Piedmont Makers

To Promote & Inspire Tech Education in Piedmont


Mini Maker Faire May 30!

October 2014 Newsletter


Posted By 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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2014-2015 Kickoff Presentation


Posted By on Sep 18, 2014

Thanks to everyone who came out to our 2014-2015 kickoff at Havens tonight. We had a full house of parents, staff, and students all excited to help us build upon last year’s momentum. And thanks to Vince, Stephanie, Kurt, Heather, and Dick for presenting great updates.  Our 2014-2015 kickoff presentation is below:

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Kickoff September 18 @ 7pm!


Posted By on Aug 29, 2014

We will host our kickoff event on Thursday, September 18 at 7pm in the Havens Library. Join us to discuss our 2014-2015 goals, district tech update, new initiatives, our 2nd annual Mini Maker Faire, and brainstorm ideas on building upon the momentum from last year! Parents, students, and staff welcome.

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Thank you Makers!


Posted By on Jun 4, 2014

On behalf of the organizing team of the 1st annual Piedmont Mini Maker Faire, I want to thank you so much for your participation at the Faire. It was a great day, great vibe, and great turnout to celebrate community making. We hope you came away inspired like I did and will join us next year with another great project.

To our sponsors—The Associated Parents Clubs of Piedmont: including Beach Parents Organization, Havens Parents Club, Wildwood Parents Club, Piedmont Middle School Parents Club, Millennium High School Parents Club, and Piedmont High School Parents Club—Thank you!

To Sabrina Merlo and Maker Media—Thank you for supporting our vision for a K-12 school district focused Faire and helping to make it a reality! Some nice articles about our inaugural Faire:

Photos by Matt Bjork, Larraine Seiden, Colleen Shanahan, Dirk van Gelder, and Nagisa Yamamoto.

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Meet the Makers


Posted By on May 21, 2014

We are excited to kickoff the 1st annual Piedmont Mini Maker Faire May 31 11am-3pm at Piedmont High School! Check out below some of the 50+ projects from Beach, Havens, Wildwood, PMS, and PHS students along with community and outside makers. Tickets are FREE and available now!

Eventbrite - 1st Annual Piedmont Mini Maker Faire!

Piedmont High School Makers:

3D Printing Club
10-1 Scale LEGO Blocks
Iron Man Repulsor Gloves
LED Lamp Sculptures
Mobile Apps Club
Rubik’s Cube Mosaic
Scotbotics
Technovation
AP Computer Science / Joy of Computing Demo Day

Piedmont Middle School Makers:
Carbonation System
Hovertrain
Kinect 3D Models
Mini Lightsabers
Tricopter
Quadcopter
Wind Power Generator

Beach Elementary Makers:
Auto Scan FM Radio
Cardboard Creations
Citrus Electricity
Electric Pinewood Derby Car
Hydraulic vs. Pneumatic
LED Music Strobe
LEGO Mindstorms
Rubik’s Cube Solver
Lightbulb
Magnetic Linear Accelerator
Marshmallow Shooters
Model Rocket with Camera
Roller Coaster
Scribbling Machine
Snap Circuits
Water-Powered Space War
Water-propelled LEGO Car

Havens Elementary Makers:
A Short Drama Comedy Film
Heart Rainbow Reflector
K’NEX Roller Coaster LEGO Creations
Van der Graff Generator

Wildwood Elementary Makers:
Compressed Air Rockets
Mood Shirt

Community Makers:
Bicycle-Powered Smoothie Blender – Brett Hondorp
Drone Clinic – Mark Harrison and Andreas Oesterer
Electric vs. Gas Car Clinic – Matt Bjork
Fix-it Clinic – Steve Berl
Great Paper Sculpture – Jane Lin
PUSD Tech Curriculum – Stephanie Griffin
Remarkable Remaking Printmaking – Larraine Seiden

Outside Makers:
Dash Robotics – iOS-controlled Arduino Origami Robots
HoneyPoint3D – 3D Printing store in Montclair
Tiny Techs – Lego Creations
Swap-O-Rama-Rama – CC Clark
And last but not least Brian Judd and his Bluegrass Band!

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FREE Mini Maker Faire Tickets!


Posted By on May 15, 2014

We are excited to kickoff the 1st annual Piedmont Mini Maker Faire! We will have a 40+ projects from Beach, Havens, Wildwood, PMS, and PHS students along with community and outside makers. Get your FREE tickets via eventbrite today to save you waiting in line at the Faire! Eventbrite - 1st Annual Piedmont Mini Maker Faire!

