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!
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 Curiosity 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!
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!
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.
- Are you a designer? Check out Designer X’s list of competitions that includes the Canterbury Cathedral Landscape Design challenge (deadline to enter July 17) and the Sappi Ideas that Matter contest “to recognize and support designers who use their skills and expertise to solve communications problems for a wide range of charitable activities. “
- Looking for 3D printing contests? 3Ders.org has a good list.
- If you’re a coder, check out CodeChef for a list of ongoing competitions.
- Engineering students and hobbyists might enjoy browsing the Engineering Education Service Center’s list of contests , or ASME’s list.
- Budding inventor? Check out the list of Inventor Awards and Competitions at Invent Help.
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!
Planning 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.
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?
Science 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.
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!