Sunday, 25 June 2017

Maker Faire Kansas City 2017: Live Updates

Union Station in Kansas City is overflowing with makers!

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This Week in Making: Decentralize the Web, Girl Scouts Tackle Cybersecurity, and More

This week, Mozilla is trying to get makers to decentralize the web, the Girl Scouts tackle cybersecurity, board games go virtual, and more.

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Saturday, 24 June 2017

Weekend Watch: Engineering a TrotBot to Climb Stairs and Rugged Terrain

To test his skills as a roboticist, Ben Vagle decided to test how his Lego TrotBot robots performed on 1/3-scale stairs.

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Friday, 23 June 2017

You can make fidget spinners with Perler Beads!

We are doing a series of Crafternoon programs this summer. In order to get some buzz going, we left this out on the children's desk and it has been a huge conversation starter.



Randomly, one kid asked, "Do you think you can make a fidget spinner with Perler beads?"

Answer, "YES"




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Building 1,000 Toy Trucks: Kansas City Woodworkers Guild Shares the Love

Now in its 8th year, Maker Faire Kansas City is happening this weekend. Join in the fun and see what the Kansas City Woodworkers Guild is up to!

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Tips of the Week: Zip Tie Twisting, 3D Printing Sanding Grips, and the Orbital Sawing Stroke

Another week of useful shop trickery, including a must-know zip tie trick, from makers in cyberspace.

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Bayview Boom Teaches Teens How to Build Their Own Boombox

Bayview BOOM teaches teens electronics assembly, woodworking, metalworking and product design so they can build their own boomboxes.

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Celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday with a Giant Cardboard Maple Leaf

Celebrate the 150 year anniversary of Canada becoming a country this July by building this cardboard maple leaf display.

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This Band Goes Multi-Sensory with Interactive Lights and Beer

To make their band's performances a multi-sensory experience, The Lights Out added LED wearables and instruments to their act.

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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Making a Better Tape Dispenser with Adam Savage and Laura Kampf

Two well-known YouTube makers collaborate on building a portable, multi-roll tape dispenser.

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Building a 13-Foot Long Robot Dinosaur “Watcher” Costume from Horizon Zero Dawn

Someone showed up to E3 2017 in a life-sized costume of a Watcher, a robotic dinosaur from the Horizon Zero Dawn video game.

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Celebrating The National Week Of Making

As the week comes to an end, we look back at the wonderful results.

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Edible Innovations: Green Pea Cookies Are a Healthy Way to Snack

Fiona Less and Larissa Russell saw a problem with how we snack. So they created a savory and sweet cookie made of peas.

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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

High Tech Fashion, Low Riders, and Everything in Between at Maker Faire Kansas City

So many makers and such a beautiful location!

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Automate Your Coral Reef Tank with Raspberry Pi

This Raspberry Pi controlled coral reef tank has a touch screen and web based interface, temperature regulation, and tons of other features.

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The MakeShift Challenge: Snowbound!

You've crashed your snowmobile into a tree and a storm has descended. You're snowbound. What would MacGyver do?

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Circuito.io Helps Beginners Assemble Electronic Projects

Use Circuito.io to drag and drop different parts together. It will compute all the necessary additional items and give you a wiring diagram.

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Brisbane Pride Choir finds a home in libraries

This post originally appeared on the LAIP in June 2016.

Lots of libraries provide a “home” for many types of arts organizations, from quilters’ guilds to writers’ groups, who do not have a permanent space for gathering. As a librarian with a performance background, I’m always personally interested when a performing arts group takes advantage of the meeting rooms and community spaces that many libraries make available to their public.

One example is the Brisbane Pride Choir, based in Brisbane Australia. The choir not only just performed a new piece at the Queensland State Library as part of their ‘belonging’ concert, but the members also use meeting room space at the New Farm Library for their rehearsals. As David Hardy, Secretary of Brisbane Pride Choir writes, “As a community arts organisation (for community, read–culturally rich, financially poor), in an expensive city (Brisbane is Australia’s 3rd largest city after Sydney and Melbourne), we do rely on any venues and rehearsal spaces which are free or which discount considerably.”

