Tag Archives: Science

Even More Maker Faires! Hooray!

CPei_Locks

Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire producer Christina Pei teaches lockpicking with TOOOL

The Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire team visited the incredible Henry Ford Museum this weekend, site of the 5th annual Maker Faire Detroit.  We played with, among other things, old school tractor engines, Power Wheels, hacked bikes, soldering, lockpicking, 3D printing, oh my!  Over 400 makers turned out for this featured Faire.  Here’s a little taste of what we saw:

A simple game of Flaming Skeeball

Mouse Trap

Life Size Mouse Trap always draws the crowds!

Old Tyme Bikes

Celebrations of past tech: manually-powered motors, retro bikes, and this couple dressed for the olden tymes.

Shapeoko2

We milled a bottle opener with this Shapeoko 2 from Inventables.

The Manulith

We visited our friends from the Manulith, the 3D printing experts.

If you missed Maker Faire Detroit, have no fear!  It will return in July 2015.

And…you can join us locally this Saturday, August 2nd, for Chicago Southside Mini Maker Faire!  Located at the Ford City Mall, it is the second Mini Maker Faire in Chicago:

Saturday, August 2nd
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Ford City Mall
7601 South Cicero Ave
Chicago, IL 60652

Register HERE for free tickets!

Thanks for Coming!

20140503_115024May 3rd, 2014 marked the third annual Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, and the largest Chicago Maker Faire yet! 80 exhibiting makers, many of them young makers, and 2,000 attendees made this an amazing event. Thanks to everyone who made this happen!

20140503_140409For those of you who joined the fun, here’s a recap of some of our favorites.  And for those of you couldn’t make it this year, here’s a taste of what you missed. Our veteran makers returned with some of the exhibits you’ve come to expect from Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire – lockpicking with TOOOL, soldering with Build-A-Blinkie, tinkering with hackerspaces, DIY projects from Chicago Children’s Museum, Build Your Own Chicago, FIRST Robotics presented by local high schools (Schurz, Lane Tech, Whitney Young), Blast the Nerds from the Schurz National Honors Society, and many more!20140503_134647

When you first entered Maker Faire, did you notice the aerial drones from Mad Lab Industries flying overhead? 14 - 7 20140503_120922-MOTION

Did you hitch a ride in a muffin baked by Oak Park Muffineering? 20140503_115440 20140503_115551-MOTION

Did you learn to use a drill from the Chicago Tinkering School and Chicago Children’s Museum?20140503_115749

Did you blast a nerd or explode some Coke with Mentos?20140503_115814

20140503_150926We grew so much this year that we needed to expand. For the first time, the stunning domed library was open for Maker Faire, housing a planetarium brought by the Adler Planetarium, all three major Chicagoland hackerspaces (Pumping Station: One, Southside Hackerspace, and Workshop 88), the Chicago Public Library, ChiBots, and Schurz’s own Anime Club.20140503_145836

The hallways were packed with student art, 3D printed designs, a Rube Goldberg device in action, a DIY photobooth, and a taste of the neat offerings of Chicago Electronic Distributors.
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Of course, the cafeteria was a center of activity. We hope you also checked out the Electric Garden and Colossal Squid just across the hall, all the robots from the FIRST Robotics teams who presented in the Gym, and Schurz Digital Media making images and beats in the surrounding hall.2014Garden

Did you make a bouncy ball and learn more about supporting Comer’s Children Hospital from the Schurz IB students?20140503_144229Or were you too distracted by the adorable bunnies?20140503_142814Or maybe it was this guy?20140503_134952

Did you learn how to make a cool coin purse from a recycled chip bag?20140503_134709

Did you play a round of Giant Jenga?20140503_140644

Did you check out the Shapeoko 2 from Inventables?2014Inventables

Did you see the bionic hand made by UIC New Media Arts?2014Bionic

Did you make a giant mold, learn to solder, use a cyclic harmonograph, make pictures with fire, craft your own spa products, build your own Chicago, inflate a moon ball, fold some origami, etch an eraser stamp, needle felt a design, construct a hexbug, or build a kit from Brown Dog Gadgets?  Whew! We were overwhelmed, too!20140503_135155

Don’t worry, we’re coming back in May, 2015 – more makers, more attendees, more stuff to DIY. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to always be in the know. That’s all folks! Keep on making, and come back for more!

