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Meet the Maker: Todd Emmons and the Bait Dipper

26 Mar

Bait Dipper

We’ve got some great inventors showcasing some awesomely cool inventions at Gulf Coast MakerCon this year, and one of them is Todd Emmons, with his Bait Dipper, built just for the avid fisher person in your life!

We asked Todd about the Bait Dipper and his upcoming visit to Gulf Coast Maker Con.   As you can see, ToddJessica Harrelson 03-23-14 likes fishing, and also the opportunity to make a positive impact through what he loves to do – invent – and fish!

 

GCMC: What do you do?

TE:Invent new products.

GCMC: What inspired you do it?

TE: The love of fishing.

GMCM: What makes your invention different from other things that are already available?

TE: It solves a problem of retrieving live bait from a bait well or bucket.

GCMC: What will you be sharing at Gulf Coast MakerCon?

TE: The Bait Dipper. All-In-One, Aerator, Flashlight, Tackle Box & Flip Top Opening with Bait Window.

GCMC: Is this what you do full time?

TE: We are working our way there. We also are owners of an internet marking company and a construction firm.

GCMC: What do you love best about your work/product?

TE: Sharing our vision on helping out our community and being around something we love ( Fishing )

GCMC: Why do you think an event like Gulf Coast Maker Con is important?

TE: So we can inspire others, that they can do what ever they set their minds to do. Also It is part of our branding efforts as we try to attend all expos trade shows and festivals. Networking is another great source for information on advancing your product.

GCMC: What do you hope to get out of participating in Gulf Coast MakerCon?

TE: Brand awareness, helping others, and a great time meeting new people.

GCMC: Anything else you’d like to add?

TE: Yes!  Whatz Up Products Inc. with the manufacturing and assembly of the “Bait Dipper” is partnering with the Transformational Learning Center a division of Broken Beautiful Ministries, Inc. a Christ-based organization whose vision is to bring hope to a targeted area in West Pasco County, Florida by bringing together businesses to teach, train, equip and encourage individuals who are caught in a cycle of entitlement or who are re-entering into society from jail, prison time or the less fortunate. This transformation will be achieved through job training and discipleship which in turn creates self-esteem that comes from working and taking pride in their accomplishments.

You will feel a sense pride as well that you are helping make a difference in the lives of so many and that the product is “United States of America Made”.

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We hope you’re inspired by the Emmonses obvious pride in their work, and come see their BaitDipper and other great creations at Gulf Coast MakerCon!

Meet the Idea Makers: Tampa Bay Inventors Council

25 Mar

TBIC

The Tampa Bay Inventors Council (TBIC) is a long time friend and partner of LI4E, and we’re delighted to welcome them to Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014, where they’re hosting the Florida Inventors Showcase.  We talked to Wayne Rasanen, president of TBIC, to learn a bit more about his great organization and what they’re bringing to Gulf Coast MakerCon.

GCMC: What do you do?

WR:  I help coordinate the Tampa Bay Inventors Council meetings and activities plus, plus, plus…

GCMC: Why do you do it?

WR: Inventors need guidance to avoid getting ripped-off by bad actors so TBIC provides a forum where inventors can meet to share their experience.

GCMC: Why do you think it’s important or valuable?

WR: America is great because of the ideas we generate and the businesses we build. Helping that process is vital.

GCMC: How long have you been part of TBIC?

WR: Although I first attended in 1996, I have been active with the board since 2003 and president for the past eight years.

GCMC: What do like best about TBIC?

WR: I like helping people learn and connect with opportunities. When an inventor makes it on the market I’m thrilled to have helped.

in10did

Wayne showing a Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire 2013 visitor his In10Did keyboard.

GCMC: What are you bringing for folks to see or do at Gulf Coast MakerCon?

WR: TBIC has been involved with Maker events for several years and know that it is a rewarding place to be. I will be bringing my keyboard innovation but several inventors will be showing what they are working on.

GCMC: What do you hope to get out of your Makercon experience?

WR: Feedback on product development is a big plus but it is great to see what others are doing to help fuel our creative minds.