The choir outside of its rehearsal space at the New Farm Library. Photographer: Tjeerd Tijhof.

The choir outside of its rehearsal space at the New Farm Library. Photographer: Tjeerd Tijhof.

Poster for 'belonging' concert at the State Library of Queensland. Designer: Jamie Waite.

Poster for ‘belonging’ concert at the State Library of Queensland. Designer: Jamie Waite.

While meeting spaces with enough room for a choir to rehearse are not available at every library branch in the city, those with the appropriate spaces do not charge for use by community-based organizations with lean budgets. Just another example of a simple but important way that libraries help keep the arts alive and thriving, all over the world. ~Laura



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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Reverse Engineering the Antikythera Mechanism

A clock maker tries building a copy of an ancient computer using the tools and engineering skills the original creators may have employed.

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Edible Innovations: Saving Bees and Snacking with Turtle Haus

In an effort to lessen the toll on bees, Morgan Woolf created Turtle Haus. The company uses sustainable practices that don't stress out bees.

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Maker Pro News: Keeping Adafruit Fresh, Fidget Spinner Innovation, and More

This week saw maker pros talking about dev boards as Limor Fried recounts the history of Adafruit and Dale Dougherty questions Arduino's CEO.

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Monday, 19 June 2017

The Lab Report: Stomp Rockets, Conductive Ink Games, and More

This week we started working on the new issue of the Make magazine, and all the projects that go along with it.

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How I Built a Sawmill in the Backyard

Dennis Atwood recently got into the hobby of woodworking. Wanting a sawmill of his own, he built one with materials from his backyard.

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Transforming a Propane Tank into a VW Bus Inspired Fire Pit

Greg McFarlane transformed a propane tank and random sheets of metal into a fire pit that looks like a Volkswagen Microbus.

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Join in the Fun, Maker Camp Starts Today!

Maker Camp returns for another summer. This year's theme is Start Making! and features DK Publishing's "Out of the Box" and "Maker Lab."

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Sunday, 18 June 2017

This Week in Making: Adam Savage’s Makerspace Tour, Duct Tape Prom Dresses, and More

This week, Adam Savage toured Artisan's Asylum, Stuck at Prom finalists were announced, and Jordan shares what he saw at E3.

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Friday, 16 June 2017

Filament Friday: T-Lyne Reshapes Your Prints

Taulman 3D T-Lyne's features make it perfect for wearable applications.

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Tips of the Week: DIY Pocket Notebooks, No-Brand Woodburning, and Running a Gratitude Loop

From woodburning with chemicals to centering holes to running a "grandfather's search," we've got our top tips for the week.

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Use Tent Poles for a Collapsible Demonstration Sign

Travel to the demonstration and hold your message high with ease thanks to this collapsible sign.

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These Mechanical Rock Sculptures Are Suspended with Their Own Weight

Artist Dan Grayber combines elements from industrial design and nature to create objects that seem to defy gravity.

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Thursday, 15 June 2017

Rediscovering “Lost Knowledge”

A look back at our 2009 column dedicated to lost and marginalized technologies of the past.

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Suitcase Sound Systems, a LionBot, and 8 Other Projects You Don’t Want to Miss at Maker Faire Barcelona

Maker Faire Barcelona is this weekend! Check out a small sample of some of the amazing projects that the Faire will offer.

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This Custom Built “Commute Deck” Makes it Easy to Work on the Go

The Commute Deck is designed to provide a productive computing experience for UNIX terminal work in tight places, like a train or airplane.

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Edible Innovations: Spice Mama Offers Healthy Traditional Indian Flavors

Spice Mama wants to bring consumers healthy Indian spice options free of additives and preservatives.

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Creative leadership, building a future: Interview with Vicki McDonald, CEO State Library of Queensland

This year we have the distinct pleasure of hosting updates from Dr. Matt Finch, with whom we’ve worked on a number of LAIP features, as he serves as Creative in Residence at the State Library of Queensland, Australia. Today’s post is an interview with the State Librarian of Queensland (Australia), Vicki McDonald. She and Matt talk future-facing libraries, creativity, and highlight some fun projects featured at SLQ.

by Matt Finch

Over the past year’s columns here at Library as Incubator, I’ve been looking at teams across the State Library of Queensland (SLQ), thinking about how they promote creative collaboration and advocate for libraries as incubators of the arts. From regional programs to themed signature events, heritage collections & musical libraries, we’ve explored innovation and adventure across a range of library activities.

