Thursday, May 17, 2012

Maker Faire Here We Come

Another year, another Maker Faire. We gathered on Tuesday night to show the projects, practice talking about them, and to celebrate the kids' vision, creativity and persistence. All of them started with one idea and switched to another. All of them made modifications along the way. All of them ran into snags which needed troubleshooting, analysis and rethinking.

The five projects going this year are the work of 6 kids who went through the long, sometimes frustrating process of seeing an idea to completion.They woke early once a month to make the long drive to the Exploratorium. They scoured the internet and searched out mentorship. This is an amazing group of young people.
Matthew built a Minecraft creeper from specially-selected Lego parts, then decided he wanted it to do something. He built a speaker from some wire, an amplifier, and a Dixie cup, installed it in the head, and attached it all to an mp3 file of music from the game—which he made a point of securing permission to use. As a final touch, his sister painted his iPod green and added a creeper face. I wish I'd gotten a picture of it.
Ken and his dad Doug are working on a pedal-powered trolley with a wooden frame, the bottom bracket and extra gears from a bicycle, and flanged wheels which will eventually fit on a track. Even on a dolly and with a milk crate for a seat, the trolley was a hit going up and down the big warehouse aisles.

Sebastian's project is an arduino-based light box which plays in pattern to midi files. He had been thinking about lights hooked up to his bass, then ultimately decided he didn't want to transport his instrument to and from the Maker Faire so altered the project to be more portable.
We have all enjoyed seeing Leo and Drew's claymore project evolve from a mousetrap-based catapult to a rat trap, to a claymore with motion sensor response and a camouflage paint job. The parts were all found at the hardware store, with the exception of the motion sensor—repurposed from an air freshener unit.

Our other Young Maker was not present at the meeting, but John is making a full headmask of his World of Warcraft character. We look forward to seeing it this weekend.

If you are going to Bay Area Maker Faire 2012, please stop by the Young Makers area. Our group will be exhibiting Saturday evening, but Young Makers from up and down the west coast will be showing projects all weekend long.

Here's to all young makers!

No comments:

Post a Comment