We are so pleased that CodeCreate will be at Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire 2017! We had a chance to sit down with Jefferey Sweeton to find out more about their work. CodeCreate “empowers learners through creative design with everyday technology and learners’ own ideas: commands that students retain every other time they see those tools.” Jefferey Sweeton explained, “Too often, when we start in Python or HTML or, even algebra, the activities we engage in ask us to FORGET the content that we already know… We want to show the connections between technology and the world we already know- the things we want to say: which art does really well… Art is something all around us. Technology is something all around us.” With this mission in hand, CodeCreate has worked with fifty different organizations all over the world. CodeCreate holds numerous classes, such as Power Puppets where students make cardboard puppets and learn to add solenoids or motors to make them work, or The Science of Digital Time, where they explore time and build a digital clock. All of their classes are based on, Jefferey explains, “how I think technology should be taught—it’s a means of expression to tell the story that YOU want to tell…”
For Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, CodeCreate will be teaching the Cardboard Switching Challenge. Sweeton explains, “You make something out of cardboard – really whatever you want… and you use aluminum foil to decorate the thing you make [like] a cat or a guitar or drums. That aluminum surface is conductive so when we use that surface with a Makey Makey board we can make the computer, do things…” Examples include making a cat meow or another sound but that’s only the beginning. The idea is to tell a story that only you can tell. We can’t wait to see what amazing things makers will make with CodeCreate at the Faire!
Ever want to start your own newspaper or your own magazine? Check out the makers of Antelope Magazine, a new literary magazine created by the quirky minds of its co-editors Meghan McGrath and Elisa Shoenberger.
Elisa and Meghan explain, “The Antelope aims to record the beautiful and the odd. It strives to make visible through traditional and nontraditional documentation the full spectrum of human experience. The Antelope is a document.” The Magazine gets its name from Suzanne Briet’s “What is Documentation?” (1951) that expands the notion of what a document can be or what can be archived. She used the example of an antelope that can be observed and drawn at a zoo, recorded for a film, and then later taxidermied for a natural history museum.
Meghan and Elisa had worked on other literary journals but decided that they wanted to publish their own. So they developed a plan and spent the last year brainstorming, calling for work, editing, and managing the new journal. Right now, they are working on the final parts of the magazine, getting it laid out, and raising the funds to publish it via their Kickstarter.
Learn about the process of putting together your own magazine. They’ll talk about the work to plan an idea out, how to make content, and then how to release it into the world. We’re so excited for the Antelope Magazine to be part of Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire.
Come check us out on Saturday, May 6th at Schurz HS!
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:We 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. 🙂If 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:
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)?Other 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!Lane 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:
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?
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!
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:
Prepare for Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire tomorrow!
Be prepared for Chicago weather: the forecast is a high in the 60’s, with scattered wind and rain. We have Makers exhibiting inside and outside, and we will continue rain or shine! So bring your rain jacket and hat just in case!
At the Faire, say hello to our sponsors:
Make sure to visit our Makers throughout the first floor, in the pool, and packed on the second floor. We can’t wait to see you there!
Want to create a mixed reality game with a steel framed cube? Join Bit Space at the Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire!
Located in Lincoln Square, Bit Space’s mission is “to engage, enrich, and educate the creative and critical minds of our youth, using a full spectrum of material and computational skills for open-ended inquiry and design-build projects. From complete beginners through PhD caliber research, Bit Space can prepare young makers for any future they wish to pursue.” In conversation with co-founder Thomas Kearns, he explains, “Emerging technologies are transforming the way we make things, and the way we live, work, and play are increasingly a convergence of material and computational intelligence.” The space has several classes for ages starting at 6 years up to 18 years. They run many different classes from summer camps, workshops, and exciting birthday parties. BIt Space has many different projects available including making a skateboard “from a stack of raw veneer to a tricked out and completely custom, fully functional board they can ride out on.” Kearns explains, “Recent projects have included pewter casts using laser cut molds, laser trip wires without microcontrollers, interactive sound and light projects built with Arduinos, and virtual reality obstacle courses complete with physics based interactive elements.”
For Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, BIt Space will be bringing a prototype of a new project that they’ll run in their summer camp called “Inter-Act.” There, they will create “a 10′ steel framed cube which will serve as the armature/enclosure for a week long group project. Each week of the camp, the participants will re-conceive and implement a new identity or program for the cube using a range of technologies. With each new group will come a new set of interests and aspirations and hence a whole new concept for the cube. Right now Bit Space is “feverishly working on setting up some of the core building blocks for this, with body tracking using Kinect to augment the tracking within Oculus Rift and an improved communication framework for Arduino and Unity3d. We’re going to bring the Beta version of the cube to the Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, and work with participants to build out a mixed reality game experience that pits a group of people outside the cube with or against a brave soul wearing the Oculus inside.” That sounds really swell.
