Piedmont Makers

To Promote & Inspire Tech Education in Piedmont


Mini Maker Faire May 31!

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.

Read More

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!

Read More

FREE Mini Maker Faire Tickets!


Posted By on May 15, 2014

We are excited to kickoff the 1st annual Piedmont Mini Maker Faire!
920-548  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 A2180-271 you waiting in line at the Faire!

Eventbrite - 1st Annual Piedmont Mini Maker Faire!

Read More

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

Read More

April Update


Posted By on Apr 5, 2014

All -

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

Read More

Kickoff March 8!


Posted By on Feb 27, 2014

All -

Hope everyone had a great February break!

Kickoff @ PHS Student Center 3/8 1pm – We are postponing the kickoff event one week to next Saturday March 8 to give us more time to get the word out.  We will have project demos, info tables, and a call for projects for the Maker Faire. If you are interested in demoing past projects, please let Vince or I know. Also, if you are interested in helping out with marketing to get the message out to parents & students so we get a good crowd, please let us know.

Maker Faire 5/31 – We have reserved May 31 as the date for our first mini Maker Faire.  Kurt has linked us with the Maker Faire Program Director Sabrina Merlo to officially register as a mini Maker Faire. The news is already getting picked up by the press including a recent Piedmont Highlander article! http://tphnews.com/2014/02/maker-faire-to-sweep-into-piedmont-for-first-year. Please reply if you would like to be on the organizing committee so we can make this a great event.

District Support – Vince, Dane, and I are meeting with Asst. Superintendent Randy Booker tomorrow to discuss maker space options and longer term our mission to support Tech education in Piedmont and potential 501(c)(3) status and how we can best align with the district.

Fundraising – Thanks to Bart, Cheryl, Dave, and Kurt who presented Piedmont Makers to each of the parent school boards in February. Parent club seed contributions to Piedmont Makers will be put to a vote in the March cycle of board meetings.

Communication – We will be posting these newsletters to our blog at www.piedmontmakers.org in addition to ongoing discussion on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/piedmontmakers. Please point interested parents to signup for our mailing list on our website of join the Facebook group.

See you on March 8th!

-Dave & Vince

Read More

Welcome to Piedmont Makers!


Posted By on Feb 2, 2014

All -

Thanks to everyone for joining us for the Founder’s Dinner in January. There was great energy in the room and lots of great ideas shared. Vince and I have been following with some of you but we wanted to update the group on progress.

Fundraising & Parent Club Meetings – We have prepared a draft budget and will be presenting to the parent club boards starting this week to solicit funds. Thanks to Dave Graham, Bart Myers, Kurt Fleischer for volunteering to pitch their respective schools.

Kickoff – On Saturday March 8 from 1-4pm, we will host a Piedmont Makers kickoff and call for projects for the Piedmont Maker Faire. We are looking for great K-12 participation to brainstorm projects, hack on an idea, or simply check out the space. Let’s discuss more on the Facebook group how to make this a great event!

Science Fairs – Havens will be having their Science Fair in March while Wildwood and Beach will be having their Fairs at the end of May. We are discussing with the Wildwood and Beach principals the possibility of moving it earlier as it has been in past years to feed into an early May Maker Faire. There is also the option of moving the Maker Faire to the end of the month May 31. Bryan and I met with Principal Valdez at Beach and she is definitely supportive of Piedmont Makers as a co-sponsor of the Science Fair and promoting our maker space as a resource for Beach students working on projects. Please send your feedback on May 10 vs. May 31 for the Piedmont Maker Faire.

AP CS Interest – Vince presented to Nathan Mattix’s AP CS class last week on Piedmont Makers. Vince conducted a survey of the students and the interest level is high to work on projects, mentor younger students, and form a Maker Club in the high school

Website – The website is live at www.piedmontmakers.org. We will be adding featured projects, calendar, blog content, technical resources and more. Please send content ideas!

Facebook Group – There is a Piedmont Makers Facebook  group now started where the dinner discussion has continued. If you are not yet added, please go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/piedmontmakers/ and request to join.

Please send feedback and thanks for your support!

Read More