Tag Archives: FIRST Robotics Competition

Thanks for Coming!

Elisa IMG_5408Another year, another amazing set of talent at the Fifth Anniversary Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire!

In the early morning, the weather seemed so frightful, but then out came the sun by the time we welcomed our first guest to Maker Faire! Our Builder Sponsor, Passanante’s Home Food Services welcomed everyone at the door with a taste of their healthy grilled recipes:Stich IMG_0047We tried to catch those drone racers from Mad Lab Industries on camera, but they were booking it at above-highway-speeds.  You’ll just have to come back next year to see (or drive) for yourselves!

At the lower speeds, hope you got a chance to pop into the Geodesic Greenhouse, returning for the second year as part of Schurz High School’s Food Science Program. Attendees learned how to jar a plant, lined with newspaper, ready for the big move into any urban garden. 🙂Megy_GreenhouseIf you came with your kids, you couldn’t miss out on Galileo Camp‘s Bristle Bot Challenge in the library, or the incredibly interactive mixed-reality game cube built by Bit Space in the cafeteria. Both groups joined Chicago Electronic Distributor and OSH Park as this year’s Contributor Sponsors, helping to allow Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire remain a free event to the public! Hopefully, you got a chance to meet Drew from OSH Park, who gave us the Perfect Purple PCB and also shared many of the pictures you see:CibBcpUUkAArj7-

Schurz  HS students brought back some old favorites, like NHS Blast the Nerds! and FUN-ky Nails. Old competitions came back anew, from this year’s FIRST Robotics Challenge and the SeaPerch Underwater ROV.  Did you make a pipe cleaner figurine? Did you engage in the Bridge Build/Destroy challenge? Did you make your own ice cream (and eat it, too)?Drew GIF 16 - 7Other exhibiting students included the DuSable HS Woodshop (shown below), who carried a taste of their shop from the south side of Chicago! Clemente HS presented exhibits from the Chicago Students Invention Convention (held earlier this year), with organizer Anneliese Geggenheimer speaking in our first ever speaker series!20160216_145016Lane Tech HS brought a strong showing of student work, from their extremely popular Sticker Maker, to the completely student run AspireIT program for girls in computation! And this Young Maker gave our veteran Build-a-Blinkie soldering pros a run for their money with his self-constructed, self-coded Charlie Cube:Drew GIF 16 - 5

As usual, our Makers represented a spectrum from high- to low-tech, from the artistic to the innovative, to the just plain weird. Did you get a chance to battle with robots, build a Noise-o-Tron solder-less noisemaker, or drive in a VR simulation? Did you fold some cool origami, learn to do needle-felting, or sew a friendly bumble bee? Did you build with insanely pimped out electronic LEGOS or make ones of your boys lego ideas better than they did? Did you drive the K-9 from old school Dr. Who, or construct your own Little Bits Cottage? Did you record your Maker Faire story with Schurz Digital Media (Storycorps style), watch an old-school Nickelodeon, or create your own movie magic with the help of a green screen?

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There’s not enough space in a single blog post to talk about everything that happened–there was just TOO MUCH to see, play, and build! We hope these pictures capture the spirit of CNS Maker Faire.

Thanks to Drew Fustini, Elisa Shoenberger, Megy Karydes, Lauren Vogelstein, Dan Rezac, Gabby Anton, and the wonderful students from Schurz Digital Media for sharing these photos. Thanks to everyone who came out! We hope you were inspired to keep making through the year. Perhaps one day, you too will be presenting to the public.  See you all next year, for the sixth annual Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire!

If you took some kicking pictures of the fourth annual CNS Maker Faire, please share with us @CNSmakerfaire and on Facebook!

Thank you to our generous sponsors for helping us keep the magic alive. And a huge thank you to our amazing volunteers! Our afternoon team is shown here with super funky T-shirts sponsored by Muddy Waters Learning Press:

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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.


The Official Schurz High School NHS Ice Creamery

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Even More Maker Faires! Hooray!


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.


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.

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: ChiBots


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, but that’s not true! even 8 year olds can, just look at these toys for 9 year old boys. 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!”