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!
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:
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!
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!