This past Saturday, The Makerspace joined the East Side Peoples’ Festival at Genesis Lutheran Church. The East Side Peoples Festival is an event where various East Side people and organizations gather to share their work, ideas, and passion for their community. It was a fun day packed with demos, examples, and lots of wonderful people interested in learning about the Makerspace and getting involved.
We had many of our alternative energy “toys” on display, and some of the more curious youngsters began building their own wind turbines without any instruction! A particularly bright fella discovered that if he attached his turbine to the bike generator, he could create a refreshing breeze to cool himself off as he pedals! Sadly, the bike generator proved to be a bit much for the wee turbine, and we eventually burnt it out entirely. A worthy sacrifice!
Now that we have completed our first session of AwesomeShops, we are collaborating with our makers to figure out what to do in terms of projects and workshops for the summer that will make for interesting learning experiences and good times. To do so, we kicked off a process of “sticky note” brainstorming so that everyone could contribute their ideas, organize them into categories, and pick their favorites.
With a bit of persuasion and priming, the ideas started trickling forth. Soon enough, we had a flood on our hands, and we almost ran out of sticky notes! When finished, we stepped back and looked proudly upon a boardful of incredibly creative ideas. By moving them around on the board and grouping similar ideas together, we were able to combine some into larger, more comprehensive projects, as well as begin to refine the focus areas for the Makerspace itself. We’re still hashing things out, but by next week we should be able to nail down some amazing summer projects.
This past weekend, the Mt. Elliott Makerspace went out to the Bay Are Maker Faire in San Francisco to help show off a new and inexpensive way to start a Makerspace, well, anywhere!
On Friday, we helped build the sheds with teams of middle and high school students
On Saturday, with help from some OmniCorpDetroit members we tough workshops on how to make LED throwies out of LEDs, button batteries, and mini magnets. Given the un-magnetic wood surface of the Makerspace sheds, we commandeered some paella pans to demonstrate the purpose and functionality of the Throwies. They worked great!
By the end of the day, we had run completely out of supplies for the Throwies. So, we needed a new idea for Sunday fun. After some searching in the Maker Shed, we found a bunch of Drawdio draw-a-synth kits and decided to wire them into a guitar amplifier. Soon enough, the day became filled with both crazy pencil drawings and wild sounds.
Even though we may all have had headaches by the end of the day, the Drawdio workshop was one of the most fun classes we have ever done. We hope to do it again in Detroit!
For the last day of the Tron Bikes AwesomeShop we were going to go on a bike ride around Belle Isle, however the forecast called for bad thunderstorms so we decided to postpone it. That was until we got fed up with not riding and decided to go anyway! I am sure glad we did because the rain held off and it was a blast.
The crew was not very big, but we had plenty of boom-boxes to have one heck of a bike ride!! We even took some time to stop at the Belle Isle amphitheater to test how loud the boom-boxes could get.
The day then ended with a simple ceremony congradulating all the students who compleated the ten week cource.
Our final day was supposed to consist of more wind turbine work, but unfortunately over half of the makers were absent due to a mandatory school function. Why doesn’t anyone ever tell me about this stuff? Doh!
No worries though…we made the best of it by having those who were able to make it work on other outstanding projects such as bike amps, repair projects, learning how to use the computers, etc.
At the end of the session, we awarded our makers their Certificates of Completion. As the first makers to complete our prototypical AwesomeShops, I’d say it was quite an honor for both the teachers and the makers alike!
Today during Open Shop, Raven and continued our work repairing the discarded stereo (See Electronics Rescue! Part 1). We finished reassembling the body with the newly soldered power cord, and began work on the speakers.
In order to access more wire inside the speaker splice new leads we needed to use the drill and the Dremel to cut ‘em out. Raven LOVED learning about the tools that cut holes, lines, and make noise!
Next up: Splicing the speaker wires and finishing it off