Meet the Maker: South Side Hackerspace Chicago

2014SSHThis week, Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside took a field trip to South Side Hackerspace (SSH) at their headquarter in Bridgeport. For those unfamiliar with the concept, a hackerspace is a collective space where people interested in computers, electronics, and more can experiment and learn with other like-minded individuals. The hackerspace may also have equipment like saws, 3D printers, drills, and soldering guns, available for people to use on their projects. Classes are also held at SSH to teach various skills, like soldering.

South Side Hackerspace is a pretty happening place. Members join at various levels and have access to the space and its tools (with appropriate training and approval of board members). There is not one but two 3D printers in addition to lots of other machine tools for your projects. It’s an open learning environment. Right now, there is a weekly Machine learning meet up. But it’s not all about work; it’s a social space too. They just had their 2 year anniversary party!

One of the big focuses of SSH is education, especially for the youth. They want to provide a safe place for younger people to learn about science and technology. They’ve done several workshops partnering with Chicago Public Library (CPL). Right now, you have to be 18+ to become a member of the space (with possible options for 16-18) but they want to continue outreach as a resource for younger people in Chicago. They are currently in the midst of an Indiegogo campaign to help raise funds to make their space even cooler.

South Side Hackerspace is very excited to be coming out to Mini-Maker Faire for the third year! They can’t wait to meet people and share with them about SSH. They are going to show off one of their 3D printers. They’ll explain how it works and print out prototypes. So be sure to check them out and learn more!

Meet the Maker: The Maker Mom

moonball collage 600

Be open to mess! Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside sat down with Kim Moldofsky, The Maker Mom, to talk about her work and philosophy. She started blogging in 2006 in part to encourage herself to learn how to make an Arduino and other electronics. That blog soon turned into The Maker Mom blog that is “dedicated to helping parents raise STEM-loving, Maker-friendly kids.” She also runs STEM Kids Chicago blog and Bedtime Math, which encourages parents to celebrate math with their children, and hosts #STEMchat on Twitter each month. Her Maker Mom blog is a wonderful combination of videos, experiments, news, and other resources for parents who are committed to STEM education and making.  She sees a natural fit between STEM and the maker movement.

Kim Moldofsky stressed that parents can encourage STEM with their kids without breaking the bank. It’s not about buying lots of expensive stuff (though you definitely can do that). There is a lot that parents can do at home with ordinary household things. It’s really just observing, asking questions, and thinking about solutions.  Kids can learn a lot by exploring everyday things like filling up containers of water and seeing what happens when you change elements. It’s important to help kids have the mentality of exploration and observation. And yeah, sometimes you just have to be open to messes.  Parents don’t have to have all the answers. Just create a space for kids to explore.  She sums it up best, “Parents do not need to feel that they have to gift wrap everything. Kids gain from being able to explore on their own.”

At Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside, The Maker Mom is going to show people how to make Moon balls and other objects. Moon balls are made from interlocking panty hose and a balloon. It makes the balloon into a heftier object and more suitable for playing outside. But that’s just the start of all the awesome stuff you can do with panty hose! So come on out and make some Moon balls and learn more about Maker Mom’s work!

Meet the Maker: Daley College Manufacturing Technology

CNC 2

Daley College’s Manufacturing Technology department is coming to Mini Maker Faire Northside Chicago! If you ever considered a career in robotics, computer integrated manufacturing, or factory automation or just think creating objects is neat, you should definitely check them out!

When we asked Ray Prendergast, Dean of College to Careers at Chicago City Colleges and former Director of Manufacturing Technology programs, about his hopes for Mini Maker Faire, he said that he wants people to be excited and manufacturing objects. Daley College is looking for people who are interested in creating and problem solving in the field of manufacturing. There are exciting possibilities in a career in manufacturing technology! Dean Prendergast stressed that all students learn both computer skills, like how to use a computerized lathe and a 3D printer, and traditional manufacturing skills, like welding and milling. In addition, students will learn quality assurance and business skills like lean manufacturing. Students also learn about green technology since that is essential in today’s business world. In a 2013 Chicago Tribune profile, Dean Prendergast said, “Companies want people with a technical background, but also with a good sense of business and organizational skills.”

For Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside, Daley College will bring a computerized lathe and more. A lathe is a machine that works materials by rotating them; it can cut, sand, drill, etc.  Participants will have the opportunity to design a part and watch the lathe make it before their eyes! Attendees can also learn more about the educational offerings of Daley College.

Meet the Maker: ChiBots

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Chibots is coming to Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside! Based in Schaumburg, IL, Chibots has been committed to making robotics accessible to everyone for about fourteen years. Back in 2000, many people thought that robotics was too complex to anyone to get involved in. Thankfully, some forward-thinking individuals thought otherwise and founded Chibots to make robotics accessible to everyone. And there is nothing like working on your robot and then getting see the immediate results when it starts working (or not working). The excitement is tangible.

Chibots continues fulfilling its mission today through a variety of venues: monthly meetings, an online forum/group, and various events in the Chicago region. Chibots showcases its robots at libraries and Science Nights at middle and high schools. In addition to these events, they hold their own competitions. Previously, they’ve held events like Mini-Sumo, a form of sumo style fighting, and Line Maze, where robots try to complete mazes. Recently, they’ve been hosting a larger competition called SRS RoboMagellan. SRS RoboMagellan is a competition where robots have to navigate to three traffic cones, avoiding obstacles. People can use GPS, sensors and much more to try to accomplish the task. The contestants are graded on speed and accuracy. Chibots’ next SRS RoboMagellan is coming up soon so you should definitely check it out. Or better yet, you should build a robot to compete!

For Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside, Chibots will be showing off a selection their robots in action. They’ll also bring some video of old competitions, like Mini-Sumo! ChiBots wants you to get excited about learning more about robotics and wants to help kids to get more involved in STEM related activities.  ChiBots want you to know: “We are here. We are willing. We are able. All we need is your interest in robotics!”

Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside Returns Saturday, May 3rd

Reserve your spot to the third annual Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire! Tickets are FREE to the public, but by reserving early you guarantee your spot. Now you can e-sign the media release on Eventbrite and skip the line! As always, your generous donations allow those who cannot otherwise afford Maker Faire to attend for free. Recommended donations are $10/adult, and $5/child under 12.

RESERVE YOUR TICKETS!

Are you or someone you know a maker of awesome things? Apply to be a maker here! There is no fee to set up an educational display to show your stuff! The deadline to apply is April 7th.

SHOW YOUR STUFF

Did you miss Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside in 2013? Catch a sneak peek from our blogger Elisa Shoenberger:

Robots, sharks, and circus, oh my! Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside was a blast! The halls and front lawns of Carl Schurz High School were full of laughter and hard work as children and adults, alike, tried to learn wondrous things from our Makers. There was so much to see and so much to do. Human sized bubbles and spider robots greeted visitors outside. IMG_0627

Inside, there was a wonderful hallway of crowd-sourced painting and life sized cardboard people from the project “Make Your Mark.”  Everyone was encouraged to decorate the walls or play available musical instruments. Downstairs was a DIY photo booth by Maker Troy McLucas who originally created the machine for his own wedding. Makers and visitors alike could dress up in tiaras, glasses and funky lips to commemorate this wonderful day.IMG_0562

When you go to the second floor, you couldn’t help noticing the life size Great White Shark from Dee Hotchner’s Discover the Depths, the people behind Artology-the Colossal Squid.  The true to life organs of the Shark were on display, all made from recyclable materials.IMG_0570

 Inside the cafeteria, there was a flurry of activity as people learned lock picking, chainmail jewelry making, and so much more. Bookbinding Words showed people how to make flexagons with wonderful stories and drawings. The Blue Buddha Boutique had a table for people to make chainmail earrings and key chains. Build a Blinkie was immensely popular; the soldering tables were always humming with happy busy activity. Community Glue Workshop mended a variety of items, including the hem of pants and a ceramic doll. Museum of Science and Industry’s Wagner Family Fab Lab let people design stickers or scan themselves in three dimensions.IMG_0659

Visitors also had the opportunity to play. The Reptile Convention brought out various snakes and lizards for people to learn about and even touch! Larger than life Jenga pieces invited people to challenge one another or build up to the ceiling! Goats in the City stopped by with several goats and their kids. It was so delightful watching them munch on the front lawns. In the gymnasium, DIY Circus performed several thrilling acrobatic shows and taught kids how to stage fight and make puppets.

