Monday, June 30, 2014

BPC Maker Club at the First-Ever White House Maker Faire!

On June 18th, 2014, two now 8th grade students (Jane & Sam) and I (science teacher) had the wonderful opportunity to attend the first ever White House Maker Faire.  Our invitation came as a result of our proposal describing our work with the Advanced Light Source earlier this school year, where we used high energy xrays to scan small samples, then 3D-printed them out many times their actual size.  (Feel free to check out the ALS news briefs following our adventures from the initial student field experience, through the Maker Faire results and our invitation to the White House!)

video


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Acknowledgements
I want to begin by recognizing the many people in addition to Jane and Sam that our invitation recognizes.  Thanks to:
  • Dula Parkinson, Beamline Scientist, for patiently mentoring me during my IISME summer 2013 internship and having the vision to design and implement our November 2013 ALS experience, as well as his continued support through the data analysis / printing process.
  • Howard Padmore, BPC parent and ALS Division Deputy for Experimental Systems Group, for his role in organizing the 7th grade trip, as well as his encouragement to apply to the White House Maker Faire.
  • Justin Blair, scientist, for his help with data visualization and his 3D printer assistance.
  • The Maker Club (again) for a very successful debut at the San Mateo Maker Faire in May 2014, especially to those 7th graders (Flynn, Abe, Alexander, Jane, Daniel, Sam, Kyra and Emily) who volunteered their time at our booth.  Also, Gigi, Alex, and Luka (all 6th grade) and Isaac (8th grade) for their help.
  • Finally, those BPC students who spent long, sometimes frustrating hours with our initial 3D printer back in 2010, which was far more finicky that our current machines: especially Adam (BPC Class of 2013) and Cole, Noah and Daniel (BPC Class of 2014)

I am sure we are leaving folks off this list, but the point is that the kids (and their teacher!) did not accomplish this on their own and we are grateful for the opportunities for collaboration we have experienced along the way.

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The excitement began exactly one week before the Maker Faire.  We received the email (below) 6 days prior to the event with scant details beyond we were invited and the event would occur sometime on Wednesday, June 18th.  In addition, we were asked not to discuss our participation until the morning of the event.  I've since learned this is how things roll with White House Events.  



Two days before the Faire, we received clarification that as "honored makers" we were able to attend the event, but we would not be presenting our project. Well, that certainly made packing easier!


Once the event was underway, we were thrilled to learn that President Obama officially declared June 18th a National Day of Making! Watch his speech below (or read the text here.)

There were about 30 makers set up throughout the White House's east wing.  Some of our favorites included MaKey MaKey, Squishy Circuits, the crowd-pleasing Robotic Giraffe, and LittleBits. 

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You can read the full version about our trip on our Maker Club blog by visiting BPC's Day at the White House Maker Faire.



Here's our media roundup re: our White House Maker Faire experience:


1 comment:

  1. Congratulations PBC! thanks to the teacher, these kids will have many more future contributions to this industry. ikeep doing the good thing!

    ReplyDelete