This week Makersmiths was represented at two educational outreach events. The first was Inspire Loudoun, a full-day conference for teachers at Riverside High School (a Loudoun County Public School). Member Erin W and her daughter entered the hard fought Battle of the Bots competition competing with their "bots" against two teachers. Even though our two Makersmiths contestants lost the battle, they had fun learning to guide their robotic balls under their custom-made cup bots around the gym floor trying to bust opponents' balloons secured to their bots. Diane P. manned the Makersmiths' exhibit table and handed out over 100 brochures and summer events & classes calendars to teachers and administrators who came to the table to see laser cut, 3D printed and wood-turned items that our Makersmiths members had made. The best "draw" to the table was Mike W's Photo Booth. Administrators loved the idea of having families take pictures during back-to-school, PTA and other school events and have the photos sent to them and the school that shows attendance at school events. Here is Josh A (Makersmiths member and educator for LCPS) using the Photo booth.
The second outreach event was LearnerPalooza 2018 held at Lord Fairfax Community College in Frederick, VA. Diane P represented Makersmiths and had the opportunity to meet with the executive director of VSTE.org (Karen Richardson) and Remy Pangle from James Madison University's Virginia Wind Center to talk about how Makersmiths can sponsor middle school and high school student teams for the Virginia KidWind Challenge hosted by Shenandoah University in March 2019. Learn more about this event at https://virginiakwc.wixsite.com/kwcva. If interested in having your children (grades 4-12) involved, please contact email@example.com.
On June 2, 2018, Makersmiths held a grand opening at its Purcellville location 785 S. 20th Street, Purcellville, VA. A very special THANK YOU to the Purcellville Town Council, merchants, donors and many volunteers who made this Grand Opening possible. Throughout the day Makersmiths members displayed projects that they created and held mini-"I Made This!" presentations. Visitors from the community, Purcellville Town Council members, and business folks interacted with Makersmiths members, networking and sharing ideas for future Makersmiths initiatives. A few of the day's highlights, including the mayor's ribbon-cutting statements, are presented in this slideshow!
On May 21, the first class at Makersmiths-Purcellville was a huge success. Participants used woodshop tools to create corn hole games. Hosted by Tom Hill and Jon White, the class consisted of men, women and teens who became acquainted with the space's woodshop area and made their own popular backyard party corn hole games that some say were invented by the Native Americans in Illinois- or maybe by a German cabinet maker- or by a pioneer in Kentucky...? Doesn't matter, it is fun to play!
Makersmiths, Inc. participated in Loudoun County Public Schools first Maker Showcase held at Brambleton MS on May 3, 2018. In this video, we captured amazing student projects created by a robot team, Girls in Gear after-school club, and maker spaces in schools that tie 3D printing into curricula initiatives. In addition, children and parents collaborated in building a Geo dome in the gym! Note in the movie our member Ralph Pugh's "creepy" bot that he created using a laser cutter! Makersmiths raffled free classes for teachers and administrators at this event. We hope the raffle winners will be encouraged to learn maker skills that they can use in maker spaces in their schools as well as at Makersmiths! We hope this will be an annual event.
We are all set for participating in the Leesburg Flower and Garden Festival April 21-22 from 9am-6pm on Saturday and 9am-5pm on Sunday. Please stop by our booth in the non-profit section of the festival on Church Street by the post office and learn more about Makersmiths. Then come see us in our "garden shop" in the Makersmiths-Leesburg location at 106 Royal Street, SW. We will be offering items made by members in exchange for donations that will support our Makersmiths-Purcellville location build out. See our table of items. Then visit our garden shop website to learn about the specific items.
Makersmiths-Purcellville held its first Brag Night with six members sharing things they created. Dave displayed a wooden box he constructed that stores a diamond angle and radius dresser used for used for putting precise radius radii or angles on to grinding wheels. Todd explained how he uses Raspberry pi (a computer on a board) to create games. He also showed us a cell phone module he invented that allows him to take and display photos, check his Twitter account and send and receive text messages. It even has a cell tower finder. Michael is experimenting with using a 3D printer to create an armor glove. Diane and Dave shared how they used a 3D printer and a silicone mold kit to create the mold for making Makersmiths soaps. Jon shared a computer game he created. During this event, eight people dropped by the space for a tour. To see photos from the event, click on Brag Night Slideshow. Makersmiths-Purcellville plans to have this "brag night" a once a month event. Contact Tom Hill if interested in participating!
