When giving tours at Makersmiths we are often asked, "What do you offer for kids?" There are a number of educational initiatives Makersmiths members offer to families. This is one. It is called the KidWind Challenge. We have five middle school students that Makersmiths members volunteer to mentor. Jennifer Chu is pictured here working with students to learn to measure the pitch of the wind turbine blades the student on the right designed and created using woodworking skills. The five Middle School KidWind team members are preparing for the Northern Virginia Challenge on April 14, 2020 at the 4H Center in Front Royal, VA. They will enter the basic challenge event using a Vernier generator and a gearbox that another Makersmiths member, Ralph Pugh, is helping the students design and create. Prior to this KidWind Challenge event, the students will display their work at the Loudoun County Public Schools Student Maker Showcase on March 26, 2020 from 5:30-7:30 PM at the Academies of Loudoun. Won't you join us that night to meet our KidWind team and to also see the Shoo-B Robot research team, also mentored by Makersmiths members Dave Painter and Mark Millsap? For more information about these events, please visit:
LCPS Student Maker Showcase
Northern Virginia KidWind Challenge
On October 5, 2019, Makersmiths-Purcellville lit up its forge! We held an Open House from 1-4pm to share with the community of makers our newest making addition! If you missed the Forge Open House, please come visit us any Tuesday evening from 6-8 PM for a tour of our space. Address is 785 S. 20th Street, Purcellville, VA 20132.
On Sept. 28 and 29, 2019, three Makersmiths members held "how-to" workshops at Rust Library in Leesburg during the library's weekend How-to Festival. On Saturday, Diane Painter taught adults and children how to make glycerin-based soaps. Dave Painter set up his laptop and a desktop CNC machine to show library visitors how he uses his computer and the CNC to create plagues. On Sunday, Erin Werling had a huge crowd at her sidewalk chalk-making station! This was a great example of how community-based maker spaces and libraries can work together to help the public understand the function and fun of maker spaces!
On June 1st, 2019, Makersmiths had a team of six members participate in the Relay for Life of Loudoun County in the Villages of Leesburg near Wegmans. As a 1st year team, we finished as #18 of 47 total teams and raised over $1,980! The Leesburg event has raised just under $160,000 this year! Our booth received a lot of attention from Relay participants, as well as local shoppers. We raffled off several handmade items that were made and donated by our members including: resin river serving boards, horseshoe coat racks, homemade soaps, a quilt, challenge coin stands, and horseshoe wine racks. T-rex, aka Makersaurus, made several appearances sporting his Makersmiths t-shirt and he was a huge hit with people of all ages. He estimates that he was asked to take over 100 photos with people. We are already looking forward to next year’s Relay!
Contributed by Jennifer Netsch
On March 15, 2019, the Makersmiths' KidWind Middle School Team (Wind Overload) and Makersmiths' KidWind High School Team (Too HAWT to Handle) entered the Northern Virginia KidWind Challenge. The event was hosted by Shenandoah University and sponsored by James Madison University, Dominion Energy and others. The day was jammed packed with multiple events. Each team had to take a team quiz and participate in an instant problem-solving challenge. Then their turbines that they designed and built at Makersmiths and to be "tested" in wind tunnels to determine how much energy they can produce. Finally, they met with judges to explain the decision-making, design and construction processes they experienced when making their turbines. The highest of their trial run wind tunnel testing scores were recorded and combined with their knowledge scores and the judges' interview scores. The combined scores determined the winners of the Northern Virginia KidWind Challenge. The High School Team won first place in their Advanced Challenge division and now the team qualifies to go on to National KidWind competition (https://www.kidwindchallenge.org/p/28-2019-national-challenge). Although the Middle School team did not qualify for national competition, they did win awards for KNOWLEDGE and for Best Blade Design in the middle school division. Congrats to team members and their coaches! To learn more about the KidWind initiative at Makersmiths and see photos from the event, please visit https://sites.google.com/a/makersmiths.org/kidwind-challenge-teams/