Check out a video of the project here: https://youtu.be/3oqQfMf71L0
Come one, come all and join Bit Space and their amazing mixed interactive Cube at Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire!
Want to learn how to use a power drill and make an amazing cool sculpture? Join Chicago Children’s Museum at the Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire.
The Chicago Children’s Museum is “a place where families and caregivers with infants and children are encouraged to create, explore, and discover together through play.”(1) One great place for kids to learn is the Tinkering Lab, a place for learning for children and their families. Kids can learn how to use real tools, like saws and drills, and have the freedom to choose their own projects. There is even an early learning nook for very young children.
Kim Koin, Director of Art and Tinkering Lab Studios, explains that the Tinkering Lab sees learning as a social activity. It’s a great place for kids to experiment and have wonderful conversations with their families. Kim explained, “Parents are really surprised at what kids can do.” She says a major takeaway from the Tinkering Lab is “learning from failure… We want kids to try something out, be able to test it out, and build again.” Critical thinking and problem solving are critical for kids of all ages. Tis place is heaven for young boys, you’re going to have gift ideas for 8 year old boys after just one visit. In May, the Tinkering Lab is excited to debut the Zoom Room, where kids can learn about physical science, play with force and motion with 100s of matchbox cars. There will be a station where kids can experiment with cars on different surfaces to explore friction. You can even learn how the timing to hit a car with a wrecking ball! It sounds amazing!
Chicago Children’s Museum is excited to return to Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire with a new exhibit, and meet other makers in the Chicago region as well. Last year, they had a great time with Cardboard Mechanism at our 4th annual event.
This year at the 5th anniversary Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, they will be running “Power Drill Sculptures.” Everyone can learn how to use a power drill safely. Kids will first learn how to use a c-clamp to secure wood and then they will be trained on how to use a power drill. They will be able to build a collaborative sculpture that will develop throughout the day. Kim Koin explained: “Bring your focus. Bring your creativity.” Who knows what form that sculpture will take? We’re excited to see how it progresses!
CELEBRATE OUR 5th ANNIVERSARY FAIRE IN STYLE!
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:
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
Want to configure your own Raspberry Pi? Want to make your own electronic dice kit?
Check out Chicago Electronic Distributors, a proud sponsor of Mini Maker Faire Chicago. We so pleased to have them back to the Faire. Chicago Electronics Distributors offers a variety of electronics for purchase from Arduino kits to Useless Machines and all sorts of amazing projects. Started in 2013 by Craig LeMoyne, the company has grown in its three years and has had over 15,000 orders from 40 countries. He explains that the mission of Chicago Electronics Distributors is “to provide consumers with the best in maker electronics.” He wants people to know that electronics are easy to make. He explains: “Don’t be scared to play with electronics. There is lots of help online, great tutorials, just dive right in!” One suggestion for beginners is to start with an Arduino and make a light blink.
In addition to new Raspberry Pi units, they have exciting new products from SeeedStudio and the “Useless Machine” from SpikenzieLabs. They also are the exclusive North American distributor of Cyntech Products. That’s really exciting!
For the Faire, Chicago Electronics Distributors is super excited to meet new and pre-existing customers such as Transfer Electric. They love showing off their products. The Maker Movement is exciting and they are pleased to get people excited about engineering. CED is planning on bringing a variety of kits to showcase some products including the Useless Machine, Grove Indoor Environmental Kit for Intel ® Edison from Seeed Studio, and much more. They also plan to have a Raspberry Pi demonstration so watch out for that. And they’ll definitely have various kits for purchase.
We look forward to seeing The Chicago Electronic Distributors there!
This year, Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire is excited to present the three largest hackerspaces in the Chicago area! We sat down with them to learn more.
Workshop 88Workshop 88 is a hackerspace and makerspace located in Glen Ellyn that provides a space for people to come together as a community and work on amazing projects. They offer a variety of tools for its members to use such as 3D printers, a CNC machine, a lathe, and more. They are even thinking of opening an amateur radio station in the space. But Workshop 88 is more than just the tools at its disposal. Jim Williams, a member of Workshop 88, says that it’s all about the community of people with similar interests who have a variety of knowledge coming together to share. It’s the people who are willing to help each other out, learn, and create delightful things.
One big yearly project is badge building. For the past 3 years, Workshop 88 makes Arduino-based LED badges that make the conference space into a game. Throughout the conference space, there are beacons that can transmit to the badge that lights up the LED and generates points. It’s a great way to get folks to explore the entire conference. Workshop 88 works together to design, build, and test these badges. In addition to their own projects, Workshop 88 hosts workshops and classes for libraries and classrooms. It provides them an opportunity to share their knowledge with people to get them excited about making. The goal is to have kids make things that get them interested in electronics and technology.
For Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, they are going to demonstrate some of their members’ current projects. A hacked Roomba vacuum cleaner. A radio receiver built from scratch. I purchased a new canister vacuum – it did a pretty amazing job with the spots from last weekends partying. An RGB LED wall display that is controlled by a joystick—uniting art and technology will hopefully foster conversation and ideas!
Southside Hackerspace: ChicagoSouthside Hackerspace: Chicago (SSH:C) is a hackerspace located in Pilsen committed to educational outreach, and strives to become a community resource for people to learn and exchange ideas. This hackerspace just turned three–Happy Birthday! They’ve hosted a variety of classes and workshops from basic soldering to Raspberry Pi within their space and out. Recently, participants got to check out an electron scanning microscope at the event as well. SSH:C attended events all around Chicago including libraries, schools, and other maker spaces to establish relationships. They plan on expanding their soldering tutorial into additional classes to teach programming. They also have been communicating with teachers all around Chicago and its suburbs about starting their own spaces for their students.
In addition to outreach, SSH:C has been hosting a variety of educational and social events for its membership. In the past year, SSH:C has partnered with Pumping Station 1 on a Cryptography event on a monthly basis. It’s intended for people who are interested in cryptography and privacy online. The class moves back and forth between the two spaces, further encouraging collaboration between members of both hackerspaces. SSH:C and PS1 also held a nine week Business Planning workshop “Creative Entrepreneurship” led by Lisa Sonora Beam that focused on how to take an idea into a marketable idea.
In addition to the educational programming, SSH:C has introduced monthly movie and gaming nights. In January, they held a fantastic holiday party that allowed members and friends to showcase their work including laser-cut origami, a tri-copter and much more. But SSHC also have 3D printers, a new vinyl cutter, and many more tools to help people build amazing things!
For CNS Maker Faire, their members will showcase their work including a kinetic sculpture. They plant to have a hands-on activity for the kids and parents alike. SSH:C is growing and want to engage with people and other organizations about their work. Want to know more? Attend a weekly meeting Wednesday nights at 7:30.
Pumping Station: One
Pumping Station:One (PS:1) located in the Northside of Chicago brings together people with a variety of skills to develop a thriving and sharing community. Chicago’s first hackerspace, PS:1 has been around for six years. The space has a variety of tools including bandsaws, a CNC router, and many more.
However, it’s more than just a place to work on your projects. Members hold a variety of classes based on their interests. It’s a fairly independent process; someone decides there is a need so they make a class. There are classes centered around robots, beer making, wine tasting, leather working, and coding. As noted before, they also have been collaborating with SSH on the Cryptography class each month.
At the Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire, they are going to teach people how to make a Noise-o-Tron. They debuted this last year at the third annual Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire. The Noise-o-Tron is an optical theremin that does not require soldering. People build it by pushing leads through the board and twisting them. It only takes a few minutes to put it together. They have also created a “Color-O-Tron” version where people can make a game that simulates the old Simon game. These projects are both a fun way to talk about electronics while people can make something simple and fun. We can’t wait to make music with our optical Theremins!
PS1 has an open house on Tuesday nights at 8pm.
Will you survive the Zombie apocalypse? Want to master potions like Harry Potter? Then check out The Laboratory at CNS Maker Faire!The Laboratory just opened its doors in Bucktown this past March, and is run by experienced teachers Ed and Amy Kang. The mission of The Laboratory is to revolutionize how science is taught. Too often science classes focus on content through rote memorization instead of exploring how science encompasses everything. Amy and Ed want to show kids that science learning can be fun and a way for kids to express themselves. They are big proponents of STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math.
At The Laboratory, Amy and Ed offer a variety of classes aimed at grades K-6 with future plans for expansion. Classes combine science and art and fun! Kids learn how to make robots, potions, catapults, bath balls, and so much more. “Science with a context” means kids see how science is part of their lives already through TV shows, movies, and more, they get excited about it. The Laboratory space is also quite versatile. Embracing the DIY spirit, they built much of the furniture in the space. Ed explained that this wasn’t something he had a lot of experience in before. He said, “I learned to use a table saw, drill to build…it’s a testament to the fact that anyone can build spaces. If I can do it, so can you!”
Ed and Amy are super excited about CNS Maker Faire. In true DIY spirit, they are still planning their activities. One of their students may come out and show off their new skills. Maybe they’ll facilitate a project for other students. They plan on having an activity that embodies their teaching philosophy: science with a story. Come check out The Laboratory at Chicago Northside Mini Maker Faire!