Oracle Helps Maker Clubs Crop Up, Flourish in the South Bay

From a soldering unicorn to a scale model of the log ride in Santa Cruz, Young Makers from the South Bay wowed us at Maker Faire Bay Area. Jason Duckering, pictured bottom left, drew a crowd with his PVC Pipe Instrument both mornings of Maker Faire, at an Open Make, and as a Featured Maker during DIY Music week in this summer’s Maker Camp on Google+

After years of quiet activity in the heart of Silicon Valley, Young Makers was thrilled to see a dramatic expansion to the South Bay this year. Between three very active and creative megaclubs meeting more frequently and more effectively than most other clubs we’ve seen, and four fabulous regional meetings and Open Make events at The Tech Museum of Innovation (The Tech), Young Makers programming in spring 2013 inspired 90 South Bay youth to become Makers and exhibit the fruits of their months of work at Maker Faire Bay Area 2013 in May.

The team behind the life-sized build of Flow*26, inspired by its popularity at Maker Faire Bay Area, will take their project to World Maker Faire New York, September 21-22.

This year, Young Makers became an integral part of the programs and services offered by the Maker Education Initiative (Maker Ed), a new non-profit founded to accelerate the maker movement into informal and formal education. The mission of Maker Ed is to create more opportunities for young people to develop confidence, creativity, and interest in science, technology, engineering, math, art, and learning as a whole through making.

Maker Ed could not have expanded Young Makers to the South Bay this year without the tremendous financial backing of Oracle. Safra Catz, Oracle President, Chief Financial Officer stated, “the technology industry is critical to global progress and prosperity, and Oracle’s corporate citizenship initiatives are grounded in our technology leadership. We are committed to using our resources to increase opportunity, protect the environment, advance education, and enrich community life.”

The Young Makers behind Saphira 2 adopted this fire-breathing dragon from a North Bay Young Makers club for further development. For 2013, the group added a robotic base and sound and updated many of the control systems to use Raspberry Pi and Arduino.

Weekly videoconferences offered training and support to our 12 regional coordinators and hosts. Rick Schertle also worked with our partner organization Hacker Scouts to get a guild started at TechShop San Jose. Managers organized clubs in Los Gatos, Los Altos, Menlo Park, Mountain View, and Willow Glen. We formed new partnerships with schools and science and technology rich institutions like The Tech.

Kristan Hutchison, a multi-club manager, innovated on the model and her outreach. Kristan needed projects that would go in and out of her car and work in 90 minutes or less–definitely a challenge! Kristan also makes an extra effort to reach out to kids aged 8 to 13 years old. “At that age,” she shared, “girls are still highly involved in math and science, and their natural creativity finds new outlets as they’re exposed to electronics, woodworking and metalworking. I guess I’m a little like a dealer… exposing them young to get them hooked for life.” She believes that even age 11 is too late for some. Two of her clubs’ girls, comprising Team Folktails, made a splash with their wearable, swimmable mermaid tails in May at Bay Area Maker Faire as an exhibit and onstage with the Young Makers presentation as well as earlier in their process when they appeared in the Meet the Makers panel at The Tech’s March Open Make.

Kristan reflected on her experience:

Bravely or foolishly, I became an itinerant Young Maker mentor last spring, bringing tools and supplies to student groups in five locations each week, including three Los Altos elementary schools and homeschool groups in San Jose. Enough months have passed that the exhaustion is forgotten, and I’m left with wonderful memories of elementary-school-aged children learning to use power tools, testing materials, soldering and breadboarding … all in an effort to bring their own visions to reality, from a robot that collects trash to electronic pranks to a house built completely from recycled objects. Parents told me the experience was “life-changing” for their children, who have continued to talk and think about their projects all summer.

Rick Schertle took the lead in organizing the region. He’s a teacher who dabbles in being a star Maker on the side (including making two popular Maker Shed kits!). He shared that this season “was a huge boost to the Young Makers community in the South Bay. The Open Makes injected some awesome energy into our clubs especially meeting at the Tech Museum’s inspiring new Tech Studio.” Rick also appreciated moderating Meet the Makers panels at the Open Make meetings which gave young people a chance to interact directly with leaders in the Maker movement, like 3DRobotics’ Chris Anderson, Sifteo’s Dave Merrill, MaKey MaKey’s Jay Silver, and FitBit’s Shelten Yuen. Rick plans to open the Washington Maker Worskshop (WMW) in San Jose less than a mile from The Tech. He believes that makerspaces in under-served neighborhoods like this one, which he strategically located across the street from Washington Elementary School, hold great promise for expanding the movement in the South Bay and beyond.

