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.
Learning is for Everyone (LI4E.org) hosted the area’s first ever Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire in 2012. In 2013, our event nearly doubled in size, drawing more than 500 attendees. For 2014, LI4E is dialing up our annual DIY Celebration of the Inventive Spirit with a two day Gulf Coast MakerCon, at the Florida Fairgrounds Special Events Center April 5& 6, 2014.
With an emphasis on technical, creative and professional workshops and sessions covering everything from patent development and the inventive process, to 3D printing, programming, mechanical and electrical design, green tech and open source technologies, Gulf Coast MakerCon will provide added value for adult attendees, with a special Young Makers section for kids and families, as well. There will be a wide variety of creative nd interactive vendors, exhibitors, and entertainment that includes everything from robotics and metalsmithing, to recycled instruments, ham radio, RC modeling, automotive tech, gaming, inventions, innovations, future tech and much more.
So save the date and look for more details soon!
Here’s an awesome idea! GadgitKids works “to create a society of mobile device users whose capabilities keep pace with the sophistication of technology.” – They do this through “reverse mentoring” - a collaborative intergenerational win-win process of employing high school and college students as “GadgitKids” giving them the tools and training to be effective communicators with a passion for helping others learn technology.
“Young people, our future leaders, need confidence and support,” says GadgitKids. “You need their technical knowledge. The end result of effective reverse mentoring is a working relationship between a young person and an adult which is mutually beneficial. “
GadgitKids invites college students, or high school students entering their junior or senior year, to review the position descriptions on their website and submit an application to become a GadgitKid. Currently, applications from Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk counties are being considered.
Visit GadgitKids at http://gadgitkids.com/apply-to-be-a-GadgitKid to apply or learn more.
The Tampa Bay Business Journal ran a piece earlier this month titled, “Tampa tech industry is healthy, but local inventors are needed.” Clearly TBBJ hasn’t been to one of our Maker Fairs, but more to the heart of the matter, TBBJ says what’s missing is funding – “Industry observers say lack of local funding has cost the Bay area promising startups such as TourWrist, a Tampa company that moved its headquarters to San Francisco to be closer to potential investors.”
We’d suggest local entrepreneurial and community support is also critical. Having a community that supports small scale innovation and invention is vital to nurturing that innovation and invention and keeping it here. And invention does thrive here in Tampa Bay!
Over the last couple of years, we’ve highlighted dozens of Tampa Bay area inventors, from Snapit Screw to Gabotronics, and FRETS1 Satellite, In10did and Mentagy at our Fairs, to website profiles of inventors like young Hunter Morera and his Select-a-Wrench, John Doyle and his Doctor Door Stop,University of South Florida associate professor Daniel Yeh’s Gates’ funded water purification device, and others.
More recently, South Tampa inventor Jeff Bonnell has been in the news with his Splashtablet Case – a unique suction-mount, waterproof case the iPad , and Palm Harbor inventor, Tanya Lewis, who signed with Master Broker Jack Di Salvo (of Oxyclean fame), and was also lauded as Mom Inventor of the Year , an honor that included two airings on QVC for her Green Glider reusable mop pad.
Inventors are alive and well in Tampa Bay, and our community is growing and getting stronger all the time. Here at Gulf Coast Makers, we celebrate makers big and small, young and older and will keep celebrating them, and working for the types of spaces and places where we can all invent and create together.
If you have an invention, an entreprenuerial experience, idea or best practice to share, or just want to talk shop, contact us . We welcome guest bloggers and maker news from all over the Gulf Coast.
Gulf Coast Makers is provided to offer a broader creative community to Gulf Coast area entrepreneurial and creative DIYers interested in getting back to the grassroots nature of the maker movement, free of brand limitations and requirements. This website and associated social media is hosted by the nonprofit organization, Learning is for Everyone (LI4E.org), which organized the area’s first Mini Maker Faire, two years in a row, and is also the hosting organization for TEDxYouth@TampaBay, and Robocon, and provides community based STEM education programs in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
LI4E is also working on the development of public community makerspaces through our LI4E Makerspace Project, in collaboration with area libraries and others. We regularly host “pop-up” makerspace projects like Red Bull Creation and the Deconstruction, where our collaborative teaming with The Urban Conga earned us the top award. Due to restrictive licensing requirements, LI4E opted to support self-organized maker events starting in 2013 and will use this website and our other social media to support all kinds of creative opportunities, events and ideas, from all individuals, groups, clubs, organizations, makerspaces, hackerspaces, and all manner of creative communities.
In 2014, we’ll be holding the 1st annual Gulf Coast Makers Festival to celebrate our shared DIY Creative Spirit with fun and flair!
We hope you’ll use and enjoy this website and associated social media to share your news, builds, start ups and everything and anything related to DIY innovation and inventiveness throughout the Gulf Coast area!
Collaboration is always invited and everyone is welcome!