Just back from visiting our most excellent faculty member, Lucie deLaBruere’s Create, Make, Learn week long workshop. She had 30+ K12 teachers, 19 of which are getting Marlboro optional credit, studying all day, all week, up a Champlain College and The Generator. Champlain College folks were doing Creating with Chrome when I was there. Here’s some photos of what was going on at the two strands at The Generator.
Many thanks to Champlain College’s Emergent Media Center (EMC) for significantly helping me facilitate two workshops at this year’s Dynamic Landscapes conference. Specifically, thanks to the EMC’s Tyler Feralio, Ken Howell, and the student lab techs.
Laser Cutting Photos
- Jenn’s VT Makers activity & PDF: http://vermontmakers.org/steam-modules/e-textiles/
- Take Home Kit: ProtoSnap – LilyPad E-Sewing Kit, with helpful pattern to sew on, no hoop or sensors, not programmable: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11032
Photos of Sewing:
- The three wraps around a lead: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/sewing-with-conductive-thread
- http://lilypadarduino.org/?page_id=1256 and http://lilypadarduino.org/?page_id=1260
- Make a switch: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/ldk-experiment-5-make-your-own-switch
- Basic circuit: https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/ldk-experiment-1-lighting-up-a-basic-circuit
- Fabric kits on Etsy by Plusea: https://www.etsy.com/people/Plusea
- Site for designs: http://www.kobakant.at/DIY/
- Adafruit Gemma Starter Pack, programmable, but not sensors. Documentation http://www.adafruit.com/products/1657
- Adafruit Gemma Sensor Pack. Nice! rechargeable batt, programmable. Needs hoop, and fabric template, and a printed project book.
- ProtoSnap Dev board. Kit, programmable, sensors, no fabric or hoop: https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11262
- Book, projects, Sparkfun cart of stuff: http://sewelectric.org/
Beginner kit: https://www.sparkfun.com/wish_lists/74576
Folks have been asking me what I think it takes to make a Makerspace.
The short answer is people. The right person can make a space successful for very little money. Conversely, a lot of money can go to waste on equipment if the wrong person is running the show. I think the person needs to be have “EdTech” type humanizing technology skills and the ability to use social media and media production to constantly market, document and publicize activities in the space. More support for the people aspect of Makerspaces is here: MIT FabLab Foundation, scroll down.
In terms of equipment, here’s my rough thoughts below, as of the publish date only. Check with me if it’s after that, things are moving fast in Makerland!
No Budget (It’s the people stupid!)
- A champion who’s job it is to champion the space, as a volunteer, or as part of their existing job.
- Check out the book Invent to Learn from the library.
- From the recycling bins: Cardboard, cups, bottles, etc. (Wash them!)
- Donated stuff: old toys, glue guns, duct tape, office supplies, old electronics, bike parts, scrap wood, kitchen supplies, (often from soliciting parents, community, and business donors – you’d be shocked at how much stuff arrives if folks know kids will be using it at school!)
- Space: With windows that open. An empty closet, garage, tent, shed, or make it mobile with donated bins
- Furniture: Folding tables and old chairs or stools. They will take a beating!
$5000 to $10,000
(Prices assume 10-20% education discounts on sites, just ask and use your teacher work email).
- At least a paid part time champion (existing teacher, new hired, staffer, etc)
- All the above plus more kits, tools and supplies.
- A sustained yearly supplies budget of about $3000.00 to $5000.00
- At least one dedicated fast Mac or PC and projector ($2500 or in a classroom already)
- Student access to modern Web browser tools.
- 3D Printer and supplies. 1 Afinia H480 ($1500), or 2 PrintrBot Metal Simples ($1500)
- Vinyl Cutter and supplies. US Cutter ($500)
- 8th? grade and up. All with good curriculum and support. My favorite for STEAM skills. Adruino.cc starter kits ($100ea). For more STEM skills, Sparkfun Inventor’s Kit ($80). For more choices on configurations, Adafruit kits.
- <6th? grade MakeMakey kits ($39ea) or Littlebits (expensive).
- Sparkfun ProtoSnap E-Textiles Starter Kit ($24 each)
- Sewing Machine (~$150)
- Multimeter (~$30)
- A few key tools (~$200)
- Extra electronics (~$200)
- New glue guns, tape, wire, string, tinfoil, office supplies, etc (~$300)
- Existing or inexpensive folding tables and chairs, or stools and benches, a fan, lights. (~$600)
$10,000 to $50,000
- Fulltime champion
- All of the above, plus more kits, tools and supplies.
