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Maker Ed Awesomeness at the Austin Mini Maker Faire

by Teri Sperry, AMMF Maker Ed coordinator

Giveaway alert: A family pack of Austin Mini Maker Faire passes is up for grabs, plus free tickets for professional educators and a special discount code for homeschoolers! Read on.AMMF_Poster_GraphicandInfo

I love the theme of this year’s Austin Mini Maker Faire, as expressed in the beautiful posters designed by Kat Townsend: We are all makers. Even more exciting for me (and the reason AltEd Austin is a proud sponsor of AMMF 2014) is its brilliant demonstration of another theme: We are all learners. We are all teachers.

Underlying its well-deserved reputation for outlandish fun in the tech, craft, art, robotics, and sustainability arenas, the heart of Austin’s annual maker extravaganza is education. At a time when our traditional school systems are deep in crisis, the Faire serves as a showcase for learning experiences as they should be: hands-on, interdisciplinary, learner directed, multi-age, naturally engaging, noncompetitive, playful, and focused on using critical thinking skills and imagination to address real-world problems.  WonderLabWith the generous support of our special area sponsor, WonderLab, we have expanded theMaker Ed section of the Faire in a big way and added some extra perks for educators. Here’s what’s in store:

Free admission for professional educators! Just show your valid school ID at check-in.

Special 20% discount for homeschooling families. Buy your adult and child tickets in advance using this code: AHS20OFF

Educators’ Lounge. This year we’re giving teachers and other education professionals a comfy place at the Faire to take a break and meet new colleagues. We’ll also facilitate some quick and fun ways for educators to trade ideas about incorporating making into their learning environments and overcoming maker ed challenges. As a thank-you for participating in the Lounge, we’ll have some great teacher-oriented swag bags. Many thanks to super volunteers Mike DeGraff, Claudia Pepper, and Laura Minnigerode and these sponsors for making all of this happen: Five Elements Furniture, SparkFun, Texas Instruments, and UTeach.

Three huge tents devoted to Maker Ed. Fairegoers will experience a dizzying array of hands-on activities and demonstrations presented by schools and other educational programs from pre-K through college levels. Anchored by AMMF sponsor Skybridge Academy, these edu-makers will give Fairegoers of all ages opportunities to sharpen their wilderness survival skills, practice the fine art of bubble making, learn how a couple of local high school kids have built a 3D printer, and much, much more.

More edu-awesomeness outside the Maker Ed tents. Some of our event sponsors are bringing exhibits and activities so big they’ve claimed their own chunk of AMMF real estate:

• In the ever-popular Austin Tinkering School pavilion, kids can make their own racecars and try their luck in the Nerdy Derby, or hang out in the Open Shop, deconstructing electronics and creating their own marvels with all kinds of interesting building materials.

• The Thinkery’s Kid Zone will offer multiple STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) activities for young makers. Its hand-built trebuchet will be flinging things the old-fashioned way throughout the day.

• On the outdoor stage, kids of all ages will be amazed and edified by the Mad Science show. Grownups will learn to safely wow their friends and enemies with the fiery arts at Tim Deagan’s Propane 101 for Artists and Makers. And everyone, I mean everyone, will have a blast at Steve Wolf’s multi-award-winning Science in the Movies show. Check out the performance schedule and plan your day at the Faire!

• Inside the Expo Center arena, beyond the planetarium, aerial dancers, and the gajillion fascinating craft, tech, and arts exhibits, you’ll find a workshop space where you can learn to program a Raspberry Pi, ferment your own vinegar from table scraps, make a perfect hula-hoop, or turn your small business dreams into reality. Reserve your space in a workshop today!

This is only the tip of the iceberg, people. I’ve highlighted the overtly educational features of the Faire, but no matter how you choose to spend your time at AMMF, you’ll learn something.

Jump off a tower into a giant marshmallow with the Stunt Ranch crew, find out how an intrepid professor is sustainably living in a dumpster for a year, or pedal like you’ve never pedaled before at the Austin Bike Zoo’s Interactive Wonderland and pedal-powered Carousel. I guarantee you’ll come away  with that unmistakable feeling that we are all learners, we are all teachers. And for sure, we are all makers.

