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Gulf Coast MakerCon: A Look at the Maker Community

29 Jun

Nice video about Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 from Wayne Rasanen, inventor of the In10Did keyboard, and president of the Tampa Bay Inventors Council,  one of our Gulf Coast MakerCon partners.   Thank you, Wayne!

Help us Build our Maker Community!

15 Apr

blacksmithsThe creative DIY entrepreneurial community has grown considerably on the Florida west coast over the last few davinci fair signyears, due in no small measure to celebratory showcase events  like Gulf Coast MakerCon,  and Bar Camps in Sarasota and Tampa, which are increasingly broadening their offerings beyond their already amazing open sharing presentation programs to include things like  DaVinci’s Faire at Sarasota Bar Camp recently, and FIRST robotics teams flinging frisbees during Bar Camp Tampa Bay breaks.

After some stirring of the collaborative soup in recent months, groups and individuals on both sides of the Bay(s), have come to realize that self-organizing is possible at all levels and have begun to produce a variety of events, makerspaces and hackerspaces,  and programs at a true grassroots level, freeing creativity, speeding innovation, and fostering powerful open sharing across the board.

Gulf Coast MakerCon is delighted to take its place in that creative community, collaboratively produced by like-minded individuals who value, in the words of Andreas Schleicher, speaking from the Global Education & Skills Forum in Dubai recently,  ” a world in which the enriching power of communication and collaborative flows is increasing” and a where “success will be with those who master the new forms of collaboration.”

what do you makeOn the leading edge of that world, we want to continue building our Maker Community here on the Gulf Coast of Florida together, and invite you to share your events, programs, inventions, ideas, insights and resources here, where we’re  One Maker for All, and All Makers for One!

There are lots of ways to use this site to grow our shared community.

So don’t just wait for the future you want – come Make it happen now!

 

Are you Ready?!

4 Apr

IMG_5844 It’s almost time! The arena is set up for USF-RIGs Battles at MakerCon, IMG_5855the pennants are up by the entrance, the volunteers are prepped, we’ve got the Electrathon track mapped out, the programs are printed, the games are packed and waiting, the electronics are charging,  and the makers are marking time until the gates open at 10am tomorrow morning!

IMG_5849Advanced ticket sales end at midnight!

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T -1 to Gulf Coast MakerCon!

3 Apr

t-shirts-c We’re Excited! Are You?!

The t-shirts are here!

The program is ready!

The Makers are pumped and the Volunteers are prepped!

All that’s missing is YOU!

Just one more day to get your discounted tickets for a weekend of creative awesomeness!

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Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 Program Now Online!

2 Apr

Program cover The Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 Event Program is be printed as we write, and available here online for you right now, to download! (Many thanks to MityMo for stylistic support and to DEX Imaging for printing services!thumbs_tabletopday2014_600x500

Check out our great line up of Makers, and our list of pre-scheduled workshops and demos.   Many more demos will be posted on-site Saturday and Sunday, by Makers running presentations at their booths.

Saturday we’re celebrating International Tabletop Day all day, in our Gaming Corner.  There will be a National Robotics League competition – Battle at MakerCon – underway throughout the day, as well, in the Robotics area, thanks to USF-RIG, with 15 lb. and under fighting robots duking it out.  Sunday look for some smashing fun with bigger robots and the demise of old electronics.Gulf Coast MakerCon Makers and Floorplan

The weather’s looking fine, and there will be something for everyone to enjoy all weekend long!

Discount tickets good for the full weekend are available through Friday evening online at Eventbrite.

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Tickets at the gate on Saturday and Sunday are $15 for adults, for the day, and $8 for kids 6-12.  Children ages 5 and under are free.  Fairgrounds parking is $6.

Meet the Robot Makers!

8 Mar

Robots are a big part of any maker event, and Gulf Coast MakerCon is no exception.  We’ll have a variety of robots on hand – bouncing balls, flinging frisbees, butlering and battling to the (near) death, a grand kick off for National Robotics Week, and just plain old fun for our 3rd Annual Celebration of the DIY Inventive  Spirit!

BAMThe USF Robotics Interest Group is hosting B.A.M.  – Battle at MakerCon – at GCMC.  The USF- Robotics Interest Group (RIG) focuses on sharing knowledge about designing and building robotic devices, promoting robotics at USF, and representing USF in robotics competitions. One of our major focuses is on combat robotics. Popularized by the TV show Battlebots, combat robotics involves a competition where two robots enter an enclosed arena, and fight for a set period of time or until one of the robots has been disabled. Through designing and working on these robots, students learn the principles of design, manufacturing, and programming. RIG will be hosting NRL (National Robotics League) 15 lb and under class fighting robotics competitions at Gulf Coast MakerCon, similar to the video.

Lego mindstorms nxt CNC-FräseThe Fun with Bots group will feature a variety of LEGO Mindstorms projects courtesy of the youth Lutz Robotics Club, who is also building a LEGO CNC lathe (who knew right?!)  that they’ll be fwblogodemonstrating.