- Out of my depth here, but I’m guessing a roughly 20% of initial budget for yearly supplies and IT (Spend $50K, need 10K year).
- All of the above
- Laser Cutter. Full Spectrum Laser cutter ($4000). Or Epilog Zing 30w Laser ($9000)
- CNC rig? Or more electronics? Or more wearables?
- Great furniture and lighting, natural hopefully, ($Lots)
- Surfing the Web
- Google searching
- Shop safety
- Documenting skills and habits. Finding files and organizing them, and doing a little every day (videos, photos, screenshots, writing summaries and notes with resources used and links. Exploring problems, surprises, solutions)
Some Software Thoughts (Thanks Jaymes Dec)
A computer that has, or can install and use:
- A cloud account (Google, Dropbox, MS, Apple) for storing and moving files and documentation that isn’t on one computer.
- A camera (webcam, tablet, phone, point and shoot, etc.)
- Arduino software
- Scratch.com and offline editor.
- Inkscape (requires Apple’s X11/Xquartz 2.3.4 or higher): http://www.inkscape.org/en/download/
- 123D Catch, Circuits, Make, Design, Sculpt, Meshmixer Find all at: http://www.123dapp.com/create
- Fritzing: http://fritzing.org/download/
- Gimp: http://www.gimp.org/downloads/
- OpenSCAD: http://www.openscad.org/downloads.html
- SketchUp Make: http://www.sketchup.com/products/sketchup-make
- MakerWare (includes MakerWare for Digitizer): http://www.makerbot.com/makerware/
- Sense 3D scanning Software:http://cubify.com/en/Products/Sense
- Audacity: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/
- TurtleArt: Contact Brian Silverman and Artemis Papert for this download link. Amici: http://dimeb.informatik.uni-bremen.de/eduwear/tag/amici/
- Soundplant: http://soundplant.org/download.htm
- Modkit: http://www.modk.it/download
- Ardublock: http://blog.ardublock.com/engetting-started-ardublockzhardublock/
National Maker Day
I started this post on National Maker Day, so here’s some info on that. The White House just released this: FACT SHEET: President Obama to Host First-Ever White House Maker Faire: A Nation of Makers: Empowering America’s Students and Entrepreneurs to Invent the Future. It’sFull of leads on grants and resources for Making in higher ed, and K12 here. And the White house had the first Maker Faire Day today: http://www.whitehouse.gov/maker-faire
ITP Camp 2014
I’m in NYC for three of the four weeks of ITP Camp 2014 telecommuting for Marlboro during the day as I refresh the skills I learned while at ITP in 2006-2008. The camp is part of New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program in the Tisch School of the Arts. Camp is for folks who want to come workshops after work, and on weekends, in making, physical computing, digital fabrication, e-textiles, programming, etc. It’s like a mini-graduate school! But without the credit, or the loans.
I’m focusing on skills around 3D printing, laser cutting and basic electronics with solar panels by making a project that uses all three called the Grass Saver Garden. The project is kind of silly, but it’s a learning project. Simply put, I want to have a solar powered raised bed garden that will allow people to grow a garden, without digging up any of their lawn.
)The sink in my workplace gathers dirty dishes. This is a problem for the faculty and staff who use the kitchen daily. It’s natural that dishes will pile up because we have students, renters, and visiting faculty and staff who use the kitchen sporadically, usually during a rush on a break. Also, not everyone knows the rules of the kitchen, or that it’s okay to use the dishwasher.
After posting a much clearer sign, the dirty dishes were reduced. I decided to go further and use an Arduino, PIR sensor and LCD screen, and to solve the problem both technologically and psychologically.
The beta test revealed that the sensor is a bit sticky sometimes and doesn’t catch motion, and that the message it sends when it seems motion around sink of “Please do your dishes” didn’t work as well as the message “Thank you for doing all your dishes.” Proof that you do sometimes get more bees with honey.
Our monthly meeting of Brattleboro Area Makers visited new Gilford Vermont makers, Elissa and Ryan, owners of SurfaceGrooves.com. Elissa and Ryan were kind enough to walk us through a quick laser cutter tutorial. They also showed us some of their excellent work. Impressive, educational and we got a “BAM” logo cut out of some scrap!