Piedmont Makers

To Promote & Inspire K-12 S.T.E.A.M. Education


Mini Maker Faire May 30!

2015 Call for Projects


Posted on Jan 31, 2015

Submit your Mini Maker Faire project today — it can be a school project, Science Fair project, or your own project. Piedmont K-12 students and community welcome!

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Piedmont K-12 students (& parents) are invited to the Piedmont Makerspace Design a Project day – Saturday, Jan. 31 1-4pm.  We will do a design thinking exercise to get everyone brainstorming about project ideas for the upcoming Piedmont Mini Maker Faire (or Science Fair or other school project). We will have plenty of materials on-hand for rapid prototyping as well as project inspiration (books, magazines, community makers). Sign up your project idea for the Mini Maker Faire and take home your prototype!

Eventbrite - Piedmont Makerspace - Design a Project!

What’s a Prototype? A first draft of a project. Use paper, cardboard, tape, rubber bands, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, color dots, paper clips, staplers, string, whatever to try out an idea and get feedback to improve the next version. Prototyping is fundamental to design thinking.

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January 2014 Newsletter


Posted on Jan 4, 2015

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Happy New Year and welcome back to a fun month ahead!

“Disassembly” Tech Social – Please join us for the January Tech Social this Friday January 9 at 6pm! The theme is “Disassembly” and we are asking attendees to bring devices, appliances, toys, etc. (working or not) for disassembly. Dr. Ayyana Chakravartula will be speaking about her work analyzing product and device failures. We have also invited the Fixit Clinic to join us for guided disassembly of your broken stuff. Open it up. See how it worked. Hopefully fix it.

January Makerspace “Call for Projects” – Thanks to everyone who made our first Makerspace event in December such a success! We will host our next Makerspace event on Saturday 1/31 1-4pm. We will do another open make with guided quick projects and also kick off our “Call for Projects” for the upcoming K-12 Mini Maker Faire in May. Get your FREE tickets.

January Board Meeting – We will hold our next Piedmont Makers board meeting on Thursday, January 15 7pm. If you are interested in helping out with upcoming Makerspace, Tech Social, or Mini Maker Faire events, please RSVP to piedmontmakers@gmail.com.

Speaker Series on Common Core Math – Education reform advocate Dan Meyer discusses Common Core Math, and the importance and method of teaching students to formulate and solve problems rather than memorize and apply formulas. January 27 7:30pm @ Piedmont High.

PHS update – Computer Science teachers Mr. Mattix and Dr. Raj are planning a new Mobile Apps Programming class for next year as a capstone class for advanced students that will complement the rich CS curriculum in place (Joy of Computing, Exploring Computer Science, AP CS). Computer Science momentum — demonstrated again by last month’s Week of Code — continues!

PMS update – The Makers student lunch club will kickoff again in January with Mr. Santos and Sally Aldridge organizing. Stay tuned for more info as we look to build upon the great projects from last year.

2nd annual PUSD Mini Maker Faire May 30 – Save the date!

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January Tech Social


Posted on Dec 30, 2014

Please join us for the January Tech Social on January 9 at 6pm in the Piedmont Middle School Multi-Purpose Room! The theme is “Disassembly” and we are asking attendees to bring devices, appliances, toys, etc. for disassembly. Note: re-assembly is unlikely. Also bring eye protection, just in case!

Dr. Ayyana Chakravartula will be speaking about her work analyzing product and device failures.

We have also invited the Fixit Clinic to join us for guided disassembly of your broken stuff. Open it up. See how it worked. Hopefully fix it.

Similar to previous Tech Socials, the event will include social time, pizza dinner, a short TEDx-like talk, and self-organizing pods with topics such as Minecraft, board games, wearables, and any other topics you would like to share!

The fee is $5 (which covers equipment and refreshments) and you can of course donate more to support this effort!

Eventbrite - Piedmont Tech Social - January

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December 2014 Newsletter


Posted on Dec 2, 2014

We have a busy couple weeks ahead as the Saturday Makerspace Open House and Friday night Tech Social lead into the Week of Code the week of December 8.

Piedmont Makerspace Open House – We will host an open house at the new Piedmont Makerspace at the Piedmont Middle School shop on Saturday December 6 at 1pm. The theme for the event will be “light” and we will be making holiday LED ornaments (for the younger students) and Arduino controlled holiday lights (for the older students) as well as other cool projects. Also bring your ideas on how to make the space even better for monthly events leading up to the Mini Maker Faire in May. Get your FREE tickets.