When looking for people doing cool stuff in libraries, my natural inclination is to check out the grassroots work. Staff who interact directly with the community often have the most valuable insights and experiences, and it’s always good to remind ourselves that your pay grade reflects your responsibilities, it doesn’t determine your creativity. The brightest ideas can come from anywhere in an organisation’s hierarchy.

Still, the mood of an organisation is set by its chief executive, so for this installment of my column, I went up to the fifth floor of the State Library for an interview with our big boss, State Librarian Vicki McDonald.

Vicki has been in the role since September 2016. When I visited her at the beginning of March, she was pleased to be finished with her Master’s degree in executive leadership – the last assignment had gone in on Sunday.

“I have two years’ worth of books lying in the ‘to read’ pile beside my bed,” she told me. “I’m just eager to get started.”

Completing the Master’s degree is a major milestone for Vicki, who knows the importance of libraries as learning spaces well.

“I didn’t finish high school, which is something not a lot of people might know,” she explained. “Growing up in the rural Queensland town of Dalby, I wanted to be a schoolteacher, but the prospects of my family being able to send me away to study were just non-existent. I took a job in the town library in my teens, studied nights for my library technician’s certificate at a college of further education, then went on to do my BA by correspondence.”

Since then, Vicki’s career has encompassed public library management, library director and executive director roles at Queensland University of Technology and the State Library of New South Wales, plus strategic programming roles at Brisbane City Council and a previous stint doing policy development for the State Library of Queensland.

“Last time I worked here at SLQ, we had a big overhaul of our building on Brisbane’s South Bank. Looking ahead to the future of libraries, we introduced the State Library’s Infozone – a ground-floor space which emphasised comfort, collaboration, and computer access over shelves and collection items. We also introduced The Corner, a children’s play space for under-8s.”

Talking about future-facing libraries led us to R. David Lankes’ call for librarians to create a “new nostalgia” beyond the old imagery of shelves and silence. For Vicki, spaces like The Corner represent one aspect of that. “When I was at the State Library of New South Wales, we saw that a lot of Sydneysiders had memories of studying for their school leaving exams in our Mitchell Library Reading Room. Now, thanks to The Corner, there’ll be a new generation of Brisbanites whose first memories of SLQ will be boisterous play in a warm and welcoming space incorporating art, literacy, and digital activities.”

“After moving to New South Wales, I kept stalking this library for seven years, watching what they did. That’s the thing – they were doers, an organisation that moved on things. Queensland, of all Australia’s state libraries, is the one least held back by legacy issues – some large libraries are still trying to resolve inherited collection issues which are decades old. We’re not entirely immune to that here, but largely we can focus on the business of the day.”

On her return to SLQ, Vicki toured every work unit in the first months of her tenure, “taking the temperature” of the organisation and making sure staff got a sense of how she worked.

“I met lots of people who look at things in really different ways,” she said. “As CEO it’s my job to give them scope to put ideas forward and the freedom to get things done.”

“I asked each group what they would do if they were in my position as CEO. Most people spoke of change, but one person said, ‘I would be proud of what I inherited.'”

Vicki was clearly pleased with this. “I have an idea of what I’d like to see happen, but of course the best way to build a future is to let it come from your staff, from their collective voice – and to build on the ground of what’s already there.”

To turn creative aspirations into real action, the CEO established task forces focussed on particular challenges such as communications and client-centred services. Staff from across the library were invited to volunteer for these groups, which broke down silos and worked to tight timescales, coming up with practical solutions to library-wide challenges.

One example was a proposed expansion of the FunFaces activity which allows library visitors to digitally transfer their faces into iconic Queensland images from heritage collections.

