Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Late Maker Nerd News

This blog is still pretty new.  I was reminded of this as I looked through existing photo collections for new material and inspiration.  I'm preparing for a week on the road and Blogger will help me by putting up posts on schedule and in my absence.  Tricky... I've done this before on a recent business trip.

I want to keep this blog fresh and lively.  "Fresh" to me means diverse content and recent events.  The downside is that there are have been some awesomely nerdy events that happened in the recent pre-VTO blog era that I think deserve mention.

Today's nerd event (actually from June) was a first for Kansas City - we got our own mini Maker Faire this year!  So exciting!  We even delayed leaving town on a family trip to hang out here.  Before the Kansas City event was announced, I had considered a special trip to Detroit or the Bay Area for their Maker Faires.

I am really stoked on the emergence of a modern Maker movement.  It is second nature for people who like opening things up to see how they work or figuring out how to turn something old into something new.  In my personal opinion, the purely organic and spontaneous emergence of all things Maker is one of the things that will keep America from lapsing into an innovation deprived coma.  No Child Left Behind isn't doing a whole lot to stimulate creativity along with test scores.  Oops.  Got political there.

Bonus story courtesy of MAKE Magazine:  Economist Magazine on the Maker Movement 12-2011

So, presented for your viewing pleasure is a total nerd overload known as the Maker Faire.
Claire with Super Awesome Sylvia.  She is sporting the finest in Olathe Northwest Ravonics Team 1710 FIRST Robotics wear.  This is currently her high school of choice.

Slyvia and her Dad, the Tech Ninja.  This is a family of Makers.  Slyvia video blogs on tech and science projects in plain language even mortals can understand.  Tech Ninja runs a website and blog of his own.  They travel the country for Maker Faires.

Claire with a new friend.  Yeah, this took some coaxing.

Thanks Mr. Tesla for your coils.  Thank you to Mr. Faraday for the protective cage.  And thanks to Arc Attack for teaching coils to sing and creating such visual nerd goodness.  P.S.:  Claire has a slight Tesla/AC fixation.  Don't get her started.

Homegrown Kansas nerdom from Topeka.

This has to be the best use of scrap computer parts I've seen all year.

Welcome to the thrills and spills of Power Wheels Racing!  What is it?  Start with dumpster or garage sale kiddy toys, add deep cycle marine batteries and real motors and let the fun begin!  In this case, something electrical overheated.

Competitors get extra credit for flair.

I'm jealous.  I want to build one of these.
 Next year, the Kansas City Maker Faire should be bigger and better.  There is a Fab Lab located in the Northland and at least two hacker spaces in the Metro I am aware of.  I hope you enjoyed the photos of the future engineers of America club.

There are more photos on my Fotki site at http://public.fotki.com/coyotesareus/maker-faire-kc-2011/


  1. Looks like a great time full of fun for all ages!

  2. Very, very interesting. I hadn't realized that there was a whole "maker movement" with so much momentum. My eyes have been opened. Thanks.

  3. This photo series barely skims the surface of Maker culture. The Fab Lab in North Kansas City has everything to make just about anything from scratch (wrong side of the city for me, but happy it exists).

    Printing in 3D with the Makerbot is big. Ten years ago, 3D printers were in the tens of thousands of dollars range. Makerbot comes with off the shelf components, open source software and the amazing Thingiverse for roughly $1,300. Given Google sketchup or similar freeware and someone could design and upload replacement Hermes knobs ;-)

    I have an itch to go to one of the prime Maker Faires in San Francisco or New York City next year. Take a look at coverage on Make magazines website. People are making all kinds of amazing things.


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