Piedmont Makers

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

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January 2018 News

Posted on Jan 26, 2018

This Saturday, there will be an Old Car Show associated with the Boy Scout Pinewood Derby Practice Day.  Bring your car and park it in front of the Piedmont Community Church at 10 am.  We’re keeping it informal, but if you have questions, please contact info@piedmontmakers.org.

Also on 01/27, Zenith will be competing in a FIRST Tech Challenge competition here and Cyberscots will be competing in a FIRST Tech Challenge competition at Roseville High School (near Sacramento).  Good luck to all of the competitors!

On February 3rd, Piedmont Makers challenge your RC car racers to bring their best tricks!  Meet at the Kennelly Skate Park at 3 pm.

On Sunday 02/11, cheer on our very own FIRST Lego League participants at the NorCal Peninsula Championship!  Info can be found here.


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Cars and More Cars

Posted on Jan 24, 2018

Two upcoming events for those of you who like four-wheeled transportation:

Piedmont Makers Old Car Show

Calling all old cars!  Do you have a hot rod or an old car in your garage? Have you been in the 4th of July Parade before, or know someone who has? This Saturday, January 27, 2018 will be the Piedmont Makers Old Car Show. We are continuing our theme of all things cars for our Makerspace program in January. (The first was the Pinewood Derby Build and the last will be an RC Car race.) The Boy Scouts will be holding a Pinewood Derby Practice Day at the Church on Saturday and it would be fun to show the kids some cool old cars.

So bring out your old car! Park it at 10am in front of the Piedmont Community Church at 400 Highland. There will be at least one 1932 Ford Model A and an old 1954 Citroen!  This is very casual and free. Just show up!

RC Car Race
Saturday Feb 3 at 3pm
Kennelly Skatepark

The park is located adjacent to Coaches Field on Moraga Avenue.

Do you have an RC Car? Do you want to race? The showdown is coming to a skatepark near you! Be THERE! Piedmont Makers will be on hand to run a few races. Inclement weather cancels. BYO-RC!!

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Grants Awarded

Posted on Dec 15, 2017

Piedmont Makers is excited to award $5480 in grants to support S.T.E.A.M. education for the 2017-2018 academic year to teachers and PHS Clubs in the Piedmont Unified School District.   Thanks to all our donors for making our 2nd grants cycle possible!  And a huge thank you to Cheryl Wozniak, EdD., PUSD Director of Curriculum and Instruction, and Mary Leon, for their support in soliciting, organizing and administrating these grants over the course of the year.

  • Marna Chamberlain - Piedmont High School ($2600) – Water Challenge Project (All Biology Students, Grades 9 & 10) – We are thrilled to fund this exciting project as it will give students the opportunity to apply creativity and knowledge to turn constraints into creative opportunities.  Specifically, students will be tasked with providing enough drinking water for their assigned village by building a water collector suitable for their specific region of the world.  This project-based lesson integrates science and engineering together in a way that exemplifies 21st century learning.

  • John Jogopulos - Piedmont High School Motorsports and Engineering Club ($500) – Used Motorbike, Car, Truck or other Vehicle to be rebuilt.  We are excited to fund a new project for this entrepreneurial and innovative PHS club that is giving students an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of mechanical engineering in a way not currently available through the schools.  This grant will enable more interested students to participate than would otherwise be able to with only one current student-funded project.

  • Amelia Costello - Piedmont High School Biotech Club ($495) – CRISPR Gene Editing Kit, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) Kit, Tech Social Materials. The PHS Biotech Club is a student-run club that aims to expose more high school students to the biosciences and give those already interested deeper opportunities to explore the field.  The kits purchased through the grant will provide hands-on activities for students to engage in during school lunch periods.  The Club also helped arrange our January Tech Social speaker, Dr. Kevin Doxzen, who will be inviting the audience to participate in a hands-on experiment with your cell phone.  Come check it out to learn more!

