Tag Archives: LI4E.org

Meet the Makerspace Makers and Attend our 3rd Annual Makerspace UnConference

1 Apr

It’s an exciting time in Tampa Bay!  When we held our first “Makerspace UnConference” at our first Maker festival in 2012, there were no full scale makerspaces in Tampa Bay.  The Faulhaber FabLab at the GWIZ Science Museum in Sarasota and Familab in Orlando were our two closest maker neighbors.  Learning is for Everyone was exploring the idea with potential collaborative partners, and a couple of other efforts were under consideration.

This year, we’re joined by four groups who have various programs underway and are excited to share their success and programs with Gulf Coast MakerCon attendees.  We’re happy to introduce them to you! They’ll be exhibiting at Gulf Coast MakerCon all weekend, and leading our 3rd Annual Makerspace UnConference on Sunday, April 6, at 4:30 pm, where you can learn more about these spaces, and how you can work to build more of them in your community.

Community Innovation Center at the John F. Germany Library 

new logoThe Community Innovation Center (CIC) at John F. Germany Library is a collaborative effort between 1939934_482287221897921_725617154_oLearning is for Everyone, Inc (LI4E.org)  and the John F. Germany Library,   the flagship library of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library System.   At 10,000 square feet, the CIC is the largest such facility in Tampa Bay and in Florida, and will function as a public Makerspace, an Entrepreneurship Center, a proving ground for Invention and Exploration, and the ultimate Creative Space,  providing the tools and human capital for fostering active creation, as well as the necessary knowledge for that creation.  The CIC, scheduled to open at the end of April,  is arranged into eight distinct, but flexible sections:

  • TechMasters Center
  • Entrepreneurial Center
  • Robotics Centers
  • Hands-On Workshop
  • Machine Shop
  • Media Lab & Studio
  • Arts Center
  • Computer Lab

CIC staff will be sharing some fun activities for our Young Makers section, and showcasing a little of what will be available in the space when it opens.

Faulhaber Fab Lab

Fab Lab logo

The Faulhaber Fab Lab is the oldest space in the area, currently moving to a new location in Sarasota, it bring high level manufacturing capabilities to the Gulf Coast area.  “A fab lab, ” explains representative, Eric McGrath, ” is a non-profit entity that has collaborated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to assemble a diverse collection of state-of-the-art equipment and computers into one workspace as a community center for innovation, entrepreneurship, and STEM education.”

fablab WorkshopsDr. Fritz Faulhaber and his wife Ping and through the Faulhaber Family Foundation are collaborating with the community of Sarasota to open the fab lab and be a central resource for invention and fabrication by individuals, entrepreneurs, students, teachers, retirees and business. The staff and volunteers in the community workshop instill the confidence for members to learn, design and safely operate computer-controlled machinery.

“The aim of a fab lab,” says Eric, ” is to teach advanced skills in design, innovation and how to make “almost anything”. These skill sets learned through nurturing the inventor in all of us can be applied in many careers. Business collaboration, workforce development and community innovation is an integral part of the Faulhaber Fab Lab.”

Visit www.sarasotascience.org for updates and information

Tampa Hackerspace

tampa hackerspaceTampa Hackerspace is a local community workshop organized to enable learning of technology skills by providing tools, space, equipment and classes.

“We are a non-profit, membership based institution, ” explains Tampa Hackerspace president, Bill Shaw. ” A broad selection of classes and workshops are open to both members and non-members.

“Every week we open our doors to the public and get together to build some cool projects and meet some very cool people. Join us to work on your stuff, bounce ideas off of members, check out the 3D printers and other equipment and socialize. Occasionally, we’ll throw in a small workshop or class. This is our best attended event and is a great opportunity to see what we do and meet our community.”

Tampa Hackerspace also hosts a Kid’s Open Make on Sunday Afternoons for crafts, electronics and technology projects, Minecraft, programming activities and more! Every month, they have a new theme and a host of new activities geared towards elementary and middle school students. Space is limited so they ask that you RSVP on Meetup.com to reserve a spot.

You can connect with Tampa Hackerspace:
Web: http://tampahackerspace.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HackTampa
Classes & Events: http://www.meetup.com/Tampa-Hackerspace

Land O’ Lakes Library,  Pasco County Library System

The Lanedgar allan ohmsd O’Lakes Library in Pasco County has been exploring the idea of opening a makerspace in its library system for the past year, and made a name for itself this year, Pasco County Library Cooperativewhen it became the first library in the country to field a FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team – the Edgar Allan Ohms! – who competed at the Orlando FRC Regional in March.  The Library is a trend setter, home to
one of the largest battle of the bands in the state (Rockus Maximus) and a popular anime convention (Lamecon) . A makerspace isn’t far behind!

