Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bits, Bytes, and Bots

http://www.bbb-atlanta.com/uploads/4/7/7/9/4779477/1363229384.pngBB&B is proud to offer technology programs that give children elementary through high school age a creative environment where they can explore and invent! Courses include robotics, game creation, app game development, stop motion movie making, web design and so much more!

Come meet our robot friends, play some video games and enter to win a free Robot Birthday Party

http://www.bbb-atlanta.com

Google Signs on as Presenting Sponsor for Atlanta Mini Maker Faire 2013

7-google-logo-styleATLANTA, GA, Jun 03, 2013 – Atlanta Mini Maker Faire returns to Georgia Tech on Saturday, October 26th. Google, which has a data center in Douglas County and an office in Atlanta, is sponsoring the third annual event.

A celebration of “makers,” the Atlanta Mini Maker Faire is a free, family-friendly showcase of everything from robots, electric cars, 3D printers, vintage computing, textiles, painting, artificial intelligence, music, sculptures, crafts, home fabrication, and much more! Atlanta Mini Maker Faire’s mission is to entertain, inform, connect and inspire thousands of Makers and aspiring Makers.

Watch “BattleBots” go head to head. Ride a bicycle made entirely of wood! Build your own circuit board. Draw in 3D. Play catch with a robot! And meet thousands of other enthusiasts, builders, educators, students, tinkerers, hobbyists, artists, speakers, and experts from every field. Participate in interactive exhibits on everything from environmentalism to time travel. Woodworking to metallurgy. There’s no telling what you’ll find among the hundreds of exhibitions at the Atlanta Mini Maker Faire. So that you don’t miss a thing, activities and speakers will be streamed live on air via Google+ Hangouts.

Often called “The Biggest Show (and Tell) on Earth,” the original Maker Faire in San Mateo, California has inspired countless cities to produce their own Mini Maker Faires, spreading the “maker” movement and a do-it-yourself (DIY) mindset across the world. With over 6,000 in attendance last year, and the generous sponsorship of Google, this year’s Atlanta Mini Maker Faire promises to be the biggest one yet!

The Atlanta Mini Maker Faire will be held Saturday, October 26th from 10am to 5pm at Georgia Tech. For more information visit makerfaireatl.com

About Google Inc.

Google is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information. Google’s innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top Internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world.

 About Maker Media

Maker Media is a global platform for connecting makers with each other, with products and services, and with our partners. Through media, events and ecommerce, Maker Media serves a growing community of makers who bring a DIY mindset to technology. The launch of MAKE Magazine in 2005, followed by Maker Faire in 2006, jumpstarted a worldwide Maker Movement, which is transforming innovation, culture and education. Located in Sebastopol, CA, Maker Media is the publisher of MAKE Magazine and the producer of Maker Faire. It also develops “getting started” kits and books that are sold in its Maker Shed store as well as in retail channels.

Contact:

Kimberly Varney

atlminimakerfaire@gmail.com

tel: 404-919-5108

Images and Logos available: http://makerfaireatl.com/media/

Twitter @atlmakerfaire  | Facebook.com/ATLMMF | Google+ Atlanta Mini Maker Faire

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Call for Makers! A Mini Mini Maker Faire in Sandy Springs this summer!

Atlanta Mini Maker Faire has been invited to the Sandy Springs Public Library to introduce their teen members to Makers and Maker Faires. We’re looking for a good half-dozen Makers to come and contribute to a mini display and presentation. Interactive activities, robots, and other teen-friendly makers are encouraged. This is a great opportunity to showcase the Atlanta Maker community. RSVP if you’ll come, and email us if you’d like to present.

http://www.meetup.com/Atlanta-Makers/events/111935682/

Sandy Springs

Growing AMMF13

Last evening, our planning team had a chance to chat with Sabrina Merlo, from Make Media. Sabrina manages all of the Maker Faires and we’re grateful she found some time for us. She offered some valuable insight and inspiration for this year’s event. One the ideas that really caught our attention was the attendance required to drop the ‘Mini’ and become a Maker Faire. That level is 10,000 attendees, and would put us in the company of New York, Detroit, and San Francisco. Last year, we estimate 6000-7500 were in attendance; being more than halfway there is great inspiration to grow our faire by leaps and bounds this year!