It was an excellent day of mischief, wonder, and learning. Can’t wait for the next Chicago Northside MiniMaker Faire!

Open Call for Makers 2014!

 Welcome back, Chicagoland Makers!

BubblesSchurz High School , the Urban School Foundation, and local maker Christina Pei return with the third annual Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, celebrating teaching and learning for all ages of makers, new and old!  For those of you who are new to Maker Faire, it is the largest celebration of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) in the world.  Maker Faire is a venue for inventors, technophiles, artists, crafters, mad scientists, hackers, musicians, and anyone who makes cool things and want to show others how it’s done.  If this describes you:

APPLY NOW!

Reserve your maker table at Schurz High School on Saturday, May 3, 2014.  We will be accepting applications until April 7.  There is no cost to makers to present and it’s FREE for your friends to attend!  Makers will also be featured on our website and advertisements.

Questions? Contact us at ChicagoNorthsideMF@gmail.com

Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire Wrap Up

Catapulting into action at Schurz High School

The Chicago Northside Mini-Maker Faire that took place Saturday, April 21st was a frenzy of action. With over fifty makers or maker groups in attendance Schurz High School was overrun with action, robots, and plenty of discovery. Outside the weather was ideal for “blasting nerds” (National Honor Society students) with water balloons, flinging vegetables skyward or meeting makers from all over the city. Inside the hallways were ready for hoop-sinking robots, circuitry soldering, lock picking, and an afternoon of creation.

MSIs Fab Lab Yoda

Spanning the front yard, cafeteria, and gym at Schurz, the Faire was alive with action. In the cafeteria, the Wanger Family Fab Lab housed at the Museum of Science and Industry was up and running as people began to filter in. They brought plenty of gadgets with them from the Museum of Science and Industry – printers, 3-D scanners, a robot insect, and freshly 3-D printed bracelets. We talked about their programming which is ramping up for what is sure to be a busy summer season.

This is how a lock works.

Toward center of the cafeteria, the Lock Pick Village set up shop. They offered individual and group classes on the mechanics behind how locks work and how to pick them with some simple tools. Tables of students, families, and curious individuals sat down for lessons. They exchanged questions and answers, and quickly become experts on how locks work.

Gage Park High School Robot

Across the room, Marc Irwin of Gage Park High School, had a lot to say about the various robotics programs he would be offering on the south side. He also brought along an impressive collection of large, small, simple, and complex robots. The crowd was large and everyone wanted to try their hand at taking the robots for a walk. Marc welcomed the crowds, letting minds wander with the robots. He also made some clear connections between the importance of robotics programs and science classes at CPS schools.

Don't try to resist soldering

Meanwhile, down from the robots, Chris was in charge of the soldering table, representing Schurz with a quick wit and a sharp purple shirt. He commanded the table, explaining why soldering is significant, why it’s important to be safe while soldering, and how to do it. Between gel, fusing the resistor to the circuit, and putting up with my photo taking, Chris presented a clear, concise lesson on beginning soldering. I asked him to sum it up in a sentence for his internet audience. His response: “Anyone can do it.”

Hand made air guns from Andrew at Workshop 88

Down the hall from the cafeteria, Workshop 88 was present in large numbers at the Faire. They were featuring a table filled with air-guns. Andrew, a member at the Workshop, explained that he has been working on a cupcake (type of 3-D printer) for many months now. What will he make with it first, you may be wondering? Without hesitation he responded with more parts for his airguns – things he wouldn’t be able to buy or things that may not exist…yet. The beauty of the cupcake, he emphasized, is that “you can make more, to help you make even more. How cool is that?”

They are about to fly.