GCMC: Anything else you’d like to add?

WR: Come hungry to learn and you will leave all filled up!

As you can see, Wayne’s a busy man of few words – but as you’ll be able to see at Gulf Coast MakerCon  2014, he’s definitely a man of action, leading a great group of not just thinkers but awesome doers!  Among the inventions that will be on display on behalf of TBIC:

So head out to Gulf Coast MakerCon April 5th and 6th,  come hungry to learn – we’ll fill your plate up!

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Meet the Maker: Cameron Eckelberry, The Digital Berrybot

24 Mar

Cameron Eckelberry

We’ve got some Music Makers this year, at Gulf Coast Maker Con, including eclectic electric musician Cameron Eckelberry, performing under the name The Digital Berrybot.  We asked him to tell us a bit about himself and his work.

GCMC: What do you do?
CE: I write Electronic Music, I self-produce it and self-distribute it.

GCMC: Why do you do it? Why do you think it’s important?
CE: It makes me happy. Being lost an entire day in a sonic, creative adventure is what I live for. Not to mention, the possibility of giving someone a boost with an aesthetic, aural Cameron Eckelberrywaveband. Sometimes life can push someone down so hard that the only way to reach and bring up the person is the arts.

GCMC: How long have you been doing it?
CE: I started playing in Punk/Alt. Rock bands about 10 years ago, I started making electronic music though, about 7 years ago.

GCMC: What do like best about it?
CE: The freedom, making electronic music has empowered me to do whatever I want. Working in a band, you can be a bit restricted in regard to full artistic control, as it is generally run as a democracy. Don’t get me wrong though, that can lead to some fantastic outcomes.

GCMC: What are you bringing for folks to see or do at Gulf Coast MakerCon?
CE: I’m going to performing a live mix of my latest album . Every performance is different and I look forward to everyone getting their funk on!

GCMC: What do you hope to get out of your Makercon experience?
Technology always interests me, so I am really stoked to see all the cool gadgets people are building! Maybe we can get some cool collabs going?

Come get your funk on at Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014!

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Guest Blog: Show & Tell Isn’t Just for MakerCon

24 Mar

chuck stephensLI4E Volunteer and Maker of all Trades, Chuck Stephens, shares his thoughts on the power of sharing.
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Have you ever heard of Luigi da Vinci? Luigi was a brilliant maker during the Italian Renaissance. He spent all day building models and perfecting his ideas. He was a happy man doing whatever he wanted and exploring his curiosity. One day he’d play with his model flying machines and the next day he’d imagine new buildings or study the nature of living things. He was content to pursue his passions and the world left him to it. He mostly kept to himself but once in a while he liked to share a wineskin with his neighbor Leonardo the artist, and they would spend a nice evening talking about Luigi’s toys while Leonardo sketched amusing pictures. “

“Ah , Leonardo,” Luigi would tease. “You live your life in pictures. Men are remembered for doing, not dreaming! I build machines that fly while you sit and doodle them on parchment. What legacy is that?”

At these times the artist would smile slyly and offer Luigi another drink and soon he was off on another wild demonstration while Leonardo scribbled away.

You’ve heard of Luigi da Vinci, right? He was a genius!

To do is to be- to document is to be heard

familab

Familab sharing at LI4Es 2013 maker festival.


How is a maker different from a hobbyist? I’ve had a few lively debates about this in various forums and I think it boils down to communication- makers love to share their work and knowledge. Makers don’t read Popular Mechanics and write letters to the editor- they read tech web sites and leave comments that other readers can comment on. Makers don’t just use gadgets- they hack and modify them and then go on their blogs and tell others how to do it. While a hobbyist can enjoy their craft in isolation, a maker has a need to share what they do and how they do it. Openness and sharing are at the core of the maker movement.

Much like academia, in the maker community it’s ‘Publish or perish‘. The growth of the maker movement was fertilized with millions of blog posts, Instructables, Youtube videos, comment threads and Tweets. The internet allows enthusiasts to become ambassadors. I’ve learned everything I know about electronics from Forrest Mims’s Basic Electronics book and the internet. No matter what problems I encountered or questions I had, the answers were just a few mouse clicks away. I was able to learn everything I wanted at my own pace.