Young Makers provided technical support and assistance to identify makers and inform program components for four Open Makes. The Tech documented all their Open Make sessions (robots, flight, wearable tech, music) highlighting the tools, techniques, and ingenuity of local Makers on varied themes that drew great crowds of our Young Makers members and potential future participants. In each month’s regional meeting and plussing session, club members working on projects for Maker Faire convened to share their ideas, progress, challenges, and next steps with other participants. Gordon Good, who mentored in the South Bay, appreciated these meetings: “Seeing the successes and challenges each team faced was good for our Young Makers. [The] kids were tremendous in solving problems. Friday night was melted power connectors and corrupted Raspberry Pi filesystems, and on Saturday morning [of Maker Faire] we were up and running.”

Willow Glen Makers club manager Lendy Dunaway identified a succinct list of three things he likes best about Young Makers: “It is not competitive. We have no rules. There’s no cheating — just teaching!” In 2014, we expect another fantastic season of this non-competitive, rule-free, teaching-friendly spirit as Young Makers continues to grow, having an impact on the lives of hundreds more young people, thanks to the generous support of corporate partners, donors, and volunteers.

Maker Camp keeps on making!

What a busy summer campers enjoyed with Maker Camp! Even though camp ended officially two weeks ago, our Maker Camp G+ community page remains very active and is full of kids making great projects and sharing them with others. Missed it? Check out the projects and supply lists and relive the summer on your own time at makercamp.com. The archived videos of the Featured Maker hangouts and the project guides are a great place to start if you are new to making or if you are just getting a club started. If you want to stay in touch with us about future Maker Camp events, just follow MAKE on Google+.

Check out a great recap of what our campers had to say about their camp experience.

Join us at Maker Camp!

Join us for 30 Days + 30 projects

July 7th to August 16th, 2013

Six weeks of awesome projects (both low- and high-tech) and epic field trips (Pixar, NASA, America’s Cup Oracle Team, and more!)  You can follow along from anywhere in the universe.

Just follow MAKE on Google+ to join in for free:
https://plus.google.com/+MAKE

and follow our Maker Camp G+ community page

Club managers, to get a more general sense of what to expect from Maker Camp, take a look at the Maker Camp Affiliate Site Playbook that we wrote for our Campsite affiliates (museums, libraries, community centers, etc., hosting in-person Maker Camp meetups.)

And for each week’s schedule, supply lists, and what’s coming up next, please visit makercamp.com.

See you at Camp on Monday, and tell all your friends!

Aaron Vanderwerff: Inspirational Teacher of the Year

We’re proud to share the news that PG&E named Aaron Vanderwerff of Lighthouse Community Charter School, which has been running a Young Makers club since late 2010 the Bright Ideas Inspirational Teacher of the Year this week.

Oakland Robotics Teacher Named PG&E’s Bright Ideas Inspirational Teacher of the Year

The video includes footage of some of his students’ projects exhibited at Maker Faire Bay Area last weekend.

Mermaid Makers: Folktails by Ksenia and Sydney

By Kristan Hutchison, club manager of Makin’ It

Many children fantasize about being able to fly like a bird or swim like a fish, but two Young Makers are making their fishy wish come true.

Sydney Murphy and Ksenia Medvedeva, both age 11, formed Team Folktails to create realistic mermaid tails. When they spoke at The Tech in March, the girls revealed just how deep their water dream runs.

“I remember when I was, like, 4, I got a bunch of Barbies for Christmas and they were all mermaid Barbies,” said Ksenia. “I would put them in the sink and try to make them swim, but it didn’t really work, so I always thought it would be cool to have my own mermaid tail.”

Sydney recalls always being entranced by mermaid stories and movies. She once tried to duct-tape two rubber fins together so she could swim like a mermaid, but the tape wouldn’t hold. She also had disappointing attempts with commercially made mermaid tails, which were all too floppy and fake.

Since January, Team Folktails has been testing tail shapes, materials and techniques to design a wearable tail that will look and behave in the water like a real mermaid. They based their tail shape on a combination of two fish tails that worked best in their small-scale tests. For a scaly skin they tried everything from liquid latex to bubble-wrap before settling on a combination of fabric and acrylic paint.

“We wanted something that would be a little more fishy,” Sydney explained during the panel discussion.