Giveaway!

You have a bunch of ways to enter this random drawing, with up to 10 chances to win an AMMF family pack of 2 adult and 2 child passes. If you’ve already bought your tickets, be sure to let your friends know about this opportunity to attend the Austin Mini Maker Faire for free! Enter  by midnight Thursday, May 1, and we’ll announce the lucky winner on the AltEd Austin blog  on Friday morning. Good luck!

 

AMMF 2014 Performer Schedule is UP!

By Craig Burke, stage coordinator

pony trap

We’ve finally got the performer stage hammered out and the schedule is ready! We are really excited about the selection this year as we feel it represents the type of individuals and groups who not only consider themselves musicians, but also makers. Many of these makers not only make music, but also build robots, make sculptures, compose ear movie musicals, turn themselves into the undead, as well as create and hack instruments. Look for the Performer stage on Saturday, May 3rd and prepare to to witness soundscapes, robots playing drums, chiptune, zombies playing horns and more.ivy and the wicker suitcase

octantdead music capital band

Maker Store!

photoSomething new this year!  We will have a Maker store with lots of fun stuff for sale.  Arduinos, solar-powered grasshoppers, soldering kits, Make magazines, and all sorts of awesome Austin Mini Maker Faire T-shirts, bags, and stickers for your purchasing pleasure.  Bring some Making home with you from the Maker Faire on May 3!

Yoohoo, Doctor Who fans…

Dalek Storm, K9, and a weeping angel will be at the Faire this year!  Saturday May 3 at the Travis County Expo Center… buy your tickets now! DCIM100HPDVCweeping angel

Our beautiful poster!

ammf_posters-09Beautiful work by Kat Townsend of HeyKat.com!  Not too late to get your company’s logo on the poster, which will be posted all around Austin… you can find out more about sponsorship here.

Meet the Makers Kick-off at the Thinkery this Saturday!

thinkerylogomake-your-own-soap

Avery and I are helping kick-off the Meet the Makers Series  for the Austin Mini Maker Faire at the new Austin children’s museum in Austin, the Thinkery this Saturday, April 5th from 1:30-3:30pm. We’ll be helping you create a custom bar of soap on the spot! Supplies are limited, so come early!

1830 Simond Ave http://thinkeryaustin.org/visit-us/hours-and-location/ The Austin Mini Maker Faire is on May 3, so save the date! Get your advance price tickets now!

These ARE the droids you are looking for!

We’re so excited that the Central Texas Droid Builders will be at our Faire this year!  7213004754_9880c55d31_b

The Call for Makers has been extended!

We know it’s hard for anyone in this town to focus in on anything until after SXSW is over… so we’re keeping our call for Makers open until April 12th.

You didn’t miss it!  Apply now!  Exciting, isn’t it?

excited call for makers face

Makers app deadline is Saturday y’all!

Join us this May!
Makers: Deadline to apply is 3/15 (this Saturday!!!)
Volunteers: Apply now!
Attendees: Early Bird tickets are on sale now!

Austin Mini Maker Faire at SXSW Create

Create-for-Web

logo-ats-250wThe Austin Mini Maker Faire will be at this year’s SXSW Create with tinkering each day with the Austin Tinkering School‘s NERDY DERBY,feto soap nail polish

 

nail polish making with feto soap + special guests each day:

Friday, March 7: 11:00am to 6:00pm Thomas Edison/Daniel G. Benes

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Live demonstrations at the Austin Mini Maker Faire booth at SXSW will include a one-of-a-kind miniature Edison Direct Current (D.C.) Electrical Generation & Distribution System, with working miniature Steam Engine and Dynamo, a 120 year-old hand-wound Electric Motor, and several Edison Bulbs (including a 1.5 kilowatt monster!). Also on hand will be a working antique Quadraplex Telegraph demonstration system, and a 1920′s electric Edison Business Dictation machine. Plus, take a look inside at the gear-motor of an original 1905 Thomas A. Edison “Standard Model” Cylinder Phonograph while it plays one of several 100 year-old cylinder records! There are enough gears inside to make a Steampunk blush!