The activity was developed for SLQ’s 2016 Fun Palaces after a previous staff-wide call out for ideas and inspiration from all ranks. Vicki arranged for FunFaces to visit the Australian national library conference ALIA, where it was embraced by attendees.

“If a CEO can demonstrate that they are nimble and will back up their staff, these are the kind of ideas which can come to fruition,” Vicki told me. She admitted she was particularly pleased with Faceswap because it links users to the State Library’s collections: “The collection is still what makes a library unique and distinct from other institutions. Without a collection, why would you have a library?”

“We capture history even as we focus on the future: and that’s as much about ordinary lives and little moments as well as the great and the grand highlights of our times.”

Although any individual library has only a single collection, for Vicki it’s important that the library offers different points of access for users – playful, digital, traditional, or completely unexpected as they may be. “We need to make the collection interesting and offer people different ways to explore it. The collection defines us, but the community can choose to approach it from any angle.”

At the State Library’s South Bank site, she indicated the Black Opium art installation as a highlight.

Black Opium consists of a series of booths along one of the open walkways on the building’s third floor. These booths, which are available as drop-in spaces for study, discussion, or reading, each contain references to Queensland’s 1897 Aboriginals Protection and Restriction of the Sale of Opium Act.

Ostensibly designed to protect Indigenous people from the drug trade, in practise this Act led to forced removals of Aboriginal communities and an ongoing legacy of oppression, exclusion, and subjugation. The Black Opium display is crowned with a sculpture of metal poppies suspended from the ceiling. 

People work within the installation every day – the booths are among the most sought-after spaces in the building – and have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a difficult and often forgotten corner of Queensland’s history. For Vicki this is yet another route to lead people into the heart of the institution’s collection.

“The power of libraries is in their responsiveness.  Our community can ask to see anything in the collection; and we strive to encourage serendipity. If you think of a local public library and the way a community feels comfortable to walk through the doors and ask for our help, our services, it’s very different to how the public treat a museum or a gallery. At the State Library level, that means responding to the curiosity in people – and even encouraging them to be more curious!”

This is a goal Vicki has set for SLQ staff as much as the wider community: “If the public can use the library creatively by exploring its collections, I want a similar freedom for the staff. My authority as CEO is important insofar as it lets the story of what we do cascade from the strategic plans we agree at the highest level down to the personal plans – the wants, needs, and hopes – of our staff. That goes both ways, with staff inspiring us across the hierarchy – but it also means that everyone at SLQ gets a realistic picture of what’s achievable and what’s affordable.”

“The challenge is that our state is so big and so diverse, encompassing everything from the Torres Strait Islanders to Brisbane City Council, the largest local authority in Australia. We advocate for public libraries throughout Queensland; it’s our job to talk with the executives and speak up for libraries, and to support our friends and partners who work in communities statewide. Queensland has to see the ways in which we can deliver on all kinds of good outcomes for this state via the public library network.”

For Vicki, thinking of “libraries as creative spaces” must include not just artistic endeavours, but ventures like SLQ’s Business Studio. This is a space offering resources for entrepreneurs, from which the public might graduate to one of the city’s dedicating startup spaces. “A place like that is about supporting people to write the story of their own lives, in the real world, with lasting and meaningful consequences. The fact I’m sitting here now, at the CEO’s desk, is testament to the power of that kind of narrative.”

Thoughts of those early days, when the boardroom of SLQ was an unimaginable place for a girl from the Darling Downs to end up, bring us back to values and priorities that have remained with Vicki throughout her career.

“It’s funny how you can return to those days of study, when you had the freedom to really explore a topic. It’s something you only get glimpses of now when you write policy and strategy. I remember writing an essay for my BA on freedom of access and intellectual freedom. They didn’t seem like the most pressing issues of the time, yet now I return to them in this age of debates around authenticity of information, “fake news” and open access. They’re incredibly relevant to what we do every day – so I guess you see that thread running through your career, the story of your own life.”

 



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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Assemble a Robot Opponent for Air Hockey

Use JJ Robots' kit and your Android phone to build an air hockey partner who's always game.

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The MakeShift Challenge: Trapped in a Condemned Building!

