Piedmont Makers

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


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Tech Social is Back (Virtually)


Posted on Nov 20, 2020

Missions, Teams, and Problems: Finding Meaning in Tech
Friday, Dec. 4, 7:00 pm

with Bryan Cantrill CTO Oxide Computer Company, Scoutmaster, and Piedmont dad. FIRST Robotics teams, scouts, and middle/high school tech enthusiasts are encouraged to attend. Come for the talk, stay for the gaming! Join us on Google Meet on Fri. 12/4 at 7pm.

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Highlanders at a local scrimmage

The Highlanders were founded in 2019. The team competes at the highest level of the 4 FIRST robotics programs. The Highlanders are led by Henry Lambert (Software/Electrical), Will Shields (Design/Fabrication), Charlie Lambert (Design/Fabrication), Jade Kessinger (Outreach) and Alyssa Angsupanich (Project Management).

The team designs their robots in Solidworks, a computer-aided design program, and fabricates most parts digitally. Defense is a big part of the competition, so robots need to be well designed and built. The team’s largest sponsors are Zenni, NASA, Google, Solidworks, and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

Rendering of competition robot

Solidworks rendering of the Highlanders’ 2020 Robot

In 2020, the team increased in size to 20 members. With covid, the team is meeting in person in small groups and virtually getting new team members trained in Solidworks, tools, electronics, wiring, and coding. The Highlanders are fortunate to have access to 2 mini machine shops in Piedmont. The team plans to move to the Engineering Lab in the new STEAM building when it opens and welcomes all students who are interested in building robots.

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2020-2021 Grant Application


Posted on Oct 17, 2020

Piedmont Makers will award S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) grants up to a total of $10,000 for the 2020-2021 academic year in support of teacher curriculum needs within the Piedmont Unified School District. Applications are due at 5pm on November 13, 2020.

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Election time is almost here. We sent questions to the five candidates for the Piedmont School Board and received very thoughtful replies. Here are their responses to issues that affect the Maker Community.

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Fall Scarecrows


Posted on Oct 3, 2020

Fall is here. Time to make Scarecrows!

In these strange times, we all miss the annual Piedmont events like the Harvest Festival. To make autumn a little more festive, The Piedmont Makers and the Piedmont Arts Fund are putting on a socially-distanced Scarecrow event.

Families and learning pods are invited to make scarecrows for their front lawns by October 24 for viewing. Our theme this year is CALIFORNIA DREAMING, because we could all use a healthy dose of optimism. At the end of October, there will be a chance for families to play Scarecrow Bingo with fun prizes.

Not sure where to start? The Piedmont Makers are building a limited number of scarecrow bases

The hardest part of making a scarecrow is usually the stand. Makers are doing what we do best and building a scarecrow stands to help get people started. Stands are approximately 5’ tall, made of wood, and can be easily customized at home to create your own scarecrow.

Scarecrow stands are $15 each. Quantities are limited and available on a first-ordered basis. Stands need to be ordered in advance by Thursday, Oct 8, 2020. They will be available for pickup on Saturday, October 17.
Click here to order your stand.

More details and scarecrow inspiration to come soon

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September 2020 News


Posted on Sep 27, 2020

Hello Makers!

September is here. In typical Bay Area fashion, the weather is hot – a last bit of summer before Fall kicks in. Although, we’re still wrestling with wildfires, COVID, and distance learning, we’re thankful that the air has cleared, As Makers, we’re looking for ways to connect in this disconnected time, foster intellectual curiosity, and find engaging ways to support our kids and the community. We’re working on new programming for the rest of the year including Maker Space, the Maker Faire, and more.

 

Fall Robotics Season Underway!

We have kicked off our fall season with well over 200 students across four levels: FIRST LEGO League Explore for K-3, FIRST LEGO League Challenge for grades 4-8, FIRST Tech Challenge for grades 7-12, and FIRST Robotics Competitions for grades 9-12.

Our program services all levels with recreational teams with students new to robotics as well as our World Championship advancing teams. This fall, teams will be practicing through a combination of virtual and socially distant in-person sessions and competing virtually. Looking for more info? Please email robotics@piedmontmakers.org.

 

On the Home Stretch! Support the Fab Lab Campaign,

We’re all excited about Piedmont’s new S.T.E.A.M. building. This new building is near completion and will be ready to open in January. An integral part of the building is the new Engineering or Fab Lab. A Fab Lab is the modern version of a wood or metal workshop and will allow PHS teachers, students, and our local Maker community to make almost anything: big or small; technical or artistic; serious or whimsical.

To help Piedmont’s future innovators, please consider a donation to the S.T.E.A.M. Building Fab Lab. The district still needs to raise additional funds to outfit the new building with the modern equipment necessary to meet its 21st-century curriculum needs and fund expert staff. We are on the home stretch and every dollar counts. The next $50k will be matched by an anonymous donor, so please donate today! For more information and online donations, please visit www.piedmontmakers.org/fablab.