As their mentor, I’m amazed how many learning areas Ksenia and Sydney have been able to explore through this project, from the biomechanics of fish and humans, to the chemistry of epoxies and the properties of plastics. Participating in the Meet-The-Makers panel at The Tech also gave Sydney and Ksenia a chance to develop their public speaking and presentation skills.

Equally important, during the Open Make event Ksenia and Sydney learned new skills and advice from adult makers like Wearable Tech Designer Grace Kim.  One of the future steps in the mermaid tail is to incorporate lights, and Kim taught Sydney and Ksenia how to work with LEDs and conductive thread during the Maker Workshop. Kim’s glowing, barnacle-like designs inspired the girls, who want to incorporate similar adornments into their tail and they were able to stay after, asking her specific questions.

Young Makers has given Sydney and Ksenia the opportunity to create something that does not fulfill a school assignment or fit within a science fair rubric.  Where else would they be applauded for everything they tried that didn’t work and lauded for the process as much as the product? Where else would they be introduced to adults who combine artistry and technology like Grace Kim?

Ksenia and Sydney are learning how to approach a design problem, how to seek out and develop solutions, and how to see failure as a step toward success. But most importantly they have learned, in Sydney’s own words, “Never underestimate what you can do. Even if you don’t think you can do it, you can always at least try.”

I’m inspired by those words of wisdom to pursue my own watery dream…to see two young mermaids swimming in the Maker Faire pool between battleship rounds.

 

Electronics Prototyping Workshop

Kit contents

1 Solderless breadboard

6 alligator clips

1 motor

12 breadboard leads

1 4.5V AAA battery pack w/ switch

3 AAA batteries

3 100 Ohm resistors

2 100 K Ohm resistors

1 100 K Ohm potentiometer

2 momentary micro switches

2 three position switches

1 555 timer chip

1 10 micro Farad capacitor

1 10 nano Farad capacitor

3 LEDs (red, green, yellow)

Suggested circuits and challenges

Here are some suggested circuits and challenges to try, roughly in order of increasing complexity. Feel free to jump over the steps that are already familiar to you. You should also feel free to pose your own challenges to yourself, or to try these suggestions in a different order. This material is just intended to get you started.

Circuit 1: A motor

Using your alligator clips, connect the battery pack to the motor to create the circuit shown in the top image:

Circuits are often described using a simplified diagram called a schematic. The schematic for the circuit on the left is shown in the bottom image.

One way to think about what’s going on is to imagine a bunch of excess electrons at the negative side of the battery pack (the black wire). They desperately want to get to the positive side (the red wire), but for them to get there you need to create a path for them to travel along. That’s called a circuit. Once an electrical connection between the black wire and the red wire is created, the electrons can flow to create current. The voltage of the battery is a measure of how strongly they want to flow.

If you switch the connections to the motor, what do you observe?

Circuit 2: A momentary switch and a motor

The switches in your kit look like bugs with a pair of front legs, and a pair of back legs. The front and back legs on the left side of the switch are normally electrically disconnected. When you press the button, they become electrically connected. The same for the right legs.

The solderless breadboard is the flat white brick with a bunch of holes in it. Each of the 5 holes in a row are electrically connected. Use your breadboard, your breadboard leads, a switch, and your motor to create this circuit:

Circuit 3: A momentary switch and an LED

LEDs (short for Light Emitting Diodes) are a popular electrical component. There’s a red one, a green one, and a yellow one in your kit. You’ll notice they have two leads, a long one and a short one. The short one needs to be on the negative (black) side of your circuit, and the long one needs to be one the positive side. These are 3 volt (written 3V) LEDs, but since the battery pack is 4.5V, if you connect them like you did your motor, too much current will flow and they’ll burn out. To limit the amount of current, you need to use a component called a resistor (it resists current). The degree to which a resister inhibits current is called its resistance, measured in units called Ohms. In this case, you’ll need to use a 100 Ohm resistor. The resistance is encoded as colored bands around the resistor. A 100 Ohm resistor has band colors Brown, Black, Brown. The fourth band can be ignored. Here is a handy chart for converting between colors and resistance.

a) Wire up this circuit:

b) In the circuit above the resistor is on the negative side of the LED. What happens if you put it on the positive side?

c) What happens if you turn the LED around so that the short lead is on the positive side?

Circuit 4: Two momentary switches and two LEDs

Use the knowledge you’ve gained so far to design a circuit with two switches, a red LED, and a green LED. The circuit should light up the red LED when switch one is pressed, and light up the green LED when switch two is pressed. Remember that each LED will need a 100 Ohm resistor to keep it from burning out.