Urban exploring by yourself was a bad idea even before you fell through a hole and became trapped. MacGyver THIS, wiseguy.

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These Interactive Cellphone Butterflies Come to Life When You Call Them

The butterflies, created with recycled phone parts and glittering with SIM card wings, can receive phone calls.

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Inside Adafruit, the Open-Source Manufacturing Maker Champions

Adafruit was founded in a dorm room by MIT engineer Limor “Ladyada” Fried as an online learning resource and marketplace for DIY electronics.

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Coins Become a Canvas for This Intricate Carver

Shaun Hughes engraves coins with intricate and beautiful designs. His designs run from whimsical to intricate patterns and scroll engravings.

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Edible Innovations: Cacoco Is Sustainable Drinking Chocolate with Biodegradable Packaging

Cacoco makes a drinkable crumble chocolate that they like to call “the molten chocolate vitality elixir” with 100% compostable packing.

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Reel Misfits: The First Annual Student Film Festival at North Carolina Wesleyan College

This post originally appeared on the LAIP in June 2016.

1

by Ian Boucher

Hello everyone! My name is Ian Boucher, and I’m currently the Emerging Technologies and Outreach Librarian at North Carolina Wesleyan College. Every now and again I will be sharing my experiences supporting student and faculty inspiration through the college’s library. A great place to start is an event from the spring of 2016—the first annual film festival held at the college, conceived, organized, and implemented by the student Film Club.

The Film Club was officially started in Fall 2015. I have had the privilege of serving as its advisor, and it continues to be an incredible experience. While I had been in the early stages of working with the college to get a campus TV station off the ground, it was the Film Club that truly got media going on campus. It has been amazing to see the club utilize the library’s media production lab and meeting spaces to serve the college community each time its members hone their skills through club workshops, peer guidance in the use of media, and filming events around campus.

As is filmmaking’s wont, especially in a college environment, where students participate based on their own spare time and interest, the 2015-2016 year was challenging for the Film Club, from technical difficulties to scheduling issues, but the club concluded its year tremendously with the Reel Misfits Film Festival, sharing its initials with our college’s city, Rocky Mount. My job was to support and encourage the club’s members in bringing their voices from script to screen through the library’s resources and what insights I could provide.

2

At the end of Fall 2015, the President and Vice President of the club told me that they wanted to hold an event at the end of Spring 2016 promoting filmmaking in the area. I met with the club several times over the next few months as its members worked out submission categories and guidelines, as well as the marketing on social media, around campus (including the library of course), and talking to professors about offering their students extra credit for submitting a film. The club independently secured a campus auditorium with a work-study student to operate the projector, as well as a campus photo background, popcorn machine, and filmstrip decorations, and bought snacks and even red carpets and Oscar statuettes through the club budget. The festival was open to any student of North Carolina Wesleyan College. There was initially a small fee to enter, but it was ultimately waived to boost participation.

The club secured four judges, pictured below—Theatre professor Brooke Edwards, English professor Dr. Steven Ferebee, Admissions Counselor David Williams, and Director of Bands Tony Sawyer—and created surveys to get feedback about the judges’ experiences.

3

The event was an absolute joy. It was so wonderful to be there as casts, crews, friends, and our uplifting provost Dr. Michael Brown—pictured below with Secretary Grace Lee, Vice President Sidney McCall, President Shayne DeWitt, and go-to sound and camera operator Isbi Malla (yes, Isbi is wearing the official club T-shirt!)—gathered together to enjoy the work of the students that year.

4

After a hanging out on the red carpet where attendees could enjoy snacks, mingling, and pictures, the club gathered everyone into the auditorium, and after a welcome to all in attendance, six short films were screened, with a member of each production saying a few words of introduction. The judges then assembled privately, and took to the stage to present the awards.

5

The films:

While not as many students submitted films to the festival as hoped (although there were a few unfinished ones that were not able to be screened), this event was nevertheless a lot of fun, and a critical part of any media production program. Moreover, this particular culmination was representative of an invaluable maiden voyage that provided its members hands-on media experience to inform further exploration of ideas in enriching the club, the college community, and, most importantly, the local arts through media—and I can’t wait to be there to support it with the rest of the college from the library.