Most important- I stayed interested. I got exactly what I wanted out of electronics when I wanted it thanks to thousands of other hobbyists who took the time to post a video or answer a question on a message board. Through this easy access to shared information makers become self replicating. User created resources inspire new users who create their own resources- rinse and repeat. By documenting our work we help others become makers.

OK I’ll confess- I’m the worst! I hate to break my work flow with camera work or blog posts. Stopping to set up a camera and tripod takes time that could be spent learning and building. Even as I’m writing this article I’m thinking that the four channel mixer I’ve been working on for my lunetta synthesizer isn’t building itself. When I finish a project I’m already thinking about my next one so I rarely stop to shoot a video. I rarely even get good photographs of my projects- I just play with them and then go build new stuff.

Even when the video or photos get shot the job’s not done. At the least it needs to be trimmed and edited. You may want to add graphics and titles, animations, music or voice-overs. It may need to be reformatted to load quickly on Vimeo or Youtube. You’ll also want to write a description and add the right tags so folks can find it. In the end picking up my soldering iron and starting the next project seems like a lot less hassle.

A New (Maker) Year’s resolution

In the last couple of years, Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire, now Gulf Coast MakerCon, has become the focus of my year, project-wise. Everything falls into two categories- things to get done before MakerCon and things that I can’t start until after MakerCon. Since it has become the bookends of my year, maybe a New (Maker) Year’s resolution is in order. Mine is to better document my work.

This happens to coincide with the start of Hackaday’s new Projects page.  I signed up and started a page there but I really need to change my approach to documentation. I want to focus on video since my projects are mostly sound based. As usual I went to the internet to see what others were doing. People make instructional videos on how to make instructional videos- now that’s meta. After a few hours of good and bad advice, I found my game plan for documenting my work. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you set out to document your projects with video.

Plan your work and work your plan

overlap project notes 2Planning is the key. Figure out what you want to say and show before you start recording. It can be as simple as an outline that covers your key points or a full script- whatever works for you. Also plan the visual aspect of your video. Is there good lighting? Can the camera ‘see’ you? If you need to move or change positions can you do so without blocking the shot? If your dealing with lots of steps or movements in your video it may help to create a simple story board, a comic book-like set of sketches planning out key scenes, movements and actions. You can download story board templates from Incompetech here http://incompetech.com/graphpaper/storyboard/ Planning and visualizing your video project will help you see problems and solve them before your cameras are rolling. When I’ve made videos in the past I’ve found that hand written cue cards and a plan for the shot save me a lot of time and frustration. Planning your steps will also help you insure that you have all necessary materials handy when you need them.

Make it easy for yourself

After you have your video planned out it’s time to start filming. In my house this is always a daunting task. My workbench is in the living room so things need to be rearranged a little to make room for a tripod and lights. Since my bench is along a wall it’s hard to get a good camera angle. The best way to avoid these hassles is to plan your work space with video in mind. Avoid tripods and design camera mounts into your workbench. Action cameras like the GoPro with lots of mounting options are great for this. It can also be as simple as using squares of adhesive Velcro with a cheap webcam.

instructional video

Chuck’s instructional video on how he made a drumbot.

While it’s possible to shoot a simple video in one single take, it can get a little boring and it increases the chance of flubbed lines.. Using two cameras, or even one camera with two separate mounting spots, can make your video much better. Use a wide shot when you are talking and explaining things and a close up to show details. If you do moving shots look into making a DIY steadicam set up to make your camera movements smoother. Watch TV with an eye towards the technical details. Observe how the way something is shot makes it more interesting.

I’ve decided to use an old Manfrotto lighting clamp modified to accept a standard camera mount for my main camera. It mounts easily to my bookshelf and gives a nice long shot along the bench. I also have a small webcam with Velcro for closer angles and a custom mount for my tablet for overhead close ups of my workbench. These are all things I had laying around.

