message that there is something wrong with them, and that they are not equal.  Personally, I feel that participating in the group would be condoning discrimination.

I also wanted to participate in a co-ed group where girls had the same opportunities as boys.  My father was an Eagle Scout, and he and my older brothers were active in the Boy Scouts.  After a few weeks as a Brownie in the Girl Scouts, I soon discovered to my dismay that they did not have the same types of exciting projects that the boys did, such as the Pinewood Derby.  I wasn’t interested in cooking or crafts, so I quit (for the record, I think the Girl Scouts organization has come a long way since then, and has a lot more to offer girls today).

I want to be a part of a group that values diversity, not just tolerates it.  Diversity is strength in nature and in communities.  Collaboration and cooperation are key to success in science, technology and art.  I’ve seen what these values can do in the Hacker and Maker communities in Seattle, and I believe drawing on inspiration and talent from all quarters can only make for a stronger organization and richer experience.

When our kids grow up, no matter what career path they chose, they will be encountering and working with people of different sexes, beliefs and backgrounds.  Beginning this process at an early age makes this a natural part of life.

Hacker Scouts is inspired by the Open Source movement and ideology.  Sharing knowledge leads to faster progress, and deeper learning.  Having access to a group of mentors who are knowledgeable in many different areas is a powerful asset, and we would like to bring that opportunity to as many kids who are interested as we can.  We are actively looking for ways to involve families from economically and socially diverse communities, and would welcome any support in that goal.

Another point that impressed me about the Hacker Scouts program is that is a STEAM-based program, where art has a place right alongside science and technology.  Artistic endeavors inspire creative thinking, and technical know-how helps bring creative ideas to fruition.  Our society has divided these two areas of knowledge erroneously.

There is science behind all art, and having a background and familiarity with artistic concepts and ideas can greatly enhance science and technology.  Critical thinking and creativity make for a more balanced, productive and joyful life.

And last on this list, but first in importance is the goal of having fun.  Making and learning together with my family is my favorite activity.  The journey to get an alternative scouting group going in Seattle was inspired by how much fun I’ve had making projects with my son, and how excited he was when his dad taught him to solder at Metrix with an electronics kit from Spark Fun.

Seeing parents and kids working together at our Open Labs has been hugely rewarding.  While the program may not be right for every kid, any kid who is motivated and interested can find support for their ideas and help along the path to their goals.

We are currently holding bi-monthly Open Labs at Metrix Create:Space in Capitol Hill before we begin the formal Hacker Scouts program, and having a few off-site activities this summer.

The program is geared to kids ages 8 and up, but we have activities available for younger kids, and the Hacker Scouts are in the process of putting together a program for kids 5-7 called Sparks, which is expected to be released this fall.  Because there has been so much interest, we are also planning on expanding to the Eastside and North of Seattle soon.

We had a great time meeting local families at the Seattle Mini Maker Faire last year, and are looking forward to meeting more this year.  Families that are interested in learning more about Hacker Scouts can stop by our booth to meet some of kids and parents involved, and make a fun hands-on project.

Links:

Hacker Scouts Home Base:

http://hacker-scouts.org/

Seattle Hacker Scouts Blog:

http://hacker-scouts.org/guild/Guild%20004/blog

Seattle Hacker Scouts Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/HackerScoutsSeattleGuild004

Seattle Hacker Scouts email:  guid004@hacker-scouts.org

Metrix Create:Space

http://metrixcreatespace.com/

Turn Old Into New and Improved at the Seattle Mini Maker Faire!

Earthship Seattle

Earthship Seattle

wTrak Wooden Railway

wTrak Wooden Railway

Ever think about productive ways we can use (or save!) the earth’s resources? Wood, water, soil, or even what you may consider to be “junk?” Believe it or not, this “junk” can be used to make some pretty sustainable (and fun!) items, such as alternative housing or even model transportation! If you ever need new ideas about what to do with your old stuff, the Seattle Mini Maker Faire will provide you with endless inventive ideas!

For instance, come check out Earthship Seattle,, a nonprofit volunteer group that designs earthships, or environmentally friendly houses made from recycled materials and  natural resources. “These earthships are really phenomenal because they use no fossil fuels, and they have essentially everything you need right in your house- they heat themselves, they use recycled clean water from the earth, and can be used for food production, so you can get basic life necessities of shelter, heat, food and water right from your home at a decently affordable price, made in a sustainable way” explains Florian Becquerau, member of Earthship Seattle. “We really want to promote these Earthships because they are an affordable means of off-the grid housing that can help low-income families and have proven to help third-world citizens, they help the environment, they are fairly quick to make if one utilizes lots of people, and they are made to last up to 100 years. We think that this is a practical housing alternative and we would love to share our knowledge and expertise with any fairgoers.” Whether you’re living on a budget or don’t know how to put your old stuff to good use, Earthship Seattle will provide you with a wealth of information to make sustainable use of what you have, and it can hopefully last you a lifetime!