Start by drawing the schematic of the circuit. This is often easier than trying to wire up the circuit because simple looking schematics can end up looking complicated when wired up.

Circuit 5: A three position switch and two LEDs

There are all sorts of switches. The three position switches in your kit have four leads, three of them closer together, and one that is further away. Lay one of them on the table so that the three leads are to the right. Number the leads from left to right as 1, 2, 3, 4. When the position of the switch is all the way to the left, lead 2 is connected to lead 1. When the switch is in the middle, lead 2 is connected to 3, and when the switch is all the way to the right, lead 2 is connected to lead 4.

If you’re careful you can insert the three position switches into the breadboard. The pins don’t line up exactly, but with a little force you can get it to fit.

a) Use this information to design a circuit containing one of these switches and two LEDs, one red and one green. Both LEDs should be off when the switch is to the left, the red one should be on when the switch is in the middle, and the green one should be on when the switch is to the right.

As before, start by drawing your schematic, then wire it up.

b) Now trying changing your circuit by adding a third (yellow) LED. It should come on only when the red one does.

Circuit 6: Reversible motor

Use the two three position switches to create a circuit such that when both switches are to the left, the motor spins one way, and when both are to the right, the motor spins the other way.

Circuit 7: Timer circuit

The 555 timer chip is one of the most popular integrated circuits (aka “chips”) ever created. It has eight pins, with pin 1 denoted by a black dot. Orient the chip so that pin 1 is in the upper left position. Pins 2 through 4 run down the left side, and pins 5 through 8 run UP the right side. This is the standard way pins are numbered on integrated circuits. Wire up the circuit shown in the top image above. Resistors R1 and R2 are both 100 KOhm (brown, black, green). The circuit also contains two capacitors. The one under R2 in the schematic looks like a little cylinder with two leads, with one lead shorter than the other. It has a capacitance of 10 micro Farads. Like LEDs, the shorter lead needs to be on the negative side of the circuit. The second capacitor has a capacitance of 10 nano Farads and is connected to pin 5. It looks like a little green disk. For this style of capacitor the leads are the identical.

The schematic above uses a common convention of labeling the positive side of the battery as +4.5V, and labeling the negative side of the battery using the ground symbol, three horizontal lines. Don’t ask me why the negative side is called ground.

When you’re done it should look something like the bottom picture above.

Circuit 8: Timer circuit and potentiometer

To vary the speed with which the timer circuit flashes the LED you can add a variable resistor called a potentiometer. A potentiometer has three leads, the middle of which is called the wiper. The resistance across the outer two leads is constant. The one in your kit has a resistance of 100 kilo ohms. The resistance between the outer leads and the wiper changes as you adjust the setting of the potentiometer with a small screw driver. Replace resistor R1 in Circuit 5 with your 100 K Ohm potentiometer to arrive at a circuit that allows you to adjust the speed that the LED flashes.

What do you notice as you adjust the potentiometer?

Word Scrabble

By Miranda Morgan

Workshop Objectives

This sketching workshop is designed to develop “imaginative sketching” skills, in other words, enhancing sketching from the imagination. Being able to sketch from the imagination helps to articulate ideas that may not be fully developed quite yet. Ultimately, sketching from the imagination gets ideas on paper which acts as aid in discussion and problem solving – which ultimately, will help push concepts and ideas to their maximum potential.

Workshop description

The workshop consists of sketching from a series of randomly chosen words. For this particular exercise 3 words were chosen, a combination of nouns and adjectives. The 3 words can be arranged in any order to create a phrase/thing. The combination of words will most likely make a creative phrase. This creative phrase may be something you’ve never heard of, but with a little creativity you can imagine and sketch it. These phrases push your creativity, as they are uncommon combinations, you really have to use your imagination to create a visual representation of the phrase. For example, one combination found in our workshop was “sticky-kitten- toes”. More than likely, you’ve never heard of something such as “sticky, kitten, toes”, but with a little imagination you can create an idea of what it might be or what it might look like – using this exercise to work out the details as you sketch your idea of “sticky-kitten-toes”.