Use a similar approach to lighting. Good lighting will make a cheap camera look better. Flea markets and yard sales are a good source for lighting fixtures and lamps. The main thing to keep in mind is to provide even lighting. Avoid a single bright light as this will cause bright glare and dark shadows. Use several softer lights for better illumination from many angles. Keep your work area well lit and you will always be ready to shoot a video. I have two angle-poise desk lamps mounted on my workbench as well as a couple of small fluorescent tubes. I also use a rechargable LED flashlight with a diffuser for a detail spotlight.

The main thing to keep in mind is that the easier it is to shoot your video the more likely you will be to shoot a video. Having your camera mounts and lights in place all the time makes it much easier.

Don’t forget the audio

how to video

FTC Team Duct Tape students offer a nice little instructional video for FIRST teams.


Great video quality is no good if the audience can’t hear what you’re saying. Keep the audio in mind in your early planning stages. When you’re ready to shoot turn off the A/C or fans. If you live near traffic or playing children, close the windows. Most cameras have a built in microphone. This is fine, but if you are shooting in a noisy environment try using an external microphone or an inexpensive clip-on lavalier mic. If your demo is really loud you can always do a separate voice over later. I have a small collection of microphones and a couple of digital audio recorders but I usually just use the mics on my cameras. Think about adding some music or sound effects. Keep in mind that using music that you don’t have permission to use may get your video pulled by Youtube or Vimeo. Use royalty free music or create your own with Garage Band, Fruity Loops or similar software.

Putting it all together

video editing

Ryder, with FTC Team Duct Tape, prefers full featured editing software, but Movie Maker will do for basic needs.


The final step is editing. Editing allows you to combine video and audio clips to create your final video. You can also add titles, video and audio effects and transitions that add variety to the way one clip fades into another clip. There are plenty of free video editing programs out there, and new ones pop up all the time. Do a little research and find one that fits your needs. There are many video editing tutorials out there that will teach you the basics of your chosen program. Don’t go overboard with the effects and transitions- the information you are presenting should always be the focus. I use Windows Movie Maker and a shareware video format converter. I’ve used expensive, feature packed software in the past, but this does everything I need and it came installed on my laptop.

When you see a video you like, make a mental note about what made it interesting. Was it well written? Was the camera work smooth and clear? Were there interesting extras like graphics, titles or music? Was the presenter enthusiastic and engaging?

Don’t be afraid to learn from others and borrow from other peoples successes. That’s what being a maker is all about.

Keep it simple

The most important thing is to keep it simple. Relax- you’re just talking to some friends, not going out for an Academy Award. Just be yourself and have confidence. Don’t rely too heavily on fancy effects. A clearly presented video done in one shot without titles or effects is better than a video with so much music and graphics that it distracts from the subject. Keep your budget simple, too. A well planned, well lit video shot on a low end camera will be much better than a disorganized, shadowy mess shot in HD. If you don’t have space or decent lighting in your home, go outside. If you don’t own a camera check with your friends, local library or makerspace to see if they have equipment you can use. Work with what you have, but just do it. Learn by doing and experimenting- you can always shoot it again.

Sharing is an important part of making. Chances are you have learned a lot from others around you. Documenting your work is a great way to pay it forward and inspire someone else to try their hand at making something. Makers make makers!

Do your part or you’ll end up like Luigi da Vinci.

Remember him?

Meet the Maker: Carrie Boucher, of NOMADStudio

23 Mar

NOMADstudio Bus Logo

The diversity of Makers at this year’s DIY Celebration of the Inventive Spirit is truly wonderful, ranging from game makers to blacksmith artists to home scientists, and now a mobile art studio!  We’re very grateful that Carrie Boucher is bringing her amazing NOMADStudio art bus to Gulf Coast MakerCon.  

Here she tells us about her works with NOMADStudio and what she hopes to bring to Gulf Coast MakerCon, and check out her great TEDxYouth@TampaBay 2013 talk, below, about the power of freeing yourself of “the rules” and how that freedom unleashes creativity and achievement.