On another note, if you or child you know loves to play with toys, or loves to experiment with model transportation, then come check out the wTrak Modular Wooden railway, which uses a wooden train surrounded by fabric trees and LED lighting for subways, tunnels, and surrounding buildings! Featured in several shows in the Pacific Northwest, this wooden railway is a beautiful model that is intricately built, and definitely worth a look if you love transportation, building things, or are just looking for a clever way to use wood!

The Seattle Mini Maker Faire offers several unique projects that will allow you turn anything you have into a sustainable and practical innovation or a beautiful aesthetic masterpiece! Come by June 8th and 9th from 10am-6pm and see what these nifty projects can inspire you to turn your stuff into!

Learning is Social, Artistic and Fun at Seattle Mini Maker Faire!

SeattleWiki

Code For Seattle

itsphun

ITSPHUN

Are you interested in shapes? Do you love colors, math or geography? Finally, do you enjoy the new phenomenon in technology of 3-D? Then come check out the  Seattle Mini Maker Faire, where amazing makers have produced projects using these shapes, colors, and 3-D technique to make creative achievements in mathematics, geography, and art! First, come check out “ITSPHUN”, a project that “lets you experiment with a system of geometric shapes that will allow you to make anything you want, whether it’s an exotic flower, a hat, tessalations of gyrobifastigiums, or anything in between! Not only will you get to be artistic, but you will get to learn basic concepts of geometry along the way!” says project creator Mircea Draghicescu. A wonderful intersection of mathematics and art, this project provides a variety of shapes and colors that will allow you to create whatever your heart desires! This is the perfect playground for abstract and artistic thinkers and creators.

Next, for the more geographically inclined, come visit “Seattle Wiki ”of Code For Seattle, a project that will allow you to explore  and learn about Seattle right at your fingertips-literally! People can add and edit pages on the wiki while also getting to see how close items on the wiki are to them, especially since creator Seth Vincent will be “representing data from the city of Seattle in a physical space, where participants will be able to check out 3-D bar graphs and a map of the city made out of LED’s !” exclaims Code for Seattle’s Seth Vincent.  It’s a great way to explore your city and learn about Washington State right at your fingertips-literally. Come by and check out this geographic masterpiece of Seattle, inventively meshing the physical and virtual world! Prepare to be amazed!

Finally, if you just want to take a break from interactive learning and just have some fun, the “Sassy Chessboard” will give you the opportunity to do just that, providing entertainment as it makes a “sassy comment” via twitter for every move you make! Created from 3-D printing and controlled by an arduino, this chessboard uses clever magnets and sensors that interface with a web server to display every move on the chessboard’s website and twitter account. If you’re a chess pro, and are looking for a more social and artistic way to play a chess game with your friends, this is the game for you!

The Seattle Mini Maker Faire features several innovative projects that combine clever technologies, art, geography and mathematics that allow you to learn unique, interesting things about the world and explore new pastimes or hobbies! A hub for amazing intellectual experiences and creative social opportunities, the faire is a great way to broaden your minds and bond with your friends! Come visit this Saturday and Sunday, June 8th and 9th from 10am-6pm!

You Control the Robots at Seattle Mini Maker Faire

Come to the Seattle Mini Maker Faire, and you can play with and learn to build robots! The Seattle Mini Maker Faire will feature several projects with robots, each with its own unique twist!

If you want to drive a robot, come see “Logos Electromechanical,” which is “the home of the Zigduino, an Arduino variant with a built-in radio,” says Pierce Nichols of Logos Electromechanical. “We’ll have a couple of remote-controlled robots based around the Zigduino for attendees to drive!” If you love remote-control cars or like to race your friends, visit Logos Electromechanical, check out their Zigduino product, and play around with their fantastic robots!  Pierce can help you purchase components to build your own robot toy or robot servant.

Makelangelo - A robot that draws amazing pictures!

Makelangelo – A robot that draws amazing pictures!

Dan Royer of the organization Marginally Clever will showcase robots in the arenas of art, automobiles, and animals, featuring a Makelangelo mural –drawing robot, a crab robot, and a HOG line-following robot, in addition to making other designs, such as meccanum cars! If you’d like to see how a robot can make artistic masterpieces, how a robot can imitate an animal, or learn about alternative ways to make a car, this is the project for you!

xbot001

Want to learn about robots from champion robot builders?  Xbot Robotics is a team of students and mentors with a history of winning robot competitions and earning awards for their teamwork and sportsmanship.

Build an Automaton at Seattle Mini Maker Faire and take it home with you.