 

Sunday, October 25. East Bay Mini (Virtual) Maker Faire

The East Bay Mini Maker Faire is looking at these current times as an opportunity fo innovation and rethinking. They are planning a virtual showcase of Makers leading up to a live (virtual) event featuring presentations, workshops, and experiences. Want to participate or get more information – check out their webpage here. The East Bay Mini Maker Faire is a colorful community festival that brings together science, art, craft, homesteading, engineering, music, food, workshops, and performances for the Maker community. Call for Maker entries ends October 16, and the event will happen on Sunday, October 25.

 

Miss the September Open House?

Thanks to everyone who join us at our virtual open house in early September. For those who were not able to make it, have a look at the presentation now posted to our About page on our website.

 

Join Us on Social Media

We have a variety of social accounts to keep makers of all ages inspired and engaged. Join our Facebook Group for a private and secure place to share Maker projects. You can also find us on Twitter and Instagram at @piedmontmakers and on YouTube. Our Instagram and YouTube channels are fairly new, and we’re always looking for engaging content. If you have images or videos to share either tag us @piedmontmakers or send them to us at social@piedmontmakers.org.

 

We Want Your Input

We will be sending out a short Maker survey in late September. The goal is to find areas where we can improve programs to support and inspire our community. We are incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished over the last 6 years, and as Makers, we are always looking for ways to iterate and improve. We’re looking forward to your insight and input. We cannot wait to see you virtually!

The Piedmont Makers Board

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August 2020 News


Posted on Aug 21, 2020

Hello Makers!

Welcome to the 2020-2021 academic year and a fall like no other. We are excited to reimagine our fall program through the lens of virtual and social distancing. We have been thinking of new ways to interact with our Piedmont Maker community. As a group, we’re constantly looking for new ways to engage both our kids and our community in the Maker spirit.

 

Fall Virtual Open House

Tuesday, September 8, 7:30pm — The beginning of the school year is a great time to encourage students and parents to become involved. Join the Maker’s board for an overview of our fall programs and how to get involved. Parents and students are welcome!

 

Announcing the Piedmont Maker Faire Walk

Coming in October. Building on the success of this summer’s Piedmont Art Walk, we are reimagining the Piedmont School Maker Faire as a community walk. The new format will tap into our maker spirit and give the Piedmont community a chance to see student and community maker projects with appropriate social distance. More soon.

 

Fall Robotics

We will have 34 robotics teams this fall and well over 200 Piedmont, Oakland, and Lamorinda students participating from grades K through 12. This includes FIRST LEGO League Explore for K-3, FIRST LEGO League Challenge for grades 4-8, FIRST Tech Challenge for grades 7-12, and FIRST Robotics Competitions for grades 9-12.

Our program services all levels with kids new to robotics as well as our Northern California champion and World Championship advancing FTC team Hypercube. This fall, teams will be practicing through a combination of virtual and socially distant in-person sessions and competing virtually. Looking for more info?  Please email robotics@piedmontmakers.org.

 

Support the Fab Lab Campaign

We’re excited about Piedmont’s new S.T.E.A.M. building. This new building is near completion and will be ready to open in January. An integral part of the building is the new Fab Lab. A Fab Lab is the modern version of a wood or metal workshop and will allow PHS students and our local Maker community to make almost anything: big or small; technical or artistic; serious or whimsical.

To help Piedmont’s future innovators, please consider a donation to Piedmont Makers Fab Lab. The district still needs to raise additional funds to outfit the new building with the modern equipment necessary to meet its 21st-century curriculum needs and fund expert staff.  We have raised $320K of the $420k needed. For those of you who have already contributed—Thank You! The next $50k will be matched by an anonymous donor, so please donate today!  For more information and online donations, please visit the Fab Lab. www.piedmontmakers.org/fablab.

 

Join Us on Social Media

We have a variety of social accounts to keep makers of all ages inspired and engaged.  Join our Facebook Group for a private and secure place to share Maker projects. You can also find us on Twitter and Instagram  at @piedmontmakers and on YouTube. Our Instagram and YouTube channels are fairly new, and we’re always looking for engaging content. If you have images or videos to share either tag us @piedmontmakers or send them to us at social@piedmontmakers.org.

 

We Want Your Input

We will be sending out a short Maker survey in the next week. The goal is to find areas where we can improve programs to support and inspire our community. We are incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished over the last 6 years, and as Makers we are always looking for ways to iterate and improve. We’re looking forward to your insight and input. We cannot wait to see you virtually!

The Piedmont Makers Board

 

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Fab Lab Campaign


Posted on Mar 29, 2020

Piedmont Makers has kicked off a campaign to raise money for the “Fabrication Lab” in the new Piedmont High School S.T.E.A.M. building. The vision for the lab is to provide a facility where students can design, create, and innovate. Our goal is to raise $200,000 for automated and hand tools, room outfitting, and a staff member to help guide and mentor students. We already have $20,000 in donations.  We are fortunate to have an anonymous donor who has committed to match contributions dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000. We really need your support!

Donate Now!

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