Greetings Makers, Mentors and Parents:
Important pre-Meeting Minutes Announcement: If you are planning on attending the OPEN Make at the Tech Museum this Saturday (and I hope you are) be sure that you are registered here. If you are registered you would have received an email from Rick with the Subject line: “South Bay Young Makers - Open Make@ The Tech on 2/16 - Important Details!.” I have added a copy to our website for those that did not receive it. Registration details are included. Thanks Rick. I’m really looking forward to the Open Make. There’s still a little time left for me to put some signs together or you can make your own. Try and bring some of your project work. Davis and I hope to have a prototype of his Free Flow tile.
I thought we had a great meet on Sunday, lots of new faces and new project ideas. Twelve Makers and eleven Parents and Mentors were able to make it to the meeting. We started again with a front porch chat. For those new to the club we had brief introductions followed by general comments about the Maker Faire and projects. Several of the young makers had clearly given their projects a good deal of thought, three had PowerPoint presentations (hey guys, can I put those on the website?) and most shared some details with the group. We have an exciting group with a diverse set of skills and capabilities. The projects ranged from earth worm composting systems, child size kitchen complete with sounds and lights, robotic balls and flying copters.
After about thirty minutes we moved inside for a plussing session. Our dining room had been cleared out for a party the night before which left a great space for four tables and twenty chairs. There were pencils, markers, graph paper, tape and scissors. We spent an hour or more building up project ideas. The Makers pretty much stayed in one spot while Mentors circulated from group to group. I was pleased and excited by the energy in the room. From my perspective everyone was engaged and really making progress fleshing out their projects. I’d really like to hear some of the thoughts and impressions from you guys. Please offer any and all suggestions for keeping these meeting fun and productive.
I want to take a minute to thank the Mentors. You guys did a great job working with the kids. It was obvious to me that they really appreciate and respect all that you have to offer. I could hear the excitement in the young maker’s voices as they described their projects. We are very fortunate to have a great collection of willing and able Mentors. Thank you guys so much for sharing your time and knowledge with the group.
For those that were new I did another quick trip through the shop. I’m planning on putting together a demo to run on the CNC Router for the next meeting. My plans are to design a “Brain Storm Support Station” that will conveniently store the tools necessary to capture and communicate the “Stokes of Genius” that Makers tend to have.
We finished with a demo and talk from Wolf Witt. Wolf is an Engineer and avid RC helicopter hobbyist. He brought in three beautiful helicopters and gave a nice presentation of the mechanics and controls of each. Thanks Wolf! Your show-and-tell rounded the meeting out nicely.
I want to again encourage the project groups to contact me with any needs or questions that I can help you with. If I can’t help I’ll find someone who can. My shop is your shop. Send me an email and we’ll set up a time to make some saw dust.
For those who are interested in learning Sketchup: I have some time next week to schedule a couple Sketchup introductions. Check the website Calendar. It's never too early to start drawing with Sketchup and you can make a lot of progress on your own. Download the free version at Sketchup.com. When you start Sketchup the first time it will ask you to choose a template. I would recommend using the product design and woodworking-inches template. Then with Sketchup up and running I would start here with the 4 "new to Sketchup" videos. Pay special attention to Navigation (the ability to quickly and easily move around your drawing) it is very important to the drawing process and is covered in the first intro video. The short cuts for zoom, pan and orbit are mapped to the scroll wheel of a three button mouse. In my opinion the use of the navigation shortcuts via the mouse scroll wheel is essential to the Sketchup drawing process. Otherwise it can be slow and frustrating. A touch pad and/or a one button mouse can result in spending more time trying to move around to see your drawing than actually drawing. Be sure to pause the videos frequently and practice the steps. You’ll be drawing on your own in no time. If you have any problems, get stuck or just can’t get it to do what you want it to email me. I can respond with a model or a short screen shot video.
It’s time to get to work. Put together material lists and schedules and clear out some working space. Don’t forget to take photos. I’ve got a Maker Faire sign for each of you who sends me some build photos for the website.
See you Saturday…
Project updates >