Robot Day at Central Library

Robot Day MC of Jacobs Auditorium

Robot Day, Introducing Speakers in Jacobs Auditorium

Robots and libraries. They’re not a natural combination most of the time but where San Diego Central Library (CL) is concerned, they’re hand in glove. That’s because the CL has embraced making as just another way of delivering on their mission of providing learning resources to the community. In that context why not have robots in the library?

On Robot Day 30 maker exhibitors ranging from quadcopter flyers to robot competition teams to Maker Faire San Diego had booths. In addition there were 15 hands-on exhibits where people could build brush bots or construct bridges. It was a fabulous day which brought more people to the library than any day since it’s opening day 18 months ago.

Check out this delightful little video done by Team Rise of Hephaestus: Continue reading

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A Maker Festival for Education

STEAM Maker Fest

It’s fabulous to collaborate with a sympathetic leader to accomplish something important. Victor Ciccarelli of 3RsRobotics, STEAM in the Park, Super Build Challenge and many other maker education initiatives decided to launch a maker festival focused on education in San Diego. The event we collaborated on was called STEAM Maker Festival and it debuted on December 6, 2014. It was a hit!  Continue reading

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Enlisting Makers Against Ebola

Colorized Ebola Virus (by Cynthia Goldsmith)

Colorized Ebola Virus (by Cynthia Goldsmith)

The dream was to activate the large and distributed community of creative makers to help solve problems dogging the Ebola crisis. With a sense of urgency that didn’t allow for good metrics planning I started publishing the series below. Our combined hope was to attract many a maker to OpenIDEO’s Fighting Ebola ideation platform and that good ideas would lead to great prototypes which became relief-providing solutions.
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Vocademy Makerspace

Vocademy's Signage Proudly Proclaims it's a "Makerspace"!

Vocademy’s Signage Proudly Proclaims it’s a “Makerspace”!

Maker Faires are great coming-together celebrations of the maker movement so when a new one comes on the radar I want to be supportive and share what I know. In addition to bringing the latest Maker Faire to SoCal, Vocademy is both a new makerspace and a new variation on maker education. Package the promise of all this into one visit and I’m there!

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Making a Maker Campus

What's the big deal about "making"?

What’s the big deal about “making”?

Often when maker communities become aware of one another they begin to collaborate. That’s a concept I’ve seen play out many time, most recently in San Diego after our Mini Maker Faire. Harnessing this insight and being deliberate with its development can lead to great things. This idea has led to the Making a Maker City symposium at MakerCon and Making a Maker Campus which debuted this past week at Oregon State University.

The kickoff at OSU was my speech entitled “What’s the big deal about Making?
My talk argued that OSU should capitalize on the Maker Movement. Making provides an opportunity to develop tacit learning skills, teaches collaboration and fosters a healthy creative community. Students graduating from such a university will be more employable and will have the ability to remain valuable employees. However, my speech was just the start of a process. Continue reading

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Maker Faire Sponsorship

SDMMF's Premier Sponsor

SDMMF’s Premier Sponsor

Maker Faires cost money. Big or small, being able to fund your operation is very important and raising money doesn’t rank anywhere among the “fun to do activities” list of Maker Faire, unless perhaps last. Still, being able to pay your bills and emerging without debt makes this a critical undertaking. So what did we learn from our experience in San Diego? Continue reading

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San Diego Central Library Opens

SDMMF Booth at the Library Opening Event

SDMMF Booth at the Library Opening Event

Today was symbolically and practically an important day for making in San Diego. The new Central Library opened and the Maker Faire team participated in the celebration with a booth. The building, its resources and its programs all represent the dawn of a new age.

The old library was your classic “shooshing library”. It was all about books, quiet, and shared computers for Internet access. The new library stands in stark contrast. Not only is it amazing architecture, it contains new things and does new things. This library has 3D printers, a media studio, a teen makerspace, and classes on such things as Auduino and Raspberry Pi. It will have a coffee bar and has a juice bar for kids. There’s so much new and different that it’s hard to believe the two libraries are in any way related. Continue reading

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Library Makerspace Tour

“What next?” cringed the librarian.

As lending books becomes a less dominant theme within libraries, the question asked is “What next?” I took a cross-country tour visiting a variety of libraries which have expressed interest in makerspaces to learn what they’re planning. My goal was to gain a little insight to help advance the aspiration of having more libraries offer making programs and more maker spaces. I will be sharing my learnings with the library and maker communities through MAKE and American Libraries, the journal of the American Libraries Association.

There were ten libraries I visited and spoke with from which I drew a few conclusions.
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