AnnMarie talked about the work of the Maker Education Initiative, focusing on developing the people, places and practices that will allow more children the opportunity to be makers. Supporting the next generation of makers is an endeavor that has a role for everyone!
The mission of the Maker Education Initiative is to create more opportunities for young people to make, and, by making, build confidence, foster creativity, and spark interest in science, technology, engineering, math, the arts—and learning as a whole. We want young people to join—and eventually lead—the growing Maker Movement.
Ladyada was beta-testing our upcoming watch kit around Maker Faire, we’ll show it off on the next ASK AN ENGINEER, it’s going to be under $30, “Arduino at Heart” (tweeted)… and a nice size/comfy for kids, women and guys
Instead of machining a new coupling from scratch, we decided to weld the shaft directly to the spinning plate.
But with amperage dropping over the length of the long extension cords feeding our area, we needed to move closer to the generator to empower our suitcase welder.
So we dismantled the bull and carried the parts and suitcase welder across the grounds and got on with it, using whatever we could find around to shim the parts into a “perfectly” perpendicular position. (Photo above and below by Colin Butgereit)
It rained briefly, but we quickly covered the bulls in plastic and didn’t mind the wet bouncy safety mat too much. Once the skies cleared and we checked nothing electrical was damaged or shorted out, the show went on. And my camera dried off and works fine.
In the end the bulls hosted many happy (and some terrified) riders, with intermittent fixes and battery cooldown periods. And we were awarded two blue ribbons, thanks Sherry and Kipp! (Above photo by gluetree on Flickr)
One of the parts of Maker Faire was the MASSIVE ATMEL + Arduino Pavilion, it’s great to see ATMEL really putting a lot of their efforts, resources and people behind the Arduino. The pavilion was filled with tons of Arduino related companies, projects and makers! Here were some of the sessions!
Introducing the Arduino GSM Shield – David Cuartielles
The Arduino GSM/GPRS shield allows your Arduino project to connect to the internet from almost anywhere. Learn how to use the Arduino GSM/GPRS shield to send and receive SMS messages, make and receive calls, and connect to the internet.
Introducing the Arduino ADK Family of Boards – David Cuartielles
The ADK functionality allows Arduino boards become physical extensions of Android Devices. Learn how to send sensor information to your phone or tablet from Arduino as well as how to control actuators from an App created with Processing.
Arduino Due Demo – Massimo Banzi
The newest member of the Arduino family, the Arduino Due.
Making Things Connect – Marc de Vinck
Ever wonder how to connect your Arduino to the Internet? Maybe you want your pets to be able to Tweet, or you’d like to build a system that texts you when the mail is delivered. It’s easier than you think.
Introducing the Arduino WiFi Shield – Tom Igoe
The Arduino WiFi Shield connects your Arduino to the internet wirelessly thanks to an integrated transceiver and antenna. Learn how to set up a wireless connection using only a few simple instructions.
I came across this article from Jim Turley at Electronic Engineering Journal today, and it really brought home a point that I’ve harped on many times before: When the Silicon Doesn’t Matter.
Not enough silicon vendors understand the importance of the hobbyist and hacker community out there. Having worked on both sides of the chasm that seperates hobbyists and silicon vendors, I can say with conviction that bridges between the two are few and far between, and it’s hard to get on the radar of anyone in apps engineering (support) or marketting for less than 1M chips … 100K is peanuts, even if that feels huge to a small to medium-sized company.
While that makes sense from a short-term dollars and cents perspective, it’s suicide longer term if you’re producing general purpose MCUs that aren’t tailored to a very specific and clearly understood need. General-purpose chips succeed longer term because people talk about them, publish problems and solutions online, and all this pushes people to choose those chips precisely because they perceive that there is support out there for them and they’re not alone. You can have the best technical solutions out there, but if you don’t have a decent community you’re only going to make problems for yourself longer term and have to compete on far more unfavorable terms with everyone else. Get the right hobbyists in your camp, and 1/3 of your probems are already solved with general purposes MCUs. I’ve seen it first hand in both good and bad examples, and with time I’m only more convinced it’s true.
Wayne and Layne, LLC makes open source hardware, which means all the schematics, PCB artwork, and source code are provided under open licenses. You’re encouraged to make modifications, with the caveat that if you release your modifications, you need to tell people how to make the same modifications.
One of the distinguishing aspects of our kits is the clear and engaging explanations. One of the underlying principles of open source hardware is the ability for others to make modifications and release them. We foster this ability wholeheartedly, through our choice of licensing, file formats, and tools, and our down-to-earth explanations. We want to help anyone interested in this exciting field get the foundation they need.
I ran into one of Adafruit’s community members, the talented Nick DeJesus, near the Make: Live tent where he and five other Young Maker superstars were featured on a panel earlier today. While he may be young in age, he has years and years of electronics experimentation under his belt. The second he was curious about electronics, he had the opportunity to grab Arduino kits and experience basic principles and tackle interactive projects first hand.
This is a sign in my opinion that the Maker movement is working: now that he’s thinking to go to college, he has a tremendous background to draw on for his studies and future Maker projects. Not to mention very accomplished work at HTHINK, MakerBot, and The Makery to point to. (He should be the TA for his freshmen EE class.)
It has been a meaningful part of my Adafruit initiation this weekend to talk to Nick, Joey Hudy, and Super Awesome Sylvia not only as Makers — but also as regular customers telling me what they’d like to see or buy from Adafruit. It’s nice to see where those thousands of products go to out in the world.
I visited with Mattori at BlueStamp Engineering in the Young Maker’s tent to talk to him about his project. He had had a great time attending this summer program making Minty Boosts and other kits before starting a dedicated project: a wearable glove that tells you which way to turn when you point, based on GPS.
This was his first experience working with conductive thread, and he looks forward to experimenting with other wearables in the future.
A tremendous crowd presses into the Make:Live tent as the rain begins to hammer those not luck enough to be under shelter. No one races away because this is a crowd hungry to hear Matt’s protips.
He tells a few great stories new to the crowd here, the beer brewing projects at Pumping Station One, the Kindleberry Pi, and shows some creative cases created by the community.
Matt took time to recommend the many resource that Adafruit offers both for Pi’s and training via the Adafruit Learning System. He shared a sneak preview of the cover of his upcoming book “Getting Started With the Raspberry Pi” that he is writing with Shawn Wallace.
Discover Electronics Kit – 2.0. Discover Electronics Kit contains everything you need to learn the basics of electronics and make your own projects. It contains the most common electronics components as well as a prototyping breadboard for you to get started right away. Easy full color diagrams teach you how to bring your own ideas to life.The Discover electronics kit uses standard components. All of these parts can be used by the beginner or the advanced user. As you grow and learn all of the parts in the kit are still useful in more advanced projects and can be expanded on by using additional parts.
Requires 4 AA batteries. NOT INCLUDED
The kit comes with clear, solderless breadboard and a simple battery pack. Clearly labeled parts and simple directions means you can have your first circuit up and running in minutes.
The manual explains whats going on inside. Illustrations aid in understanding.
Not just an electronics kit; online resources turn the kit into a video course pack.
You can double check your work against the photographs.
Sparkle Labs is made up of designers and teachers. The Discover Electronics Kit is designed to make learning electronics easy and fun. It is a curated selection of the basic parts to get started and learning right away. They are standard components and are still useful when you are ready to build your own projects. More then just a kit, it is an online, video course which you can access here: Discover Electronics Course.