The Land O’Lakes Library will be demoing their FRC robot, and showcasing free services and opportunities for job seekers and entrepreneurs. And you can apply for a library card, too!

Makerspace UnConference

Our 3rd Annual Makerspace UnConference will be held on Sunday, April 6th, at 4:30 pm at the Gulf Coast MakerCon stage.   As an “un” conference, it’s a casual opportunity to join in open discussion with these four very different spaces, that share a common interest in providing public creative spaces to build, learn and develop skills for hobby, personal satisfaction, and academic and career enrichment.   Join us to get ideas, share insights and find ways to collaborate in bringing more of these great spaces to Tampa Bay and the Gulf Coast!

 

Call for Makers Extended to March 21st!

13 Mar

Future is brightWe’ve gotten a rush of inquiries and interest, so we’re extending our Call for Makers through March 21st.   Learn more about Gulf Coast MakerCon here, and apply via the form below.  It’s free for educational and demo exhibits, and just $75 for the weekend for vendors!  All Makers will have a 10×10 foot area, a 6 ft. table and two chairs. The rest is up to you! Make it Awesome!

If you’re interested in flying your maker flag as a sponsor at Gulf Coast MakerCon, please check out our sponsorship opportunities, too!

Gulf Coast MakerCon for Educators

9 Mar
GCMC educator cover

Click on the image to download a copy of the Gulf Coast MakerCon Educators Guide.

The “maker” movement is simply the DIY creative spirit reignited for the 21st century. It’s a return to self-sufficiency, self-reliance and creativity, providing engaging and hands-on opportunities to inspire, educate, and entertain curious and creative learners of all ages. It celebrates arts, crafts, engineering, food, green design, music, science and technology and brings together communities who embrace the DIY (do-it-yourself) spirit.  There are lots of ways to “make” education happen in this very active learning experience, and to engage students in active learning at Gulf Coast MakerCon.

We’ve compiled some resources for educators interested in visiting Gulf Coast MakerCon with their students, or just looking for classroom take-aways.  The weekend will be rich with hands on learning opportunities for all ages, and will hopefully inspire some ideas for classroom enrichment in the process.

The overall goal of Gulf Coast MakerCon is to help people of all ages become empowered creators of their future and ours, to feel capable of creating, repairing, inventing, adapting, handling, trying , and becoming active and engaged producers instead of passive consumers . To that end we hope that both youth and adults will take the opportunity of Gulf Coast MakerCon to:

  • Meet and interact with all our Makers, who are sharing their unique passions and projects.deconstruction
  • Explore the wide variety of exhibits and presentations that will be available throughout the weekend.
  •  Experience a live performance or demonstration.
  • Engage in a hands-on project or activity that you can take home.
  •  Collaborate on a project or share experiences with people of all ages.
  • Learn about the power of the Maker community.
  • Be inspired, as a student or member of the public, to try at least one new idea at home or at school.
  • Be inspired, as a teacher, to bring at least one new idea for active making into the classroom.
  • Get a sense of the wonder and value of following your passion!
  • Inspire Curiosity in the world around you!

If you’re a public school teacher in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, or Polk county and would like to bring groups of ten or more students to Gulf Coast MakerCon, please drop us a line at info@learningis4everyone.org so we can provide you with a classroom rate, and help maximize the educational impact of your visit.

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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.

eventbrite button

Click here to Buy Tickets!

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

Gulf Coast MakerCon Comes to Florida Fairgrounds, April 5 & 6

26 Nov

fb iconLearning is for Everyone (LI4E.org) hosted the area’s  first ever Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire in 2012. 2013 logoIn 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!

LI4E Heads to Pasco EcoFest with Artist and Maker Chuck Stephens & LearningMan

6 Nov

Tampa artist and maker,  and  Learning is for Everyone volunteer, Chuck Stephens, is bringing  his concept art,  “LearningMan”to Pasco EcoFest, in keeping with LI4Es mission to support “the ecofestCuriosity Driven Life.”

“LearningMan is a participatory interactive sculpture designed to bring attention to the plastic cycle and encourage discussion of better and more efficient recycling solutions,” says Chuck.