Outside, the Tinkering School of Chicago presented a catapult that delighted attendees, pedestrians, and drivers on Milwaukee Ave. Flinging things = popular. In addition to their popularity, there was a great of passion for everything that went into the catapult – how they built it, the physics behind it, and explaining how to target where your watermelon, orange, or other projectile will splatter. The clouds and sun were an ideal backdrop for towering launches all day long.

Making poetry at the Maker Faire

For the tech-weary there was a hands-on slam poetry table from Words Speak Louder, a Schurz student club. The students at the table were enthusiastic and eager to have passersby contribute some poetry about the day or anything else to their collection. It was a good reminder that making is more than just tinkering with technology.

Making the beats, tuning the melody.

Back inside, there was a lot of action around the iPads and Creativity table. More importantly, there was a lot of music coming from that corner of the building. The table leader advertised that you did not need any music experience to make a song. She waved crowds over and passed out headphones, iPads, and people got to work. Once a track was finished, if the author wanted, they would play the  track on the speakers and big screen for all to see.

LED Blinkie

One of the larger tables was for the creation of blinkies, LED pattern design kits, sponsored by 2DKits. Some expert instructors were on hand to field questions and keep the ball rolling until visitors had their very own blinkie to take home!

Chicago Knights present Parker

Upstairs sunlight filtered into the gym where robots dominated the court. The Chicago Knights, a FIRST Robotics team, presented two basketball-shooting robots. Some students explained that the two robots featured two very different shooting mechanisms, but over the course of the afternoon they demonstrated that both could sink a shot in their own ways.

Wiimote Interactive Board

After spending time with so many tables, I was shocked to see how fast the afternoon flew by. I returned to the cafeteria to stop at the Wiimote-smartboard table. The crew there had rigged a Wiimote to capture motion with a projector, much like a smartboard. Talking both to the teacher and student there, they revealed 1.) how easy the making process was, 2.) the great features the interactive board offered, and 3.) how straightforward it was to use.

3-D Printing MakerBot Industries

As nice as it was to hear this, those three statements were great summaries of everything I had seen during the Mini-Maker Faire that day. The range of interests, inventions, and re-creations was diverse and that was fantastic. Tables were teaching other tables about programming robots or making iPad apps. Younger attendees were eager to make flashlights, blinkies, or marvel at all the noise and excitement around them. High-school aged-attendees were free to dive into conversation with tinkerers, hobbyists, and some of the best advocates for DIY projects around the city. For all attendees it was an engaging environment with no shortage of idea exchange. The energy in and outside the walls of Schurz was undeniable.

Mini Maker Faire at Schurz

If you missed this Maker Faire, do not worry. Keep your eyes peeled because more will be coming to the city soon. If you need to scratch that itch sooner than later – GREAT! – check out the list of Makers on our site and get in touch with them. There is plenty happening all over the city (and country, world) every week of the year.

Will Kent is a CyberNavigator with the Chicago Public Library and a Retention Coach for the University of Illinois. This was his first Maker Faire and he is looking forward to more.

Thank you for Coming!

We salute you vegetables. Fly gracefully. #makerfairechicagon... on Twitpic
Thank you to all our Makers and Volunteers for coming out to Carl Schurz High School this Saturday, April 21st  to launch the first annual Mini Maker Faire Chicago Northside! And thank you to everyone who attended, planted a flower, pet a chicken, blasted a nerd, shot a basketball, participated in a circus, picked a lock, built your own Chicago, built a blinkie, constructed a catapult, designed recycled jewelry, composed a song, learned about glass-blowing, created  a T-shirt scarf, painted your own knife wound, braided Renaissance style hair, joined a hackerspace, worked a 3D printer, operated a robot, rode a DIY segway, completed an electrical circuit, chilled with the Wandering States, and MADE something!

Please check the website in the coming weeks for pictures, videos, and blogs about the event.  Follow us on Facebook and check out posts on Twitter: #makerfairechicago #makerfairechicagonorthside #makerfaire.

P.S. If you missed the basketball shooters from FIRST Robotics, here they are, thanks to @pdp7

FIRST Robotics and Mini Makers Team Up