What To Do

  1. Start with making your inventory of words on strips of paper:
    Create two piles of paper strips (approx 20 strips in each pile). On each strip in one pile write an adjective, until the pile of strips is . For the other pile, write a noun on each strip. You can depending on the number of people participating). These should be simple common adjectives and nouns, don’t make it too complicated – remember, the fun comes when you put the combination of the words together in creative phrases.
  2. Next, find 2 containers/cups/paper sacks. Label one container as #1 and the other as #2. Place the adjectives in one container and the nouns in the other.
  3. Take the labeled containers, now filled with your strips of paper, and have each participant choose 3 total words. These 3 words should be a combination of both adjectives and nouns, chosen from container #1 and #2.
  4. Once the combination of 3 words is chosen, read the combination aloud and share the phrase with those around you. What is your favorite arrangement of word combination? What is most fun? Choose your favorite phrase that you can create.
  5. After you have your favorite phrase ask yourself “what does this look like?”, “what could this be?”, “how can I create it?” – your imagination will now be at work.
  6. Lastly, DRAW your ideas of what your phrase might look like and what it might be. Be creative, use your imagination and have fun.

Conclusion

This workshop is useful when working out a range of ideas, not only when you have funny phrases — but also when you are faced with challenges as a MAKER. Next time you face an obstacle, take a moment to imagine a solution and ask yourself, “what does that look like?” or “how can I create this?”…then go to your sketching paper and work out your ideas.

February Open Make @ The Tech: Flight!

 

Dale Dougherty moderates the Meet-the-Maker talks

By Bridget Rigby

So many great memories of our last Open Make @ The Tech: Flight! on Saturday, Feb 16.

We had Rick Schertle, avid flight Maker and frequent MAKE Magazine contributor leading his amazing paper rocket activities with museum guests. They got to build, launch indoors, modify their rockets, add some rocket flair, create rocket recovery systems, and then launch again. They also got to see an outdoor launch. These rockets can go up to 300 feet!

Guests also built and launched flying machines in our Ready, Set Fly! workshop. They tinkered with the forces of flight, built many different flying machines, and tested them on our human-powered launcher. Through many iterations of learning, fun, and failure, they discovered their own flight path to success.

We also had Chris Anderson, Former Editor of Wired Magazine, CEO of 3D Robotics, and Founder of DIY Drones and Geekdad, join us (with his very cool flying robot drones!) for our Meet-the-Makers talks, along with Rick Schertle and Team Viper. They were all so engaging as they shared their passions for flight-making.

If you missed the talks, you can watch them here.

These flight Makers shared their innovations, and more importantly — the great personalities and mindsets that relentlessly drive towards those innovations. They shared their successes, and their many failures along the way. That’s the power of the Maker mindset that takes a crashed plane, or plane that gets completely tangled in a tree, and turns that into a new innovation — or even starts a new company, as Chris Anderson did with 3D Robotics!

One of my favorite moments during the talks was when Rick & Chris made the Maker trade on stage between Rick’s amazing rocket glider (another one of his very cool flight innovations) and Chris’ flight controller. I just love the way Makers do business!

Speaking of Maker business, I loved seeing Saphira show up at The Tech, the fire-breathing techno-dragon designed and built by Team Viper during the first year of Young Makers. It was too perfect since we had Team Viper for Meet-the-Makers sharing their project from last year’s Maker Faire – The Viper, a full-motion flight simulator they built into a real plane fuselage. They did an outstanding job for the talks, and shared plans for the next iteration of The Viper for this year’s Faire.

Another Young Makers team purchased Saphira from Team Viper, and they’re adding onto the techno-dragon for their project for this year’s Maker Faire. It’s so cool when one team’s innovation sparks new innovation for others, and spreads like fire. In this case, a fire started by the coolest fire-breathing techno-dragon I’ve ever seen!

I met Saphira when I first met Tony DeRose, co-Founder of Young Makers and his older son Sam DeRose at STEMposium a couple of years ago. Tony and Michelle Hulbinka from Make were good enough to invite me to the Open Make a couple weeks later at the Exploratorium. That’s where I first experienced Open Make, the wonders of the Exploratorium’s Tinkering Studio, and the amazing feeling of being part of Young Makers.

From that day, I talked with Michelle about when The Tech might get to be the South Bay hub for Young Makers. We’re so happy that day has arrived and are really loving being in the middle of this group of innovative and positive people, and the Maker Movement.

A huge thanks to Dale Dougherty, Founder of MAKE, for playing Maker Moderator for our Meet-the-Maker talks, and Tony DeRose, co-Founder of Young Makers and Pixar Scientist, for leading our Young Makers Plussing Session, both in true Maker and Young Maker style.

After a great day of flight-making, we’re very happy Makers of the South Bay.

We hope you’ll join us for this Saturday’s Make, Open Make @ The Tech: Wearable Tech, where you’ll get to meet more local Makers and tinker with the latest trends in wearable technology!

