A Makers Thanksgiving


Artist: Isaac Zenz, 2011 – used by permission http://isaacgracelily.blogspot.com/2011/10/steampunk.html

Hope you’re off to a lovely holiday season – a perfect time to be a maker, with opportunities to make everything from food to gifts, as well plans for the new year. We hope one of those plans you make will be to be part of Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015, on April 18, 2015 at the Florida Fairgrounds.

We’ve already got the ball rolling,  with the venue reserved, some great new partners and some awesome new ideas for our 2015 event.  Sure, the event isn’t until April, but a lot goes into making a great maker event so the earlier we start, the better.

To that end, the website has gotten a complete makeover, with updated info for

Our goal is to host 80-100 makers, with expanded outdoor exhibits, a large scale fighting robots competition and a Steampunk Ball after party for makers and guests!

Big plans but we think well within reach with our great collaborative partners. But it’s not worth doing without YOU, so we hope you’ll help us start building the momentum, sending us your ideas, contributing some guest blog posts and sending some sponsors our way.

save the dateHillsborough County has already given us their vote of confidence with an EDI2 grant for our 2015 event.  A title sponsor would enable us to have our own Newspaper in Education (NIE) issue, reaching high schools throughout the Tampa Bay area and bringing Maker Education to youth across the Gulf Coast.

The more sponsors we have, the less we need to charge for admission or to commercial makers. Our Makers Gracegoal is to keep admission costs to $10 or less, and vendor costs at $50 or less.

Our Call for Makers will go live near the end of December or early January, so keep your eye on this website and our social media for updates.  And our Call for Volunteers is open now!

So, eat hearty this week, ye Maker Friends, be grateful for abundant opportunities for invention and creativity, and get ready: Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015 is coming!


Posted in Education, Fairs, Festivals, Gulf Coast MakerCon, Gulf Coast Makers Festival, MakerCon, Makers, Makers Festival | Tagged , , , , , ,

Celebrate Andrew Carnegie’s Birthday at the Hive Makerspace

centennial flyerGulf Coast Makers are invited to join in the Andrew Carnegie Birthday Party & STEAM Fair at The Hive Centennial Celebration Open House at John F. Germany Library, at 900 Ashley Drive in Tampa, on Saturday, November 15th, from 1pm to 4pm.

Located on the 3rd floor of the John F. Germany Library, the Hive is a 10,000 sq. ft. public makerspace with mechanical and electrical workshops, 3D printers, a robotics center, arts center, recording studio and media center, an interactive Media:scape and over 1500 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space.

The Centennial Celebration is free and open to the public and event guests will be Hive mapable to check out 3-D printing, robotics, Arduinos, enjoy a green screen photo booth & more at the Hive throughout the day. Starting at 1pm, in the main library, there will be welcoming remarks by “Andrew Carnegie”, Digital Download Demo, Kotler Gallery Exhibit & Artist Talk, Digital Archive Demonstration, Mad Science, and Birthday cake for all.

During the Open House, the Eureka Factory will be working on The Deconstruction, a 48 hour creative competition that challenges participants to rethink the world around them by creating something new from existing objects, genres, and ideas. The goal of the Deconstruction is “to make the world a slightly awesomer-er place,” which the Eureka Factory believes is exactly what the Hive can do, a fitting crowning achievement for the library’s centennial.

Local FIRST robotics teams will be on hand throughout the afternoon, exhibiting their robots,  Code for Tampa Bay and other great Gulf Coast Makers!

Visit the library’s Centennial Celebration page or click on the program at top left for full event details.

Posted in 3d printing, DIY, Fairs, Makers, Robotics | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Gulf Coast Makers Making a Mark

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!

Posted in Gulf Coast MakerCon, MakerCon, Makers, Makers Festival | Tagged , ,

Thank You, Hillsborough County!

Hillsborough-County It with great gratitude that we recognize Hillsborough County for their generous support of  Gulf Coast MakerCon 2015, through robot battlesan EDI2 Economic Development grant.

Hillsborough County recognizes direct added value to our community of supporting and celebrating our vital maker community with Gulf Coast MakerCon, our annual celebration of the DIY Inventive Spirit, showcasing Makers, Shakers and Innovators across Tampa Bay.

Thank you, Hillsborough County, for supporting  the creative entrepreneurial community in Tampa, and helping us bring more science, tech, and business development learning and doing opportunities to people of all ages!

Posted in DIY, Education, Entrepreneurship, Gulf Coast MakerCon, Gulf Coast Makers Festival, MakerCon, Makers Festival, Science | Tagged , , , , ,

Gulf Coast MakerCon: A Look at the Maker Community

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!

Posted in DIY, Festivals, inventors, Makers, Makers Festival | Tagged , , , , ,

Celebrate the National Day of Making June 18th!


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!

Posted in Makers, Makers Festival | Tagged , , , , ,

We Want Your Blog Posts!

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.




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