raspberrypi

Saturday, March 8: 11:00am to 6:00pm The Robot Group / Rasberry Pi, Motorola lapdock, and a Makergear m2 3d printerWireless 3D printing

Sunday, March 9: 11:00am to 6:00pm  The Robot Group

Location is City Terrace of the Long Center (701 W. Riverside)

Event is FREE and open to the public

Doing creative and revolutionary things with new technologies embodies the spirit of the SXSW Interactive Festival, and nowhere is this more evident than the diverse mix of activities at SXSW Create. From 3D printing to drones to biohacking and much more, this community event showcases the disruptive solutions that are shaping our future.

This FREE and open-to-the-public event kicks off at 11:00 am on Friday, March 7 and runs through 6:00 pm on Sunday, March 9. Catch an Interactive or Film Shuttle to The Long Center for the Performing Arts to experience all the mind-expanding and hands-on fun.

Some of what you’ll see at Create:

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MAKE: jumpstarted a worldwide Maker Movement. Devoted entirely to Do-It-Yourself (DIY) technology projects, MAKE unites, inspires, informs, and entertains a growing community of individuals who undertake innovative projects and ideas.

Epilog Laser – Laser Engraving, Cutting & Marking Systems
Whether you’re cutting pieces/parts for your latest prototype or engraving your logo on promo gifts, Epilog Laser cutting/marking systems can take your creative designs to the next level.

Flexbot: A Customizable, Open Source Nanocopter
Come check out the Flexbot, a customizable, smartphone-controlled, open source nancopter! We will also be displaying our unique automated 3D printing system for manufacturing the copters.

Inventables
Inventables is the hardware store for designers. We specialize in the tools and materials to make your ideas a reality.

Nokia + Bike Hugger
In the Nokia + Bike Hugger space find giveaways and the latest Lumia devices that make amazing photos & videos on and off the bike. Lumia lets you see more at SXSW.

SparkFun e-Textiles Workshop and Project Showcase
Come join SparkFun Electronics for an e-textiles workshop full of LED-fun and conductive-thread dreams! We’ll have a fleet of e-textile instructors who can help you make simple circuit with LilyPad LEDs, conductive thread and sharpies on your own fabric pin.

Stage Two @ SXSW
Stage Two at SXSW is for attendees serious about being involved in the consumer electronics industry. Come by the booth to get demos from hardware startups sharing their stories about going from tinkerer to scale! Part educational, part showcase, all fun!

Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) is a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company that develops analog ICs and embedded processors. By employing the world’s brightest minds, TI creates innovations that shape the future of technology. TI is helping more than 100,000 customers transform the future, today.

Other Community Participants

3DaGoGo, 10bitworks, ATX Hackerspace Collective, Anand Chamarthy, Austin Mini Maker Faire, Left Field Labs, MakerKids, Peep, Puzzle Hunt, re:3d, Soil IQ, SpraTX, Supermechanical, Vandegrift H.S. ViperBots & FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics, the Waller Creek Conservancy and many more.

Special Events at SXSW Create

The Industry Attic at West Pincer Terrace
Head upstairs for a special track of programming with maker-focused Meet Ups, Show and Tells, and much more:

Sunday, March 9

Stage Two at SXSW
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
This special event from Stage Two features hardware startups sharing 5-minute stories about going from tinkerer to scale. Beer, tacos, and live music keeps things crispy! Visit stagetwo.com/sxsw or see this special event in the SXSW Schedule

Sunday Special Community Event
Bike Hugger Mobile Social with Nokia and Tern
12:30 pm on The City Terrace at the Long Center
Be at the intersection of bikes and maker culture when Bike Hugger, Nokia and Tern hit the streets for an informal and fun community bike ride around Austin. Reception to follow with special guests Rapha, Pei Ketron and Jeremy Dunn. For more, visit bikehugger.com/mobile-socials or see this special event in the SXSW Schedule.

All subject to change. Check http://sxsw.com/create for more info!