Build an Automaton at Seattle Mini Maker Faire and take it home with you.

At Seattle Mini Maker Faire, you can build a robot at the XBOT Robotics Automaton booth.  Kate Thibodeau of XBOT Robotics says, “An automaton, once called an old fashioned robot, will introduce you to the concepts of gears, cams, levels and converting rotary motion to linear motion. We have parts created using our laser cutter.”

Robots can imitate cars, animals, artists, or anything you want to program robots to mimic.  Come to the Seattle Mini Maker Faire and see how much fun you’ll have exploring what these robots can do!  Kids 15 and younger attend for free!  Get your tickets online now for $15 adult, $8 student.

Art Workshops @MakerFaireSeattle

For all you creative and artistic people out there, check out the Seattle Mini
Maker Faire on June 8 – 9! While not just for the technologically and
scientifically inclined, projects at this year’s fair include unique and
artistic hands-on projects.

Some of the best directors started out with a good story and a small budget.  Try your hand at Tabletop Moviemaking!  The structure for this workshop is informal, where people can drop-in, make a movie and then check out more of the fair.  To speed things up, all the backgrounds, characters and props are laser perforated so you could easily pop them out and stage it in minutes.


We invite you to record your movie on your smart phone!  You can leave the workshop with your story on your phone!  “Creativity is necessarily chaotic and messy,” says workshop creator,  Brick Maier .  When he ran the workshop in LA he says, “It was kind of amazing to see just how quickly the students would stage a story, and how different each set was even though they were starting from a common set of materials.  I think this is an excellent demonstration of how we all have a unique perspective and given an opportunity will showcase it through the stories we tell.”

You can learn a new skill and practice in a supportive workshop at “Circuits from Simple Things.” Add LEDs to paper and fabric using  ordinary household items!  Tamara Clammer, Doer: Maker Advocate at Brown Paper Tickets, leads a hands-on activity  where each visitor will draw a picture and add a circuit using an LED,  aluminum tape, and a 3V battery.  Learn the basics of e-textiles from Fay Shaw of bitwise E-textiles; visitors will use jewelry tools to prepare  LEDs and sew circuits with conductive thread.  This is a perfect  workshop to try something new and practice your artisanal skills!  Come  check it out!

Another great garage project is “Scroll Wood Shop,” by Cliff Nelson. Mr. Nelson “cuts 16-24 piece jigsaw puzzles out of postage stamps glued to plywood, pentomino and hexiamond math puzzles that use 12 natural hardwoods for animal shapes of my own design, and jigsaw coasters that marry function with the beauty of natural wood grain.”

Scroll WoodshopHe plans to “demonstrate how he makes his puzzles with his scroll saw and will even provide fairgoers with a kit that provides clear instructions about how they can make their own intricate puzzles using scroll saws”.  This project is a great one for anyone  who enjoys woodworking and do-it yourself projects!

And last but not least, for all of you who love to build things out of paper, then “Artigami Flights of Fantasy” is the place for you! ArtigamiLearn how to construct wreaths, kites, crystals, aircrafts, and castles from Miss Karah Pino of the organization, “Unwind your Mind and Get Creative!” You will leave with a whole new knowledge of the mathematical, scientific, and creative aspects of crafting origami, and will get to take home several new trinkets that you can play around with and share with friends!

So, for all of you aspiring artists out there, take some time at the start of summer to participate in the workshops at Seattle Mini Maker Faire! You’ll get to learn and make some really neat art projects, and you never know what will get your creative juices flowing.

Lights, Camera, Action at Seattle Mini Maker Faire

Looking for something to do this summer? Are you itching for something interactive, unique and exciting to do with your family and friends? Well come and check out the Seatttle Mini-Maker Faire June 8th and 9th from 10 am to 6 pm! There will be over 60 interesting and exciting projects using some really cool technologies that you can play with! For example:

Experience VRcade, full motion gaming.  Co-creator Jamie Kelly describes the experience as “a virtual-reality arcade platform that allows players to wear a 3-D headset and surround sound headphones while having every inch of your body tracked and placed inside of a video game. The set up requires a truss system with motion capture cameras and several computers. Players will be fully immersed in the virtual world and will be able to shoot targets, monsters, and interact in a wide variety of ways in a number of different scenarios. Players can move, duck, jump, and run just like they would do in real life. Their appearance can be anything, from a fantasy creature to someone resembling their own likeness. Props such as swords and guns are also tracked in real time.”

Another project at Seattle Mini Maker Faire lets you check out history through the lens of stop-motion animation, where you’ll get to “work in teams and use critical thinking and problem solving skills to develop 21st century skills with new technology and stop-motion animation. This project lets you  learn by bringing the world to life, instead of watching the world through video games and books,” says James Ewing, creator of the “If I Had a Time Machine: eMagination Animation Project.” For all of you interested in time travel, history, or stop-motion animation, this is the project for you!