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May Update


Posted By on May 9, 2014

All – Thanks to all the parents and students who came out to the meetup last week. We had a great time discussing in progress Maker Faire projects.

Mini Maker Faire 5/31 11-3pm – Wow – the Call for Projects ended last week with over 40 projects now registered for the Mini Maker Faire! We will have a great combination of projects from Beach, Havens, Wildwood, PMS, and PHS students along with community members and outside makers. We will soon send out Maker table assignments and a volunteer spreadsheet. Maker setup will start at 10am.

Demo Day – As part of the Mini Maker Faire festivities, we will be hosting Piedmont’s 1st annual Demo Day where the Top 5 final projects from the PHS’ AP Computer Science / Joy of Computing classes will be demoed to a panel of community and industry judges. More details here. Please reply if you are interested in being a judge.

Lego Creations – For younger makers, we will have a neighborhood at the Faire to show off original or kit Lego creations. If you have a lego enthusiast at home, please register their creation with the project form on our website www.piedmontmakers.org. This is a great entry point for younger students to experience making and show-and-tell.

PMS Makers – What could be better than a noisy homemade hovercraft? More of them! This past week, some members of the Maker Lunch Club at PMS headed over to the shop room to cut another plywood board for a small hovercraft, while others were attaching tarps and assembling in Mrs. Smith’s classroom. We registered as a Young Makers club, and the kids are excited to be exhibiting at the big Maker Faire in San Mateo on May 18th as well as the Piedmont Mini Maker Faire on May 31.

Science Fairs – Beach and Wildwood Science Fairs are Thursday May 22. Piedmont Makers will be hosting a table at each event to recruit young maker projects for the Mini Maker Faire.

How to Start a FIRST Lego Robotics Team – Hosted by the PHS Scotbotics team 5/14 7pm at 1 Prospect Rd. Learn about FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), how to start a First Lego Robotics team at the elementary and middle school levels, the robotics season, and more. Visit scotbotics.com or FIRST to learn more.

-Dave & Vince

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April Update


Posted By on Apr 5, 2014

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Mini Maker Faire 5/31 11am-3pm – Piedmont’s first Mini Maker Faire is less than two months away… We are close to an agreement with Maker Media (the organization behind Make magazine, the original Maker Faire, and Mini Maker Faires worldwide) to be licensed as the first official K-12 school district Maker Faire in the US!

Call for Projects due 5/2! – Parent mentors – we need your help to get projects kicked off for the Faire with your kids and their friends. Some cool projects submitted so far by students: a Rubik’s Cube mosaic with 300 cubes, a mood shirt that let’s others know how you are feeling, a rover that takes pictures & video, and a quadcopter! For Beach & Wildwood parents, these can be for the school Science Fair at the end of May and the Mini Maker Faire. Note we also have some Beach students signed up who are looking to join projects. Make sure to register your project at www.piedmontmakers.org so we can plan enough exhibit space.

Planning Meeting Sundays 9pm – The planning group for the Mini Maker Faire meets biweekly on Sunday nights @ 9pm. We are looking for more marketing, organizational, communication help. Reply if you are interested in joining and helping to shape the Faire!

PMS Maker Lunch Club – Kurt Fleischer has started a Maker Lunch Club at PMS. Check out the video on the Facebook group of the most recent project — a shopvac hovercraft! The teacher sponsor is Anne Smith, the film teacher, who is great and very supportive. Two “asks”: 1) The club meets weekly on Fridays 12:40-1:15. Please contact Kurt if you are interested in joining the fun. Tech experience not required. 2) Several kids have projects they’d like to build (e.g. robot rover) for the Mini Maker Faire, and we’d like to hook them up with mentors. You?

PHS Mobile Apps Club – Vince Monical has rallied a group of student leaders and teachers Nathan Mattix and Jana Bragisa to start a Mobile Apps Club at PHS. The plan is to do one lunch meeting and one evening meeting per week. Mr. Mattix is on board with integrating call for Makers for the Maker Faire into both the club and his regular class. After rolling out to high schoolers this spring, the club can hopefully expand to middle schoolers in the fall. Please point interested parents to signup for our mailing list on our website (www.piedmontmakers.org) or keep the conversation going on our Facebook group (www.facebook.com/groups/piedmontmakers).

-Dave & Vince

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