On November 3, 2018, Makersmiths held KidWind Energy workshops in each location (Leesburg and Purcellville) for children in elementary through high school and their parents. The purpose of the workshops was to learn about wind energy, the difference between wind mills and wind turbines, and the best way to construct wind turbines to produce energy. The workshops were led by Remy Pangle from James Madison University, a KidWind Challenge coach and coordinator for KidWind-VA. Diane Painter and seven other Makersmiths members assisted in the workshops or gave facility tours to the families. At the end of the workshops, the children were invited to learn more about KidWind Challenge-VA. They were encouraged to form teams at their schools, or to join a Makersmiths sponsored middle or high school school challenge team. Registration for the Makersmiths Middle School team for students in grades 4-8 or Makersmiths High School team for students in grades 9-12 is still open through November 10, 2018. Go to https://makersmiths.org/event-3123069 to register. Any questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Saturday, Oct. 27, four Loudoun County fathers and their children completed a Creepy Bot workshop at Makersmiths-Purcellville. The purpose of the workshop was to review the Virginia's Standards of Learning (SOLs) on Force, Motion and Energy (specifically the Simple and Compound Machines Curriculum) as the participants assembled the Creepy Bot's parts (levers, wheels and axles, screws) to make a compound machine (the Creepy Bot). The Creepy Bot kit parts were made by Makersmiths' instructor, Ralph Pugh. Ralph downloaded the plans for the Creepy Bot from Clayton Boyer's Web site, modified them to make it easy to assemble for children working with a parent, then used the Makersmiths laser cutter to cut out the pieces. At the end of the workshop, children held Creepy Bot races! Our next family-oriented workshop is Nov. 8 from 5-6:30 PM at Makersmiths-Purcellville when participants will make soaps the whole family will enjoy! To register, go to https://makersmiths.org/event-3098468
There are a number of fun activities coming up for families, especially for children. Here are a few examples: Saturday, September 29, we will be having soap-making the whole family will enjoy (register at https://makersmiths.org/event-3038283?CalendarViewType=1&SelectedDate=9/17/2018). Boo at the Zoo at Wilson's Wild Animal Park will be on Saturday, Oct. 13, featuring Halloween activities and rides on our MS barrel train (https://makersmiths.org/event-3072629?CalendarViewType=1&SelectedDate=10/17/2018). The Farm Tour stop at Southern States on Oct. 20-21 in Purcellville will also feature rides on our barrel train as well as a pumpkin-decorating station. On Saturday, Nov. 3, we will have Wind Energy workshops at both our MS locations (in the morning at MS-Leesburg- registration is at https://makersmiths.org/event-3034446?CalendarViewType=1&SelectedDate=11/17/2018) and in the afternoon at our MS-Purcellville location (register at https://makersmiths.org/event-3034519?CalendarViewType=1&SelectedDate=11/17/2018).
On Sept. 2-3, 2018 Makersmiths partnered with Habitat for Humanity to help Loudoun County youth learn woodworking skills. The youth learned to build flower boxes for houses being built by Habitat for Humanity. Purcellville's Mayor Kwasi Fraser and his family stopped by to see this collaborative initiative in action at the Purcellville location. The event was repeated at the Makersmiths Leesburg location on Labor Day. Thank you to Makersmiths' Brad Hess for coordinating this partnership. We hope to have more collaborative events at Makersmiths locations in the future with Habitat for Humanity.
There's a corner in my ladyfriend's house that is the "magic spot" for plants. It's got just the right temperature and just the right amount of sunlight for a lot of different plants.
We had a little cart there, but with so many plants doing so well there, we were running out of space quickly. I thought a ladder shelf would be perfect. I looked around and they were as high as $150!!! https://images.crateandbarrel.com/is/image/Crate/Sawyer24p5BookcaseMochaSHS15_16x9/?$web_zoom_furn_hero$&160105131027&wid=1008&hei=567
I decided that I could build one for far less.
I was initially thinking that I'd use oak because I love its warm look, but after pricing it out, I decided that stained pine would do very nicely.
I used 12" and 6" wide boards for the shelves, and 2x2" for the sides. After looking at a number of plans, I found that 10 degrees was about the right lean angle, so I used the chop saw and table saw to make the cuts.
I didn't use a plan, specifically, but looked at a lot of different ones. After getting it all together, I thought it was a bit too wobbly (side to side) so I ended up adding some bracing that stiffened it up nicely.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/iMtoQDegS93vtCqM8 (before staining and the addition of bracing)
Makersmiths Leesburg: 106 Royal St SW, Leesburg, VA 20175Makersmiths Purcellville: 785 S. 20th St, Purcellville, VA 20132
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Makersmiths is a 501(c) non-profit organization. 106 Royal St SW, Leesburg, VA 20175