Tag Archives: DIY

Meet the Maker: Schurz Pre-Engineering Classes

SeaPerch

Photo credit: Pre-engineering Program

Control robots in an underwater obstacle course! Design a Rube Goldberg Machine! Build and destroy bridges! The students of Peter Schoedel’s Schurz pre-engineering program have so many wonderful projects to share with you all at the CNS Mini Maker Faire!

Peter Schoedel has been leading the pre-engineering program at Schurz High School for four years. In the four year program, students learn engineering and design skills. The CNS Mini Maker Faire provides them an excellent opportunity to take what they have learned and share it with participants. Peter Schoedel explains, “It is really important for students to be able present  technology ideas in front of people. It’s 21st century skill building. They have to be able to verbally communicate their ideas, and collaborate with fellow students.”  

This year at the faire, students will present five different projects and will teach people new skills. The students from  SeaPerch Underwater ROV club will showcase the ROVs that they built in the pool. This after school club recently went to a US Navy Competition at the Great Lakes Naval Station to compete in obstacle course and other challenges and took 5th, 7th and 9th place out of 32 teams. That’s awesome. Participants in the faire can try their hand at controlling a ROV underwater in the obstacle course. Another group will demonstrate 3D Modeling with Inventor. Students have been learning how to draw using Inventor, a 3D Cad program so they will be showing us how to draw 3D on computers. Then the design can be hooked up to a 3D printer to be built. How cool is that! Folks can check out a 3D printer in action, using their own designs.

One group of sophomores and juniors will be leading “Make and Destroy Bridge Challenge.” In class, they’ve been building bridges out of balsa wood, testing them, and learning how to build strong and better bridges. Now, they want to share those skills with participants. People at the faire will get the chance to build bridges out of popsicle sticks and then test them out and see if they’ll hold heavy objects! Another project is  “Rube Goldberg and the Simple Machines of Life” where folks will have the opportunity to play with various simple machines to build a Rube Goldberg machine. The final project is “Godzilla Games” where folks will have the opportunity to put together a giant 3D puzzle or play with huge Jenga blocks.

Come out to the Faire and check out all five projects to see the amazing things that the pre-engineering students have learned!

Meet the Maker: The Little Bits Workshop

Want to make a tiny room using upcycled items in your house and garden? Join Liita Forsyth from The Little Bits Workshop to learn how to make your very own tiny room!

SewingRm

Photo credit: The Little Bits Workshop

The Little Bits Workshop is a DIY makerspace in River Forest where kids of all ages can learn how to sew, knit, make  jewelry, build with tools and much more. According to Liita Forsyth, the mission of The Little Bits Workshop “is not to mass produce anything, but to teach the masses to discover the thrill of creative productivity.” Forsyth explains that in this high tech world, not enough emphasis has been placed on problem-solving and motor skills. She recalls countless 40-something moms saying, “My mom sewed all the time but she never taught me. Now my daughter wants to learn, but I don’t know how.” Little Bits strives to revive these skills for all ages. Forsyth explains: “There’s such a tremendous feeling of accomplishment when people of any age learn how to make something useful and to do it well.” The space offers a variety of classes from after school workshops, birthday parties and camps on and off premises.

Prepare for The Little Bits Workshop at Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire! It will take 1-2 hours to build at the Faire. Liita will be selling kits to help participants build their own miniature rooms from upcycled materials, and you can come prepared with materials of your own. “The Little Bits Cottage is a launching point for imagination,” she says. “Half the fun of making a Little Bits Cottage is discovering objects in your recycle bin, junk drawer or jewelry box that could actually become a burner on a stove or a dining room chair. It’s designed to be a skill-builder for imagineers of all ages through the steps of measuring, designing, considering proportion, using sharp tools and learning how to sew.”

The Little Bits Workshop will be running two workshop sessions: 10:30 to 12:30 and 1:30 to 3:30.

We can’t wait to have them at Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire!

 

Meet the Maker: Schurz Food Lab

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Photo credit: Schurz Food Lab

Two words: Space Tomatoes. That’s one of many projects that the Schurz Food Lab will be showcasing at the Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire. The program is led by the multi-talented Jaime Guerrero, Schurz food science lab founder and administrator, who wants to change minds and hearts about urban agriculture. Guerrero explains that the mission of the lab is to develop and harvest the next generation farmer. He wants to teach the farmer of the future about traditional agriculture, sustainability, and the science behind it all. The program aspires to teach students to go forward with these new concepts and develop a whole new way of farming.

The Schurz Food Lab situated in a formerly unused classroom at Schurz is in its first year. Right now, students and community volunteers have been learning about hydroponics and aquaculture. Hydroponics is the process of growing plants in water, sand or other medium instead of soil. It’s less water intensive since the set up reduces water waste, making it more environmentally friendly. The lab has been growing a variety of greens including microgreens, baby heirloom lettuces, and more.  Aquaculture is the farming of seafood, which permits the cultivation of healthy seafood for human consumption. Unfortunately, sources of wild seafood have been grossly overfished. Aquaculture provides a real solution to this crisis. Currently, they are raising Red Nile Tilapia but there are plans to cultivate saltwater prawns and crayfish. The lab also has a small aquaponics system that combines the two. The waste water from the seafood helps fertilize the greens and filters the water that can now return to the tank. It’s a beautiful sustainable circle. The greens from the hydroponics lab have been donated to the Irving Park Food Pantry, facilitated by BuildOn, a vital partner and ally within the community. The lab was also recently certified by the CPS to supply food to the cafeteria. While they aren’t the first CPS school to receive such certification, they are first  indoor hydroponics lab in Chicago to receive that distinction. That’s super cool. The lab is all about “Feeding the mind, feeding the stomach, and feeding the community.”

So about those space tomatoes…For Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, they will set up a geodesic dome to show off the hydroponic and other systems. In addition to that, they will be unveiling the working food computer, invented at MIT. Guerrero explains that it’s basically a farm in a 2 x 2 foot box where all the conditions can be controlled to facilitate the growth of the plant inside. You can learn what settings of light, water, etc are most conducive to sharing and you can then share it with the world. The Schurz Food Lab has connected with Tomatosphere that works with NASA to grow seeds from the tomatoes grown in space in the working food box. So come to the faire and check out the growing space tomatoes!

 

Open Call for Makers 2016!

CELEBRATE OUR 5th ANNIVERSARY FAIRE IN STYLE!

MMFCNS2015 - Squishy Circuits

Welcome to the Fifth Anniversary Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, presented by Schurz High School , the Urban School Foundation, and Christina Pei! 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.  Our Faire is the most diverse in the world, and we invite you to participate in teaching and learning for all ages and interests!  If you have an awesome project to showcase, share it here:

APPLY NOW!

Reserve your maker table at Schurz High School on Saturday, May 7, 2016.  We will be accepting applications until April 1.  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 CNSmakerfaire@gmail.com

A Look Back at Our Last Maker Faire: Thanks for Coming!

A very belated recap of the fourth annual Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, a wonderful day for Chicago’s largest celebration of learning, STEAM, and whimsy!

Outside, all sorts of wonderful makers showed off their skills. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect.

Photo

The Official Schurz High School NHS Ice Creamery

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