Carrie Boucher:  “I am an artist (metalsmith) and founder of NOMADstudio (the Neighborhood-Oriented Mobile Art & Design Studio). A crew of volunteers and I have converted a former Arlington Transit bus into a public art studio & classroom: the NOMAD Art Bus. Actually, the conversion is still underway, but we’re to the point that we can start getting the Art Bus out into the community so people can get on board, check it out and get creative with us!

NOMADstudio Debut at the 2014 Gasparilla Festival of the Arts

NOMADstudio Debut at the 2014 Gasparilla Festival of the Arts

“I founded NOMADstudio for several reasons. First of all I’ve always loved the idea of having an art studio on a bus. Building on that, after spending a year teaching art in an elementary/middle school environment I saw what lack of funding and focus on standardized tests were doing to our art classes. I was motivated to find a way to get more art programming out into our communities and saw the bus as a perfect vehicle to get us there…literally and figuratively.

“As the project developed it became clear to me that I wasn’t the only one who thought the idea of a studio on a bus was pretty cool. Just about everyone I spoke with got really excited about it and talked about what kinds of things they would like to do and see on the bus. So many jumped on board to help out because they wanted to see this idea become a reality. Right away it became a community project.

“We are really excited to be bringing the NOMAD Art Bus to MakerCon! When people discuss “maker culture” they often focus on artsthe modern technology aspect of it, but another fundamental aspect of it is creativity. Artistic endeavors are born from that same creative spirit and the lines between what artists do and makers do are often quite blurred…crafters and DIY-ers too, they are all innovators. Using your imagination to envision potential new uses for available raw materials, learning the skills to accomplish the project, then actually doing the work is the common equation used by all of these creatives. And getting them all to collaborate exponentially increases the potential for what can be created.

“That’s what makes events like Gulf Coast MakerCon really exciting! Being immersed in the DIY spirit is what NOMADstudio thrives on…and we love passing that spirit around…sharing ideas, experiences and knowledge! Get a group of creatives together and you’ve got a win-win every time!”

We couldn’t agree more!

Meet the Makers: The Florida Artist Blacksmith Association

22 Mar

FABAWe are very happy to welcome the Florida Artist Blacksmiths Association (FABA) to Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014.  This amazing group of artists teaches and promotes learning the skills of the blacksmith, and employing those skills for a variety of work ranging from the purely functional to the purely aesthetic.

We asked Blacksmith artist, Kirk Sullens, who will be representing the organization along with several other artists from around the state, to tell us about FABA and what they’re bringing to Gulf Coast MakerCon.

“People become blacksmiths for as many reasons as there are blacksmiths,” Sullens said. ” A major factor for becoming a blacksmith is the satisfaction of learning to make projects entirely through your own skill.

FABA 2

Blacksmith Artist Kirk Sullens demonstrating his art.

“Being a blacksmith has value even in the modern age because it is a dynamic means of self expression as well as being extremely utilitarian. I like the mental challenge of working out which processes in what succession will be best to complete a project, as well as the physical challenge of actually applying those processes to raw materials and creating the project.”

FABA demonstrators will be bringing the basic equipment needed in a forge; hammer, anvil, and fire. Visitors will see bars of steel manipulated into a variety of forms, as well as seeing the demonstrators using tools made by themselves and other smiths. Demonstrators will discuss the basic processes of blacksmithing during the demonstrations, and tell the public how to get involved in the local and national blacksmithing community.

Come see what having a lot of irons in the fire really looks like!

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Meet the Maker: Ellie Willingham, of Frontier Furs

20 Mar

Ellie This year we have a Heritage Craft  area, highlighting Makers of a different kind: People with traditional skills and expertise in fields that at one time were the cutting edge of technology, expanding trade and exploration, and improving life in myriad ways.  One of these Heritage Crafters is Ellie Willingham,  of Frontier Furs, unusual both for her skills, and for her gender in her field,  which has traditionally been male dominated.    Ms. Willingham’s exhibit was among our most popular last year, and this year she’s expanded her booth to offer a broader educational experience at Gulf Coast Maker Con 2014.