Finally, if you’re a big concert-goer and love experiencing the different light schemes at shows, then you’d have a blast getting to play around on an actual concert light board, pushing buttons and getting to watch different lasers interact! Come visit Christopher and Alex’s project “Photon Funtimes,” where you just might get inspired getting to see how putting on a light show works!

Photon Funtimes

Photon Funtimes

Call for Makers, Seattle!

Seattle Mini Maker Faire showcases the amazing work of all kinds and ages of makers—anyone who embraces the do-it-yourself (or do-it-together) spirit and wants to share their accomplishments with an appreciative audience. Join the fun and apply to run a booth or workshop at Seattle Mini Maker Faire, June 8-9 at the Seattle Center!  Applications are due by April 1st.

The first step to participating in Seattle Mini Maker Faire is to submit an entry that tells us about yourself and your project. Entries can be submitted from individuals as well as from groups, such as hobbyist clubs and schools. Please provide a short description of what you make and what you would like to bring to Seattle Mini Maker Faire, including links to photographs and/or videos of your project. We particularly encourage exhibits that are interactive and highlight the process of making things.  

Click these links to learn more about how to apply as a Maker  (adults) or a Young Maker (ages 10-17).

Videos from Seattle Mini Maker Faire 2012

Over 2,800 people participated in the workshops, interactive exhibits and presentations at Seattle Mini Maker Faire on June 2nd and 3rd at the Seattle Center.  We hope you were inspired to make stuff, to join a local maker space, or take apart your old printer and tinker with the components.  We gathered links to some videos to further inspire your creativity and kindle your desire to do something that requires safety goggles.

Here’s a little interview with me, Christin Boyd, at the faire and showing how we made Seattle Mini Maker Faire 2012.  Filmed and edited by Howard Gutknecht.

 

Technology with Intent crafted this short video showing artistic glimpses at some of the most visual and kinetic activities at Seattle Mini Maker Faire:

3D Video of Seattle Mini Maker Faire

Make Something

Oak Harbor High School RoboticsWe hope you enjoyed meeting the makers at the faire. You can take a class, rent awesome tools, attend a lecture, or join one of the maker groups who exhibited at Seattle Mini Maker Faire.  You can contact the makers through the their websites, which are listed on our Makers page.

Your kids can join a FIRST team, the Geek Scouts, or the Science Squad. We had two FIRST Robotics teams at Seattle Mini Maker Faire, Oak Harbor Robotics Club (pictured here) and Team XBot.

It’s hard to justify buying a laser cutter, or building your own metal foundry, so why not rent the workshop space and take a class from a pro at All Metal Arts, Metrix Create: Space, or Pratt Fine Arts Center?

Don’t you NEED a pair of metal wings like the ones from All Metal Arts (pictured below)?

Make something.  You’ll be glad you did.

-Christin Boyd, Producer, Seattle Mini Maker Faire

Workshops at Seattle Mini Maker Faire 2012

Here are just a few of the many workshops and activities at Seattle Mini Maker Faire 2012!

Cascade Science Squad

Cascades Science Center Foundation is a non-profit foundation dedicated to sparking children’s interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) through hands-on activities that stimulate creativity, encourage exploration and inspire active learning for children to unlock their full potential.  At the Seattle Mini Maker Faire, the kids will have an opportunity to participate in fun science activities led by the volunteers of the foundation.

Cascade Science Squad - Real Science Real Fun!

Joy Guild’s Creative Reuse Challenge

The Joy Guild is a village of creative-minded people who seek fun, playfulness, and inspiration to live a happy life. Continue reading

Cutting-edge 3D printing in Seattle

Meet the engineering students of WOOF at Seattle Mini Maker Faire!  The Washington Open Object Fabricators (WOOF) is a collaborative and cross-disciplinary group of the University of Washington’s finest engineering students who are dedicated to the advancement of 3D printing technology. Their primary focus is to educate the UW community on additive manufacturing and leverage the collective knowledge of the student body to develop and use 3D printing for the creative, economic, and social benefit of all.

3D printer at UW

Accessibility to 3D printing at the individual-level will lower barriers to innovation and ultimately change the way people live, work, and create. 3D printing means faster prototyping, unbounded creativity, reduced carbon footprint, and a world where people have greater accessibility to the products they need. At our booth, we will showcase hardware innovations that reflect this vision. Imagine a portable 3D printer that is the size of toaster. Or imagine a 3D printer that can fabricate edible and delectable frosted treats. You are likely to see these innovations and more at Seattle Mini Maker Faire 2012.    Continue reading