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Gulf Coast Makers Making a Mark

23 Sep

save the dateGulf Coast Makers were in abundance at the recent Maker Faire Orlando September 13 & 14. In addition to the ones captured in photos here – FreeFab 3D, Tampa Hackerspace, Eureka! Factory, Gabotronics, Nepchune’s Noise Circus, Tampa Bay Inventors Council, In10Did and Pedicure Pedestal - Johnson Arms was on hand and no doubt several other locals.

Now we’re getting ready to do our own big thing here in the spring, with planning well underway for Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015!  Save the date: April 18th, 2015, again at the Florida Fairgrounds in the Special Events Center West.

We’ve got some awesome fun on tap, including plans for the first ever Gulf Coast MakerCon Steampunk Ball!

If you don’t want to miss any of the action, or the opportunity to be first in line when our Call for Makers opens, be sure to sign up here.

We also welcome guest blogs, and news, photos and updates about local Makers, upcoming events, and more.  We’ve got a great Gulf Coast Makers community and invite you to be an active part of it!

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!

Celebrate the National Day of Making June 18th!

16 Jun

day-of-making-badge

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 Want Your Blog Posts!

27 May

guest bloggers welcome 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.

 

 

 

Save the Date! Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015 set for April 18th!

19 Apr

save the date 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 blacksmiths 2to 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!

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!

 

Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 Fun & Successful!

11 Apr
Click to see our Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 Album!

Click to see our Gulf Coast MakerCon 2014 Album!

Gulf coast MakerCon, Tampa Bay’s  3rd Annual Celebration of the DIY Inventive Spirit brought everything from Blacksmith Artists, to Electric Race Cars fireand 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 blacksmithscovering 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!

robot battlesIn 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 electrathon racerswho 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!

gamingAnd 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!

Day One, Awesome Fun!

5 Apr

flickr 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!

The battles raged at B.A.M., with some awesome robot matches,  and we got some nice press from the Tampa Tribune, Fox 13 News and Plughitz F5 Live Makercon schedulecoverage throughout the day.

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.

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f5 live 2

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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Meet the Maker: Erik Heidt, of Drummerleash

4 Apr

drumerleash graphic

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!

eventbrite button

 

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