Tag Archives: Robotics

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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Meet the Maker: Schurz Pre-Engineering Classes


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!

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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Meet the Maker: Trossen Robotics

hros1chassiBigDid you ever want to walk a robot on a leash? Or learn how to make a robotic arm to do your bidding? Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire is excited to welcome back Trossen Robotics, a company committed to helping people learn about robotics and electronics, for a third year!

Trossen Robotics started in the late 2000s selling robot parts, but they’ve grown into designing and even manufacturing their own open source robotic kits, such as crawlers and humanoids. Grounded in a belief that community is critical–people can always use help when building things, experimenting, and sharing their experiences–Trossen wants to foster a community of builders through forums, blogs, and other support networks. And they want people to realize that anyone can learn how to make robots!

You do not have to be an engineer or have millions of dollars to build a robot. The field of robotics has something for everyone–from those interested in electronics and engineering to non-STEM fields like aesthetics and design–and Trossen is committed to helping everyone from the casual hobbyist to the university student working on a robot for their thesis.DFmkRFIAt this year’s Faire, Trossen will be showing off some of their amazing robots. People will have the opportunity to play with a variety of different robots, and even have fun walking a crawler robot on a leash. They will also be displaying their “voodoo robot,” with a large robotic arm and a smaller one that works like a controller, as well as some autonomous robots that use sensors to navigate the world.

Kyle Granat at Trossen Robotics told us that they are really excited about Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire this year and explained that people often leave the Faire in awe: not the kind of awe you would see at a car show or technology show, but the feeling of awe upon realizing that they can do some of the amazing things that see for  themselves. We look forward to seeing them there!

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:


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