Inspired by the annual Burning Man Festival, our large human shaped sculpture will be constructed of bamboo with an LED lighting system (reused from our Red Bull challenge project!). Festival attendees will be encouraged to tie empty plastic drink bottles and other plastic waste to the frame throughout the day Friday and Saturday. Saturday evening the sculpture will be raised and lit up. The plastic will diffuse the light of the LEDs creating an eye catching display that will flash and change color with the music from the festival stage. After the festival the sculpture will be disassembled and properly recycled.

Besides being a fun and interactive art project at EcoFest, the purpose of this project is to increase awareness of plastic and its place in our world.

“Plastic is everywhere but few of us know how it is made or what happens to it after we put it in the recycling bin,” Chuck notes. ” With the rise of the maker movement and the advent and growth of 3D printing, the role of plastic is changing. I see a future where consumers will have access to closed loop home recycling systems where waste plastic will be turned into the raw materials for home manufacturing to create an endless array of goods. Someday, hopefully, throwing away an empty plastic bottle will be as foolish as throwing away perfectly good printer ink.

“The first steps toward this change is awareness and consumer education and LearningMan is meant to be a fun way of engaging this issue.”

Come out and indulge your curiosity with Chuck and Learning is for Everyone, at Sims Park in New Port Richey this weekend!

Robot Hack Meet Up at John F. Germany Library Sunday Nov. 3, 1pm

2 Nov

Capture As development of the  new Learning is for Everyone (LI4E)  Community Innovation Center gets underway at the John F. Germany Library in downtown Tampa, some early projects are getting underway, staring with a  Robot Hack team.

If you want to join in the fun, come out to the John F. Germany Library this coming Sunday, Nov. 3, at 1pm, to join in the first G+ session on how to build an open source robot.  The LI4E Robot Hack team is meeting in the Carmen Manis meeting room on the 2nd floor of the Library at 900 N Ashley Drive in Tampa.

The team’s Robot Hack kit arrives next week, after which they’ll be embarking on a project of musical dimensions.  Join them Sunday to learn more, and get ready to play with robots!

 

In Celebration of Competitive Creativeness

14 Jul
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LI4E Makerspace Project team working on Red Bull Creation 2013 contest build.

A couple of years ago the America Competes Reauthorization Act was approved granting federal agencies broad authority to host contests to spur innovation. In How Contests Spur Innovation, Inventors Daily reported, at the time, that this signature event was critical to invention and economic development in America.

“In short,” Inventors Daily wrote, ” invention contests and prizes work. In fact, when applied to big problems, contests can deliver big solutions with big economic impact.

“…The Act provides a “clear and simple legal path” for Uncle Sam to run invention contests, much like the private sector. The U.S. public sector, it should be noted, accounts for approximately 25% of our $15 trillion economy.”

From America Competes was born Challenge.gov , “an online challenge platform administered by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) in partnership with ChallengePost that empowers the U.S. Government and the public to bring the best ideas and top talent to bear on our nation’s most pressing challenges.”

So if you like making stuff – mechanical stuff, 3D stuff, coded stuff, design stuff – there’s no shortage of federal and private industry nationwide competitions to in which to try your hand and your head.  If the incentive of a cause, or a prize are your best inspiration, start with  Challenge.gov and Challenge Post.

And there’s plenty of other resources.

Visit back here often for announcements about contests both local and national that we learn about throughout the year.   And share your news about contests, both entered in and hosted! We’d love to feature your stories and photos!

St. Petersburg Science Festival – October 18 & 19

3 Jul

spsfPlanning is underway for the 3rd Annual St. Petersburg Science Festival, a regional celebration where families and the public can explore the wonders of hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). LI4E.org is one of many great collaborative partners of  the 2013 festival that will be held on October 18-19, 2013, along the waterfront campus of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. The event is held in conjunction with MarineQuest, the annual open house of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.

Sneak Peek School Festival

For teachers and students in Grades 4-8, the St. Petersburg Science Festival is proud to debut our Sneak Peek School Festival on Friday, October 18, 2013.

Public Festival

science in the sun

Science in the Sun at the St. Pete Science Festival

With many new exciting activities and shows planned for our public festival on Saturday, October 19, 2013, together with the unique flavor of marine science that can only be found in St. Petersburg, Florida, the 3rd Annual St. Petersburg Science festival will be our biggest and best yet!

Look for early news about new exhibits and exciting shows on our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter.

Why a science festival?

robotScience is vital for even the most basic aspects of modern society. Every day, each one of us benefits from scientific knowledge through the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the water we drink. Science and technology power our world, protect us from natural disasters, improve our health, and entertain us.

The inspiring science happening throughout our region has been and will continue to be the star, front and center, of this vibrant celebration of hands-on activities for children and adults with emphasis on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) learning.

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