Saturday, October 4, 2014

Shelburne Farms Mini Maker Faire

I went to the Maker Faire at Shelburne Farms today for the first time.

This is what I did.

I made a magic wand with an LED light that turns on and off by touching a wire to a battery on the wand. I first had to figure out how to connect the LED to some wires, then run them to the battery correctly. After that part was working, I added sparkly silver ribbon to the stem of the wand and encased the LED light in crumply clear plastic tape for light refraction purposes. Voila! I am ready to put spells on people. Joanna Elliott, Flynn Elementary parent and teacher, was the wizard behind this project. See her fabulous art blog.

I made a puzzle book, a square flexagon (a previously unknown-to-me relative of the hexaflexagon) for comic-book type story-telling, and a mini book that could contain anything from math facts to the secrets of the universe. A matchbook size mini book can be made and then kept in an actual matchbox. Book Arts Guild of Vermont people helped me do this. Students might want to make these after reading the Red Clover Book entitled The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman. This is an activity for any budget.

I spoke with Richa, who is going to assist with a course called Intro to Relational Databases at Girl Develop It Burlington. There are classes and meet-ups. I want to go.

Champlain College Emergent Media Center folks explained what they are working on. Their new Maker Lab that had its grand opening party last night.

I saw a robot-building challenge and presentation by Joe Chase and his team of students from Essex High School. Joe is my neighbor and it was great to see him up there advocating for more design and engineering work in schools. My daughter took his robotics class a few years ago and loved it.

I saw and did many other cool things, including experimenting with magnets with Frank White from CreateItLab and speaking with the effervescent Michael Metz of Generator, Lucy deLaBruere, Courtney Asaro, and Graham Clarke, both of Flynn Elementary School in Burlington.

What a great day! Takeaways included an Arduino Robot Kit made by and the knowledge that so many people are working on creating engaging opportunities for people of all ages in the Burlington area.