We asked her to tell more about what she does and why she does it.  We hope you enjoy her insights as much as we did!

GCMC: What do you do?

FF: I am a furrier – I make all kinds of things out of fur! Everything from hats and other winter accessories, to costuming and re-enactment attire. I Fontier Furstrap and process many of the furs myself, and others I obtain by trading with other trappers or fur crafters. I sell my furs at many local events and also online. Clients will also send me their own pelts to have made into a customized product of choice.

GCMC: How long have you been doing it?

FF: I skinned my first animal – a road killed squirrel – in my early teens and decided then I wanted to become a professional taxidermist. I did taxidermy for years until it later proved too costly to continue. So I switched to fur crafting and have enjoyed it ever since!

GCMC: What do you like about your work?

FF: I love fur crafting for countless reasons. There are so many beautiful and practical items that can be made from fur and leather, the possibilities are endless. I’m a very outdoorsy person, and during the winter I enjoy spending almost every morning out on my trapline (an area of woods set with a number of traps for furbearing species)  I have a deep respect for these animals and all they provide. I use their fur, eat their meat, and take to heart everything I can learn from tracking and observing them in their habitats. For me, it is a very natural way of being.

GCMC: Why do you think what you do is important?

FF: Much of what I do tends to get a bad rap from the media and the animal rights communities, mainly because people simply don’t understand it or have no real experience with it. And people often fear or dislike what they don’t understand. So by openly sharing my craft and teaching others about what I do, it will help the general public gain a better knowledge of this trade and to understand that it’s not all about “killing”. More so, it’s about responsibly utilizing and managing our natural resources, and preserving a traditional way of life.

Natural fur is a very renewable resource. Animals reproduce constantly, and they produce an excess in order to keep their populations stable. However if the excess is not kept in check, either through natural depredation or human harvests, many species will begin to overpopulate, which inevitably leads to spread of disease or inbreeding. In some areas where there are little or no natural predators, hunting and trapping is the most effective means of managing prolific species such as raccoons, coyotes, foxes, beavers, opossums and others.

Also, real fur is a completely natural and biodegradable product, even when processed and tanned. If discarded in a landfill, a piece of real fur or leather will eventually break down and disintegrate from the weather. Faux fur on the other hand, as well as synthetic leathers, are comprised of man-made materials, typically containing petroleum and plastics, which will never decompose in our lifetimes.

GCMC: The “Maker”community is often equated with high tech topics, but we believe the makers of heritage traditions are equally important. Why do you think what you do and make has value to the DIY community?

FF: In this high-tech world, I think it’s very important for people to see the simpler side of things, to know that many traditional methods and crafts still exist and are still being used today because of their timeless reliability. The only way we can pass on these heritage traditions, and to keep them going, is to expose and teach them to our future generations.

GCMC: What kind of demonstrations will you be doing at GCMC?

I will be demonstrating how to process fur from start to finish, and will also give a few tips on how to properly prepare wild game meat. Using a freshly harvested raccoon and opossum, I will show how to skin these animals and dress the meat, then get the pelts prepared for tanning. You will also get to try a taste of my special raccoon jerky!

GCMC: Will you have any interactive components?

I will have a “touch table” with all kinds of fur pelts and examples of products that I’ve made out of fur, along with the above-mentioned samples of raccoon jerky for anyone to try. It’s surprisingly tasty!

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You can meet Ms. Willingham and learn more about her timeless craft at Gulf Coast MakerCon April 5th & 6th.  Advanced discount tickets are available now – eventbrite button

 

Call for Makers Extended to March 21st!

13 Mar

Future is brightWe’ve gotten a rush of inquiries and interest, so we’re extending our Call for Makers through March 21st.   Learn more about Gulf Coast MakerCon here, and apply via the form below.  It’s free for educational and demo exhibits, and just $75 for the weekend for vendors!  All Makers will have a 10×10 foot area, a 6 ft. table and two chairs. The rest is up to you! Make it Awesome!