To reach that milestone, we’ll need everyone’s support. In the next few weeks, we’ll outline volunteer opportunities and ways you can join our social media crew to help spread the word. Right now, we’re asking your help in creating the brand for AMMF13. We’d like to be the Maker hub of the South. What does that look like? What phrase captures that idea? What images? Send us your ideas. When we have a good ideas of what we’re looking for, we’ll have a design contest for the official art of AMMF2013.

We’re also looking for a Volunteer Manager and Marketing Director to join our planning team. Both are volunteer positions and would require about 2 hours of face time per month for the next 6 months, and then about 2 hours per week for September and October.

Email your interest and branding ideas to <atlminimakerfaire@gmail.com>. We intend to post ideas online, so let us know if you’re not ok with that.

-The AMMF13 Team

Maker Interviews: David Greelish

Credit: David Greelish

Credit: David Greelish

David Greelish is a Computer Historian, Writer, Podcaster & Speaker. He is also the Founder of the Atlanta Historical Computing Society which participated in the 2012 Atlanta Mini Maker Faire.  He has written a book about computer history, The Complete Historically Brewed, and he has organized the Vintage Computer Festival Southeast coming up on April 20-21 in Roswell, Georgia.

I recently interviewed him to highlight the Makers who replicate classic computers, rebuild vintage computers to make them function in new ways, and make USB keys for classic computers. We had a fun conversation exploring the passion, joy, and nostalgia for classic computing.

The questions I ask range from the Apple Pop-Up Museum at the Festival to the creations made by vintage computer buffs.

3D Printing Hackathon

Credit: James Coleman

Credit: James Coleman

On Saturday, February 9th, two local makerspaces, Freeside Atlanta and My Inventor Club, hosted their first ever 3D Printing Hackathon.  The free event, hosted in their adjacent spaces in West Atlanta, gave folks in the community an opportunity to witness 3D printing firsthand, while at the same time learning about related topics like 3D design and 3D scanning.  Well over 50 people attended, with some making the trip from as far away as Chattanooga.

Credit: James Coleman

Credit: James Coleman

The highlight of the event was its panel, drawing some well respected names from the 3D printing community.  As an illustration of how technology is removing some of the traditional barriers to bringing people together, many of the speakers were not present physically.  Organizers hosted a Google hangout and projected the discussion onto a huge screen for event attendees.

Here are some of the highlights:

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Brain, Hands, and Soul at Play

Dr. Stuart Brown, in his book, Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul, tells the story about how the Jet Propulsion Laboratory realized that, although they were hiring the best and brightest college graduates, it was hiring the wrong kind of people. Something had changed in the kind of people that came to work at JPL.

“The JPL managers went back to look at their own retiring engineers and … found that in their youth, their older, problem-solving employees had taken apart clocks to see how they worked, or made soapbox derby racers, or built hi-fi stereos, or fixed appliances. The young engineering school graduates who had also done these things, who had played with their hands, were adept at the kinds of problem solving that management sought.

“Those who hadn’t, generally were not. From that point on, JPL made questions about applicants’ youthful projects and play a standard part of job interviews. Through research the JPL managers discovered that there is a kind of magic in play.”

–entire post copied from the Makerspace Playbook PDF

A Growth Mindset

When trying something new, I often experience a lot of internal misery. I tend to get scared, anxious, and full of doubt. I blame it on schooling. I think school comes loaded with a kind of virus that alters your operating system in a detrimental way.