“Coding” Tech Social – Please join us Friday 6pm for the December Tech Social! The theme is “Coding” in honor of the following Hour of Code week from December 8-14. The featured speaker will be Ali Partovi, Co-Founder of Code.org, along with pizza dinner. Please consider bringing a device (tablet, smartphone, laptop) with your favorite apps that teach or utilize coding. We will have a projector available so that you can demonstrate to a small group during the self-organizing pod sessions. Please note the new location at PMS multi-purpose room! $5 per person tickets.

Week of Code – Over 1250 PUSD students participated in the Week of Code last year and the district is preparing for more the week of December 8. If your kids are looking for more, consider the 20 hour follow-up beginner courses for K-1, 2-5 and advanced courses for 4-5 and beyond.

Next Board Meeting – We will hold our next Piedmont Makers board meeting In January. If you are interested in helping out with upcoming Makerspace, Tech Social, or Mini Maker Faire events, please email piedmontmakers@gmail.com

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Piedmont Makerspace Open House


Posted on Dec 1, 2014

Piedmont K-12 students (& parents) are invited to an Open House for Piedmont’s new Makerspace at the Piedmont Middle School shop this Saturday, December 6 at 1pm. Get your FREE tickets:

Eventbrite - Piedmont Makerspace Open House

What’s a Makerspace? A new community space to promote S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math + Design) education for Piedmont students. A Makerspace is project-driven: for Class, for Science Fair, for the Piedmont Mini Maker Faire, or for fun! A Makerspace is staffed with expert mentors – either parents or high school students.

The theme for the Open House event will be “light” and we will be making holiday LED ornaments (for the younger students) and Arduino controlled holiday lights (for the older students) as well as other cool projects.

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First Tech Social!


Posted on Nov 4, 2014

Parents and kids are invited to the inaugural Tech Social Event this Friday, November 7, 6-10pm at the Veteran’s Hall.

The evening’s theme is “Maker” and events will include a social hour, pizza dinner, a short “show-and-tell” of a programmable dance floor by former Pixar Technical Director and Expert Maker Alex Seiden, two sessions of self-organizing pods with topics like Minecraft, Board Games, Rubik’s cubes, Wearables and whatever passionate topic you would like to bring!

The fee is $10 (which covers the facility, equipment and refreshments). Register here.

Thanks to organizers Dion Lim, Ayyana Chakravartula, and Noelle Filippenko!

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October 2014 Newsletter


Posted on Oct 9, 2014

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Kickoff recap - Thanks to everyone who came out to our 2014-2015 kickoff at Havens on 9/18. We had a full house of parents, staff, and students all excited to help us build upon last year’s momentum.  Slides are now posted on our slideshare if you were not able to make the event.

Tech Education Speaker Series recap - Another fantastic event last week with all-star Piedmont Makers speakers Dion Lim, CEO of NextLesson, Kurt Fleischer, Senior Scientist at Pixar as well as Ali Partovi, co-founder of Code.org, and Stephanie Griffin, PUSD’s Director of Instructional Technology.  Dion will be publishing his article and slides to HuffPo soon, Kurt provided a great set of maker links, and Ali’s presentation is also available on our slideshare.

1st Tech Social SURVEY - Dion Lim is spearheading a “MVP” of the Tech Social event on Friday, November 7 6pm at Veteran’s Hall.  The idea is to create a monthly evening gathering for adults and kids that is primarily social but also contains plenty of tech.  Please complete a quick survey to submit feedback to the organizing team.

East Bay Mini Maker Faire 10/19 10-5pm - East Bay Mini Maker Faire is right down the road on Oct 19 at Park Day school. It is a fantastic event to bring the whole family.  Advanced tickets are available now.  Student projects from the Piedmont Mini Maker Faire will be on display at the Piedmont Makers table.  Please stop by!

Middle School Update - Sally Aldridge is parent lead of the PMS Maker Club this year and will send out info soon on kickoff and project teams now forming!  New teacher Mr. Santos has energized the 6th grade wheel with an exciting new Maker lab ~15 day rotation in the PMS shop. We look forward to working with Mr. Santos further on opening the shop into a community Makerspace for student projects.

High School Update - Welcome Raj Shrivastava to the PHS Computer Science teaching team!  With a PhD in Computer Science and experience teaching at both the high school and college levels, Raj will add a lot to the PHS STEM efforts.  He is already working with Mr. Mattix on adding new CS courses to the curriculum including Web Apps, Web Coding, and Mobile Apps to complement current Computer Apps, Joy of Computing, and AP CS offering.

2nd annual PUSD Mini Maker Faire May 30 10am-4pm - Save the date!

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