Follow the club on Facebook, Instagram, and of course, YouTube! There’s going to be plenty more media where this came from!

6

 

Ian Boucher_Bio pictureIan Boucher has a background in television production, film studies, and communication theory, and earned his Master of Library and Information Science at Kent State University to become a librarian to advocate for information literacy. His primary research interests include the roles of motivation in information seeking behavior and the roles of film and superhero comic books in cultural discourse. Continue the conversation with him on Twitter @Ian_Boucher



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Maker Pro News: An Open Hardware Exposé, Changes at TechShop, and More

There were quite a few announcements in the maker pro space this past week. There are a lot of tech hardware changes too.

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Monday, 12 June 2017

Build Cardboard Combat Bots This Weekend at San Diego’s North County Mini Maker Faire

This weekend, Maker Faire comes to North County San Diego. If you love fighting robots, you'll want to check out San Diego Maker's Guild's Cardboard Combat Bots.

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Math Monday: Hole New Polyhedra

If you build a number of polyhedra models, and count up their vertices, edges, and faces, you many discover an interesting relationship.

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Caleb Visits Copenhagen’s Labitat Hackerspace

During a quick visit to Copenhagen, Caleb managed to squeeze in enough time to visit a hackerspace called Labitat.

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Give Dad a DIY Leather Catch-All Coin and Key Holder

Wow your dad this Father's Day by making him a leather catch-all valet. Perfect for the dad who needs a place to stash his keys or extra change.

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Take Photos Through These Raspberry Pi Powered Binoculars

Make pinoculars by upgrading a pair of binoculars with a Raspberry Pi 2 and a Pi camera so it can view and take pictures at a distance.

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Sunday, 11 June 2017

This Week in Making: Star Wars Cake, Project Crates for Kids, E3 Countdown, and More

A Star Wars cake with actual glowing lightsabers, crates that inspire kids to create, and the first ever public E3, all this week in making.

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Saturday, 10 June 2017

Sculpting with Books to Make Abstract Art

Jacqueline Rush Lee creates art by rolling up individual sheets of paper and bending larger sections of pages from books.

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Maker Faire Paris 2017: Live Updates

See the action happening in Paris riht now

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Friday, 9 June 2017

Tips of the Week: Gluing Hinges, Organizing Hardware, and Screen Printing with Wood Glue

Have you ever thought of gluing hinges or using wood glue to create a silk screen? Check out this week's top tips.

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This Unique Ukulele Is Scratch-Built From a Felled Tree

Amy Qian's headless travel ukulele is both a little odd and completely gorgeous. She constructed it from a leftover pile of wood.

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Free Arduino

The Arduino team and Arduino Holding need to show us that the Arduino Foundation has been formed as an independent and open organization.

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Tales of a 6th Grade Maker: Tribulations of a Laser Cutting Science Fair Project

Elijah ran into some hiccups while building a laser to slice through paper for his middle school science fair.

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Build an LED Copter and Slingshot

This copter launcher both lights up and flies through the air! This is excerpted from Electricity for Young Makers: Fun and Easy Do-It-Yourself Projects.

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Thursday, 8 June 2017

Taking a Power Racing Car from Concept to Finish Line

A maker delves into the whimsical world of adult kiddie car racing and ends up taking home some serious hardware.

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Maker Faire Paris Offers 100 Hands-On Workshops and Features 800 Makers

The organizers of Maker Faire Paris have made it their mission that all attendees go home with at least one thing they made themselves. Get inspired with this teaser of exhibitors!

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Micro:Bit’s CEO Discusses Their Children’s Education Initiative

Last year, the BBC gave a small, embedded computer to nearly a million school children in order to provide coding experience for kids.

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Working Through the 5 Steps of Design Thinking

Design thinking is an approach to creative problem-solving that uses a framework that begins with building empathy.

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Edible Innovations: Pete’s Living Greens Is Packaged Produce That’s Still Growing

Peter Overgaag is reinventing agriculture by selling leafy lettuce that is packaged with their roots and soil in greenhouse bags.

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