We’re all born with this incredible willingness to tackle new problems: how to walk, how to talk. As an infant, I didn’t care if I stumbled, fell over, sounded stupid. I was going to accomplish these goals no matter what. There was no embarrassment, there was no shame, there was no fear of what others would think.

Somewhere along the way, things changed.  School is so focused on getting things right, on being perfect, on getting it correct the first time. It warps our understanding of what it means to learn. It fundamentally alters how we perceive challenges.

Instead of relishing the opportunity of diving into a thorny problem, I tend to hold back, raise shields, and cower.

In Carol Dweck’s research studying children’s reactions to hard puzzles, she was prepared to document how they struggled with difficult challenges:

Confronted with the hard puzzles, one ten-year-old boy pulled up his chair, rubbed his hands together, smacked his lips, and cried out, “I love a challenge!” Another, sweating away on these puzzles, looked up with a pleased expression and said with authority, “You know, I was hoping this would be informative!”

What’s wrong with them? I wondered. I always thought you coped with failure or you didn’t cope with failure. I never thought anyone loved failure.

As I read this excerpt from Mindset, I realized how far I am from this “growth mindset” that Dr. Dweck explored. In many ways, I am stuck in the “fixed mindset” that demands validation and proof that one is good, smart, and intelligent. The fixed mindset assumes that these traits are unchangeable. The growth mindset recognizes that things like creativity, intelligence, and problem-solving are all skills that can be continually improved upon.

I’m aware that many, if not all, Makers seem to hold the growth mindset. They relish challenges, they want to stretch themselves, they want to try and do things that they have never done before.

Instead of attending school, I’d like my children to spend their days with Makers so they can soak up this growth mindset and avoid the fixed mindset. In fact, it seems that what we really need as a human race is a whole lot more people with the growth mindset in order to tackle and overcome the many challenges we face. What’s exciting to me is to see groups, schools, and camps all over the world who have this approach in mind: Brightworks in San Francisco (Gever Tulley’s year-round school), The Tinkering School (summer camp with partners in several cities around the U.S.), Leonardo’s Basement in Minneapolis, and the forming Decatur Maker Space right here in Atlanta.

Welcome to Craig Lambert

Hey everyone – in the interest of keeping the Atlanta Mini Maker Faire spirit alive all throughout the year, we’ve had a kind individual sign on to be our first official writer. AMMF community, meet Craig; Craig, meet the AMMF community!

Here’s a bio about Craig so you can get to know him too:

Craig Lambert is an educator who has taught in public schools, Waldorf Schools, and a Free School. He currently runs an in-home preschool (thelambertschool.com) and a program for teens to do apprenticeships & internships in any field instead of attending high school. Craig writes a daily blog about hands-on, experiential education (pullnotpush.wordpress.com). His Maker contributions include Sci-Fi-Shakespeare comic books, knitting, and a rules-lite RPG system.

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Recap. Rethink. Remake.

So how was 2012 for Makers in Atlanta? What can 2013 be?

Here’s your chance to rehash AMMF 2012, talk about Atlanta’s Maker scene and shape the future of both!

MASS collective will host a walkthough of their exciting new space and share their vision for the future. We’ll then wander over to No Mas Cantina for a late lunch and brainstorming session. If you are, or want to be a part of the quickly booming Maker scene in Atlanta, this is the holiday gathering for you! On the fun side, we’ll have some cool swag if you know more than the next guy in our Maker Trivia game, and we’ll be clearing out the AMMF2012 tee inventory – it’s the perfect $5 stocking stuffer!

And if we get into the tequila, there might be a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity.

We’ll be doing this on Saturday, December 8th from 12:30pm to 3:00pm.

To organize this - and future - events, we’re using the Atlanta Makers group on Meetup.com. Please head to the event page on there and RSVP if you plan on coming so we have an accurate head count for the restaurant. And of course, if you have any questions, please free to shoot us an email at atlminimakerfaire@gmail.com!