And we’ll have a veritable army of FIRST robots, including FIRST LEGO League, FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition teams , with student built robots guests can learn about and drive, like the robots 

FIRST in FL logoyou’ll see in the video below from LI4E’s ROBOCON Tampa Bay event back in October.

So if you like robots, Gulf Coast Maker Con’s the place to be April 5th & 6th!

Advanced, discounted tickets are on sale now!

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Meet the Hero Makers: Cosplay for the Greater Good

21 Feb

HAWe made the acquaintance of the Heroes Alliance at Otronicon in Orlando a couple of months back.   It wasn’t so much their Heroes Alliancecostumes as the joyful reactions they produced in everyone around them, that made us come calling.  We were delighted when they agreed to be part of this year’s Gulf Coast MakerCon.

The Heroes Alliance is a non profit organization founded in 2005 right here in Tampa Bay, by a group of prop makers and costumers “who want to give back to the community through the costumes that we make. ”   The organization has expanded throughout the United States and now even has a sister branch in the UK.  They make regular appearances at community and children-oriented charity events–from helping local law enforcement with community functions to visiting sick children in the hospital to help brighten their spirits. Some of the groups we have worked with in the past are Give Kids the World, Base Camp, All Children’s Hospital, FOCUS among many others.

We chatted with John Frosbutter, the Tampa branch leader of the Heroes Alliance, to learn a little more about the group.

GCMC:  What’s  your day job? What are some examples of the jobs other members hold in their day to day lives?

J.F.    I am an IT person for the University of South Florida.  Our members all have very different jobs, some are self employed some work retail and so on.super heroes

GCMC:  What do you like best about being part of the Heroes Alliance?

J.F.  I think what I enjoy the most is the smiles on kids faces.  When you see a kid smile when meeting their favorite super hero it warms your heart.

 GCMC:  Do you really think you can make the world a better place by dressing up as a super hero?

heroesJ.F.   I truly believe that what we do helps make the world for kids better.  We visited all children’s one morning as the kids were waking up and one little boy looked at us rubbed his eyes and looked at his parents and said “I told  you they were real mom”.  It was great.

GCMC: Some of you are prop makers.  Can you tell me a bit about that?

J.F. We have all different skills, some of us make armor, molds for masks, and some are just really good at sewing.  We use our combined skill sets to work as a team to build the suits that we wear.

GCMC:  Gulf Coast MakerCon is a Celebration of the DIY Inventive Spirit; it’s about empowering people to be makers of their own future and ours – in short, to be heroes. What message does the Heroes Alliance bring to Gulf Coast MakerCon? 

J.F. We are all about community involvement and learning.  Anything that you can do to help someone is something. Even the little things make a difference to someone else.

We think the Heroes Alliance is a big thing and we’re grateful they’re joining us at Gulf Coast MakerCon.  In addition to their heroic presence, they may also do a prop making session for us.   Thanks, Heroes Alliance! You’re definitely Super Heroes in our book!

Gulf Coast MakerCon Inventors Showcase & More!

10 Jan

Make Your WeekendLI4Es Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 will feature festivals within our festival, with a Youth Maker Festival, Robotics competitions and exhibits, and a Florida Inventors Showcase, hosted in collaboration with the Tampa Bay Inventors Council, one of our event partners.

Want to be part of the Showcase?  Include “Inventors Showcase” in the comments section of your Makers application here .  

We’re also looking for educational and commercial exhibitors who can showcase the celebratory spirit of innovation and inventiveness. We’re looking for Makers who provide interesting, interactive, and engaging experiences and innovative waresthat can help educate, inspire and motivate event goers to become active and empowered makers in their own lives.

Individuals as well as groups such as hobbyist clubs and schools are welcome to apply to exhibit. Here’s some of what we’re looking for:apply button

  • Student Projects
  • Music Performance and Participation
  • 3D Printers and CNC Mill
  • Heritage crafts and trades
  • Green Tech
  • Radios, Vintage Computers and Game Systems
  • Electronics
  • Electric Vehicles
  • Biology/Biotech and Chemistry Projects
  • Food and Beverage Makers
  • Bicycle tech
  • Shelter (Tents, Domes, etc.)
  • Unusual Tools or Machines and much more!

eventbrite buttonEarlybird registration runs through Feb. 28th and is just $30 for a Family/Friend 4 pack or $15 per person, for both days. Individual advanced tickets for children ages 5-12 are just $8 for both days. Children under age 5 are free!  Ticket costs at the gate, the day of the event, will be $15/day adults (13+); $8/day for kids ages 5-12.

 

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Happy Holidays from Gulf Coast Makers!

24 Dec

Holiday greeting

Gulf Coast MakerCon Early Bird Tickets Now on Sale!

19 Dec

Take advantage of our Early Bird ticket sales for Gulf Coast MakerCon, and get admission for the full weekend at half the rate of a one day pass, paid the day of, at the gate! Early Bird tickets will be on sale now through Feb. 28th.

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Click here to Buy Tickets!

Interested in being a Maker? Click the button!apply button

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