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!
I want us all to think about new and creative ways to engage young people in science and engineering, whether it’s science festivals, robotics competitions, fairs that encourage young people to create and build and invent — to be makers of things, not just consumers of things. President Obama, 2009
It’s a big week for makers, with some big time cred coming out of the White House on June 18th with the first ever White House Maker Faire! When we hosted Tampa Bay’s first Maker Festival in 2012, it was a relatively new concept for folks trying to get their minds around just what a “maker” was. Now it’s a “movement”, celebrated nationwide as a vital part of a vibrant, relevant and productive future for all of us.
The White House Maker Faire is intended to “celebrate America’s students and entrepreneurs who are inventing the future with … new technologies and techniques. …The event will feature Makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs of all ages who are using cutting-edge tools to bring their ideas to life.”
To really kick up the party, June 18 will also be a nationwide Day of Making, where communities across America are invited to share and celebrate their involvement in the Maker Movement. Make Magazine is inviting makers to mark the week by signing the “Building Maker Communities” pledge. Signers get a free PDF of the book “Zero to Maker” by David Lang, and can also list their Day of Making events on the #NationofMakers map.
So what are you waiting for? Get Making in America!
We know you’re out there – incredible makers doing amazing things with electronics, wood, textiles, concrete blocks,pvc pipes, old chairs, Spanish moss – you name it, we know you do it! So we’re inviting you, the awesome makers of the Gulf Coast, to contribute articles to our Gulf Coast Makers blog. There are a few simple rules:
- We’re looking for informative, interesting ideas, opinions, news, stories & how-tos (See How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Arduino and Show & Tell isn’t Just for MakerCon , both by Chuck Stephens)
- No overt advertising and self-promotional pieces please, although we invite you to include a bio and links we’ll use at the end of your article
- Keep it family friendly
- Be generous with illustrations – photos, sketches, CAD and more are welcome
- Videos are welcome
Beyond that, we got nothin’ , not even word limits! Although if your piece is really long, we might run it in multiple parts. Just write, share, have fun!
Please note that we do reserve the right to reject contributions that are not in what we believe to be the spirit of Gulf Coast Makers. There is no compensation for contributions, just the joy of sharing your awesomeness!
Please drop us a line via our Contact page, to let us know if you’d like to be a guest blogger , and help us show everybody what an amazing Maker Community we have in the Gulf Coast! We also welcome news of your events, meet ups, open makes and more on our Calendar page.
We had so much fun at Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014, we’ve already got the Special Events Center at the Florida Fairgrounds reserved for April 18, 2015 for next year’s event! We’re scaling back to a one day event, but running from 10am to 8pm, adding some programming, and recruiting some great new Makers, and we’ve got a fantastic planning team together that will Make it all happen!
Stay connected via our Facebook page and Twitter, and keep an eye on our MakerCon page to see when our Call for Makers goes live at the end of the year.
Start planning now to get your Make on at Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015!
The creative DIY entrepreneurial community has grown considerably on the Florida west coast over the last few years, 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.”
On 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.
- Write Guest blogs
- Join the Gulf Coast Makers Consortium (it’s free – just send us your info and we’ll list you!)
- Add you events to the Gulf Coast Makers Calendar
- Join in on Facebook and Twitter
- Send us your Announcements to share here
- Be part of the Gulf Coast MakerCon planning team!
So don’t just wait for the future you want – come Make it happen now!
Gulf coast MakerCon, Tampa Bay’s 3rd Annual Celebration of the DIY Inventive Spirit brought everything from Blacksmith Artists, to Electric Race Cars and fighting robots to the Florida Fairgrounds Special Events Center West, at 4800 Highway 301 North in Tampa, on April 5 & 6.
Gulf Coast MakerCon was an Affiliate Event of the USA Science & Engineering Festival, as well as a recognized National Robotics Week event, and a recognized International Tabletop Day event, co-hosted by Suncoast Skirmishers, where tabletop gaming enthusiasts tried out everything from Dungeons & Dragons to board games and card games.
Over 550 guests enjoyed browsing 50 technical, creative and professional exhibits covering everything from patent development and the inventive process, to 3D printing, programming, mechanical and electrical design, green tech and open source technologies, with a special Young Makers section for kids and families helped along by the great folks at the Community Innovation Center in downtown Tampa, and Sarasota Scientific Instruments. The Tampa Tribune and Fox New 13 came gave us some nice coverage, too!
In the Robotics Showcase, guests enjoyed student built robotics by FIRST teams, and the University of South Florida Robotics Interest Group 15 lb. and under class fighting robot competitions. We also had a Makerspace Makers Corner, a Florida Inventors Showcase hosted by the Tampa Bay Inventors Council, Electrathon of Tampa Bay student built electric race cars, and some energetic chemistry demos by Mr. Home Scientist, Dan Flisek. The Florida Artist Blacksmiths Association was a huge hit, working their magic to turn iron rods into roses and other art.
Many many thanks to our great sponsors Hillsborough County, Gabotronics and Learning is for Everyone, Inc. and to our in-kind partners, DEX Imaging , Mity-Mo Creative, Studio 7 Communications and F5 Live Refreshing Technology who broadcast live from Gulf Coast MakerCon all afternoon on Saturday!