Maker Corps Applications Due at Midnight Friday

Calling all 18- to 24-year-old Makers! You have just one more day to apply for a paid summer internship as a Maker Corps Member.

Apply here by midnight on Friday, March 8th. It’s just one simple application and for the video, you can shoot a short one with any smart phone and upload it.

Maker Corps

The Maker Education Initiative

BE A PART OF THE FIRST TEAM

We are looking for creative individuals who enjoy DIY art or science projects and are passionate about sharing their love of learning with others!

If accepted as a Maker Corps Member, you will:

  • Be employed at a Host Site for the summer of 2013 to engage children and families in creative projects that develop problem-solving skills, while gaining experience serving as a community leader. All Host Sites are youth-serving organizations such as libraries, museums, and schools.
  • Join a select community training with peers in an online, interactive Spring Development Camp, making, inventing, collaborating, and preparing for Host Site placements.
  • Receive a Possibility Box full of materials, tools, surprises and cool stuff designed to spark exploration, and experimentation.
  • Develop a creative portfolio of your work, project development and ideas to aid in future career opportunities.

For more information, and to apply:
MakerEd.org/MakerCorps

To qualify, you must be at least 18 years old as of April 1, 2013, be available for 8 weeks of online training April – May and reside in, or be willing to relocate to, one of the Host Site cities for the Summer of 2013.

Ideation and Sketching: The first meeting at The Bay School

Sketching workshop

The first meeting of the San Francisco and North Bay region occurred Saturday, January 26 at The Bay School of San Francisco. Lots of great pictures by Karen Wilkinson are available on the Tinkering Studio’s Flickr page.

Approximately 75 kids and adults turned out for a variety of fantastic activities all themed around ideation (the process of coming up with new ideas) and sketching. Themes for this and future meetings are inspired by the phases of a typical project. Next month will focus on prototyping and documentation, then fabrication in March, and exhibition in April.

The day started with a program orientation led by North Bay regional coordinators Sara Bolduc and Kevin Rumon. That led into an abbreviated plussing session where several program veterans shared past and current projects.

Silvia's fairy wall house
Silvia talks about her Maker Faire 2012 project, a Fairy Wall House, with new participants

John talks about his octocopter
John Boyer discusses his senior project, an Octocopter, during the plussing session

Miranda Morgan then led a wonderful workshop on sketching as a means to quickly explore ideas. The first exercise was to sketch an abstract paper sculpture that was placed on the tables.

Abstract sculpture sketch

In the second exercise, Miranda had attendees drawing three words randomly from paper bags. The goal was then to sketch something inspired by those words. For instance, the words “sticky”, “spoon”, and “tiger” led to the sketch shown here (detailed workshop description):

Sticky tiger spoon

Next, Molly Reisman led The Great Egg Drop Challenge. The challenge started by unveiling the materials that were to be used to create a protective “vehicle” that would keep a raw egg safe when dropped from the second floor stair well of the school (a distance of 17 feet). Materials included every day items such as paper cups, sandwich bags, straws, etc. Project teams were formed, but they weren’t allowed to start building until they had practiced their new-found sketching skills to explore a variety of designs.

A team works on their egg drop vehicle
One of the teams working on their egg drop vehicle.

Contestants were scored based on how much damage was done to their egg, how light their vehicle was, and how accurately it hit a target marked on a tarp at the bottom of the drop zone.

Bombs away!
Bombs away!

The final event of the day was a series of talks by Featured Makers, accomplished makers working in a variety of media. The first speaker was Tricia Wright, an industrial designer and former toy creator, who talked about the importance of exploring lots of ideas early, and not getting trapped into following the first idea that seems promising. She also gave the audience a sense of what’s it’s like to take an idea for a new toy from initial conception through to a final product. The second speaker was Tony DeRose, one of the Young Makers program co-founders. He gave a quick overview of the development of he and his family as makers. Starting 10 years ago with simple projects that could be completed in a weekend, he showed the evolution through progressively more complicated projects. He urged those feeling intimidated by the prospect of becoming a maker to start small and build on whatever skills you already have. The final speakers were Alex Jacobson and Sam Frank, both seniors at the Bay School and Young Maker program veterans. They talked briefly about a few of their past projects, Saphira and Fire Jam, emphasizing the importance of expecting failure, and the importance of building in safety procedures throughout the lifetime of a project.

Tricia
Tricia Wright talking about carrying a project from initial conception through to final product.

All in all it was an exceptional start to what promises to be a terrific season at The Bay School!