The LCPS Regional Science & Engineering Fair was held on March 15, 2018 at Riverside High School This event involved 298 high school students from Loudoun County’s fifteen high schools, the LCPS Academy of Science, the LCPS Academy of Engineering & Technology and Monroe Technology Center. Winning students in a variety of science and engineering disciplines received over $30,000 in awards and prizes.
Two Makersmiths members served as judges for the Maker Award. The Makersmiths’ Maker Award is awarded to the science fair entrant who we feel represents outstanding maker ingenuity, creativity, and technical skills by constructing something that was used in some way during the scientific process of conducting research. We are pleased to announce that the 2018 Maker Award goes to Jacob Di Girolamo for his project entitled: The Designing and Prototyping of Pneumatic Tools That Are Capable of Being Produced Using Additive Manufacturing. The tool that Jacob created and tested out through an experimental approach to improve its performance consists of eight unique components, some by 3D printing, others machined. Jacob is now a Makersmiths member and we will enjoy having him collaborate with and share his expertise with other members.
We also have two honorable mention recipients. We would like to recognize Gwyneth Schloer for her project, Mathematically Accurate, Double-Axis Microgravity Simulator. Gwyneth stuck with her project idea for several years, and all on her own improved the design and construction of the double-axis simulator used in her research.
Our second honorable mention recipient is Corwin Warner for his project, Using Arduino Microcontrollers for Dual-Fuel Injection. Corwin’s engineering project involved the making of many 3D parts, but it also represents many different disciplines involved in his research.
The complete awards list is posted on the RSEF website:
To see photos of the event, visit RSEF 2018 Awards Ceremony
RSEF 2018 Candid photographs of the set-up, judging, first place announcement, and ceremony
Mark your calendars for the 2019 LCPS RSEF on March 14, 2019 (Pi Day) at Riverside High School.
Maker Education initiatives encourage our Makersmiths youth members to become problem-solvers and innovators that will lead to finding solutions to relevant problems. Through a variety of learning activities that integrate a variety of STEM and art fields, we encourage student-driven exploration, communication and collaboration. Participants learn within authentic maker environments to communicate and collaborate with other makers as they identify problems to solve, research, design, model, tinker, and test out their innovations.
To stimulate interest in becoming innovators, Makersmiths members were encouraged to attend the 2018 Science and Engineering Festival at the Washington, DC Convention Center the weekend of April 7-8. This festival showcased youth projects throughout the Washington, DC region that provide in-school and out-of- school opportunities to engage in robotics, 3D printing, laser cutting and much more. View a slideshow of the Science and Engineering Festival.
What is next? How can your family become involved in maker education initiatives? Please attend our next education event sponsored by the Loudoun County Public Schools. It is the Student Maker Showcase on Thursday, May 3, 2018 at Brambleton Middle School located at 23070 Learning Circle Ashburn, VA 20148. The event runs from 5:30 PM-8 PM. It is billed as a public showcase of student invention, creativity and resourcefulness. Dominion HS, Eagle Ridge MS, Loudoun Academy of Science and Harmony Middle Schools’s AT Maker Club will exhibit student projects as well as their maker spaces and hands on learning initiatives.
This event will be a mash-up of an art show, science fair, robotics competition, craft fair, STEM day and hackathon. Makersmiths, Inc. will have a display table of projects members have made and we will run a raffle for teachers and administrators to win free classes at Makersmiths locations in Leesburg and Purcellville. It is hoped that these educators will learn new maker skills and help establish maker spaces within their own schools.
On April 7, 2018, Makersmiths had a soft opening of its Purcellville location at 785 S. 20th Street. For the past year, members have taught members how to use renovation tools, cut framing wood, hang drywall, and so much more. Although we are still working on the facility for a grand opening later this spring, please stop by on Saturdays and meet the members and learn how to join this incredible nonprofit, community-oriented organization and also make new friends! Click on the Purcellville location link to see what has been created so far.
Tuesday, March 27th
A complete list of tasks are in the #purcellville channel on Slack.
Friday, March 30th
If you are free Friday, please contact Dave Painter through Slack and let him know!
Saturday, March 31st
This is the last big workday and the day we could really use the most help! Even just stopping by for an hour to lend a hand will help out
Makersmiths Leesburg: 106 Royal St SW, Leesburg, VA 20175
Makersmiths Purcellville: 785 S. 20th St, Purcellville, VA 20132
Normally the best way to join in is to just come on by, but due to Covid19 we are now by appointment only.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a tour.
We're here to help the best way we can! :-)
Makersmiths is a 501(c) non-profit organization. 106 Royal St SW, Leesburg, VA 20175