We’ve already got our amazing planning team in place and the Special Events Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds reserved again for next spring, so stay tuned for Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015!
And in the meantime, stay connected on our Facebook page and through Twitter, send us your events and announcements, and join the Gulf Coast Makers Consortium and keep the momentum going in building our Gulf Coast Makers Community!
Visit Plughitz F5 Live Refreshing Technology to see more great video and interviews from Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014!
We had a terrific first day at Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014! The weather was gorgeous, making for picture perfect runs of the Electrathon racers, breezes under the trees where the blacksmith artists worked, and generally a perfect Florida spring day to celebrate innovation, creativity and invention!
Check out our Day 1 photo album on Flickr, and some of today’s videos and stories. The fun resumes tomorrow at 1oam. The presentation schedule’s been changed up a bit – check out the latest line up here.
It’s almost time! The arena is set up for USF-RIGs Battles at MakerCon, the 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!
We’ve got a few more Makers for you to meet – here’s Erik Heidt, inventor of the Drummersleash – and also a drummer! We asked him to tell us something about his product, that he’ll be demoing at GulfCoastMakerCon. Erik’s short on words, but big on ideas and we imagine you’ll like his sound this weekend!
GCMC: What do you do?
EH: I am a Industrial product designer and drummer.
GCMC: Why do you do it?
EH: Cause I have a passion to design cool stuff.
GCMC: What’s unique about what you’ve made?
EH: There’s no other product like the drummersleash on the market.
GCMC: What do you love about it?
EH: It solves the problem for drummers dropped drumsticks.
GCMC: Why might others be interested?
EH: This is a problem most drummers face due to hot or cold weather
GCMC: What inspired you to create DrummersLeash?
EH: Drummers wrapping tape around fingers to solve the problem.
GCMC: What are you bringing to Gulf Coast MakerCon?
EH: Possibly an electric drum kit
GCMC: What do you hope to take from Gulf Coast MakerCon?
EH:Talking to other inventors and networking
GCMC: Why do you think an event like GCMC is important to the community?
EH: It inspires others to create things.
Come meet Erik, try out the Drummersleash – and get inspired!
There are a lot of amazing people who make an event like Gulf Coast MakerCon not only possible, but fun and rewarding to create. We want to take a moment here, before we head into the Maker Maelstrom this weekend, to thank some of them, starting with our friends at Studio 7 Communications, who created our fantastic Maker Skull and Cross-Tools logo!
Studio 7, which typically likes to keep a low profile despite all the fantastic good they do, is also a big supporter of FIRST Tech Challenge Team Duct Tape, and helped craft their awesome logo, too. We’re very grateful to Studio 7 Communications for the gift of their talent and expertise.
We also want to thank Maker of All Trades Chuck Stephens, for the gifts of his amazing
artwork. Chuck, a local artist and a volunteer with sponsor Learning is for Everyone, created our first Maker Faire poster in 2012, still one of our favorite pieces.
His custom designs for this year’s Gulf Coast MakerCon event are equally fantastic, capturing the playful and somewhat rebellious spirit of our next generation DIY Celebration of the Inventive Spirit.
We also want to thank Wayne Rasanen of the Tampa Bay Inventors Council, for his energetic networking and nudging to help populate our Inventors Showcase with the amazing people who are joining us this weekend.
Many thanks, too, to Dominick Transcritti of Suncoast Skirmishers, who has been coordinating our Tabletop Day event, which has generated some of our most enthusiastic traffic and interest, with a lot of people looking forward to a day of tabletop game play on Saturday, and more opportunities to play on Sunday.
Sam McAmis, of the University of South Florida Robotics Interest Group (USF-RIG) has been busy organizing B.A.M. (Battles at MakerCon) just for Gulf Coast MakerCon. With 30 students from area high schools competing with 15 lb. class fighting robots, MakerCon guests will be treated to high energy battlebots competition all day Saturday. And on Sunday, look for some creative destruction of old electronics with larger robots. It’s been no small task organizing the competition and exhibitions, especially while trying to get through Engineering studies, so Sam has our deepest appreciation for his creative multitasking in the service of Gulf Coast MakerCon and celebratory robotics!
And we can’t end our Makers Hymn of Praise and Thanks without a great big shout out to the Florida State Fairgrounds Authority!
Your Gulf Coast MakerCon organizers have put together a lot of different events in Tampa Bay – TEDxYouth, ROBOCON Tampa Bay, previous Maker festivals – and we’ve never encountered such amazingly warm, patient, collaborative, cooperative, and helpful venue representatives. The Florida Fairgrounds staff has gone out of their way to make event planning smooth, helped us through logistical bumps, and generally exuded Florida Sunshine and hospitality with abundant generosity.
So if you happen to see anyone from the Fairgrounds at Gulf Coast MakerCon this weekend, or a quiet lady with FTC Team Duct Tape at the FIRST exhibit area, or a fellow with a cap and coveralls and some funky electronic musical devices, or a pleasant looking gentleman with glasses at the Tabletop game tables, or a somewhat wild haired guy officiating over the battle bots, stop and tell them thanks!
They’re some of the signature Makers of Gulf Coast MakerCon, and at the heart of everything that makes our Maker Community so excellent!