If you’re interested in flying your maker flag as a sponsor at Gulf Coast MakerCon, please check out our sponsorship opportunities, too!

Meet the Maker: Daniel Flisek, Mr. Home Scientist

10 Mar

Daniel FlisekHome ScientistDaniel Flisek is a civilian Physicist working for the US Navy with a self-professed ” strong interest in chemistry on the side.”

We  asked him to tell us a bit about himself and what he’s bringing to Gulf Coast MakerCon.

DF: “I have a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Virginia Tech, and I really got interested in chemistry only after I graduated. I originally got into amateur chemistry when I read Theodore Gray’s amazing website on his periodic table collection, and I decided I wanted to start my own.

“At first chemistry was a way to isolate elements for my collection by freeing them from their compounds, but my interest quickly grew to encompass all of the amazing things that can be done with the science. I’m particularly interested in inorganic chemistry and metallurgy.”

Daniel hosts a YouTube channel and blog, where he posts videos and write-ups of the experiments he does in his home laboratory.  (What? You don’t have a home laboratory?)

” The goal of all this,” says Daniel, ” is that I want to spread excitement and interest in science. Too often, kids get turned off to science (particularly chemistry) in school because the teachers either don’t have the background and aren’t aware of any exciting demos, aren’t able to do them because of lack of funds, or are too worried about liability. I’m trying to rekindle the spark of the scientist in people young and old by sharing what I do, and showing off some of the amazing things that can be done if you just put your mind to it.”

Look for some real sparks, at Gulf Coast MakerCon, too.  In addition to a static exhibit (which may have static) that will feature an Element display, Daniel will also be creating some showy chemical reactions for us.

“I think community maker events are a great opportunity for people to share the cool things they do with others,” says Daniel. “It’s also a terrific thing to demonstrate the incredible things people can do at home, and that you don’t need fancy equipment, a huge bank account, or a PhD to accomplish some pretty amazing things.”

If you want to see Daniel, and some fine chemistry, in action, get your tickets today

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Gulf Coast MakerCon for Educators

9 Mar
GCMC educator cover

Click on the image to download a copy of the Gulf Coast MakerCon Educators Guide.

The “maker” movement is simply the DIY creative spirit reignited for the 21st century. It’s a return to self-sufficiency, self-reliance and creativity, providing engaging and hands-on opportunities to inspire, educate, and entertain curious and creative learners of all ages. It celebrates arts, crafts, engineering, food, green design, music, science and technology and brings together communities who embrace the DIY (do-it-yourself) spirit.  There are lots of ways to “make” education happen in this very active learning experience, and to engage students in active learning at Gulf Coast MakerCon.

We’ve compiled some resources for educators interested in visiting Gulf Coast MakerCon with their students, or just looking for classroom take-aways.  The weekend will be rich with hands on learning opportunities for all ages, and will hopefully inspire some ideas for classroom enrichment in the process.

The overall goal of Gulf Coast MakerCon is to help people of all ages become empowered creators of their future and ours, to feel capable of creating, repairing, inventing, adapting, handling, trying , and becoming active and engaged producers instead of passive consumers . To that end we hope that both youth and adults will take the opportunity of Gulf Coast MakerCon to:

  • Meet and interact with all our Makers, who are sharing their unique passions and projects.deconstruction
  • Explore the wide variety of exhibits and presentations that will be available throughout the weekend.
  •  Experience a live performance or demonstration.
  • Engage in a hands-on project or activity that you can take home.
  •  Collaborate on a project or share experiences with people of all ages.
  • Learn about the power of the Maker community.
  • Be inspired, as a student or member of the public, to try at least one new idea at home or at school.
  • Be inspired, as a teacher, to bring at least one new idea for active making into the classroom.
  • Get a sense of the wonder and value of following your passion!
  • Inspire Curiosity in the world around you!

If you’re a public school teacher in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, or Polk county and would like to bring groups of ten or more students to Gulf Coast MakerCon, please drop us a line at info@learningis4everyone.org so we can provide you with a classroom rate, and help maximize the educational impact of your visit.

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