  • Dan Kessler, Christy Blackie-Taylor and Camilla Thayer - Piedmont Middle School ($750 Partial Funding with the PMS Parents Club) – Earthquake Retrofit (7th grade) and Weather Engineering Projects (6th grade).  We are excited about the PMS Science Teacher’s projects because they will integrate engineering into lessons about earth sciences using experts and materials to gain further understanding about fundamental processes affecting our everyday lives.  We loved that the Earthquake project builds on work started through a project funded in last year’s grant cycle.

  • Adam Saville - Piedmont Middle School ($900 Partial Funding with PMS Parents Club) – 3D Printers for the PMS Maker Space. (PMS Middle School Students & the Piedmont Community) 3D Printing is a great way to make STEM education accessible and fun for a broad range of kids; brings the “A” into STEAM education as there’s an authentic integration of Art and Design, with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math; and teaches kids “successful failure” that they can see with their very own eyes.  These 3D printers will be available for use by the broader community as well as the PMS Maker Classes.

  • Carolyn White, Jennifer Gulassa – Piedmont Middle School Library ($260) – 21st Century Skills Innovation Library books.  These books will support students interested in Makers in general and particularly support the Makers electives.  We applaud the Library’s interest in supporting S.T.E.A.M. education in a variety of ways and hope these books will become valuable tools for all PMS students to explore potential projects that they’ll be inspired to make!

  • Robin Ludmer – Beach Elementary ($72) – Keva Planks to add to the Mini Maker collection in the McHugh Library. We liked Ms. Ludmer’s proposal because it will inspire kids to create simple and complex designs, build pyramids and all kinds of wood sculptures, through open ended play.  These materials will be widely available to all students.

Questions or comments, please contact:
Donna Friedman Meir (donnafriedmanmeir@gmail.com)

Jane Lin (gojanelin@gmail.com)
Piedmont Makers, Grants Chairs

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November 2017 News

Posted on Nov 11, 2017

Lots going on this month in making! Read on for information about the November Makerspace, updates on Robotics in Piedmont, and a call for volunteers.

December Makerspace: Building Your Own Marble Runs 12/02/17, 2:00p – 4:00p, PMS Makerspace.
Join us for a collaborative afternoon making and playing with a marvelous marble run. There are no rules except that the marble’s going to roll downhill. We will provide plywood backer boards to build off of, hot glue, tape, and plenty of corrugated cardboard. You bring your creative mind, maker hands and any components that might make the marble’s journey more interesting. Think Pachinko meets Rube Goldberg. For ages 6+ (younger kids welcome with a parent)! Tickets here.

Some exciting updates about our robotics teams:
FIRST Lego League: On October 22, we hosted the first Piedmont FIRST Lego League Invitational scrimmage with 9 teams including the 4 Makers teams and teams from Oakland, San Ramon, Brentwood, and Pleasanton. Each team competed in 3 scrimmages in a tournament-like atmosphere in the PHS Student Center. Piedmont teams won 2 of the top 3 places while the overall winning team was Team TechNoLogic from San Ramon .Each of the four Piedmont teams will be competing in qualifying tournaments around the Bay Area over the next 2 weekends. The teams will be judged not only on robot performance, but also on a project presentation on some aspect of the human water cycle, FIRST Core Values, and Robot/Code Design. Only 3 of 16 teams at a tournament will advance to the next stage regional tournament. Good luck, FIRST lego teams!

Interested in volunteering but don’t know where to start? Check out our volunteer signup and see if any of these opportunities work for you!

December Tech Social: Architecture! 12/08/17, 6:30p – 8:30p, Ellen Driscoll Auditorium, Havens.
Save the date for a special evening with Brett Snyder. Link for tickets coming soon…

Looking forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events.

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Piedmont Makers is proud to announce the 2017-2018 S.T.E.A.M. grant funding cycle for curriculum-focused, project-based learning initiatives, and professional development within Piedmont Unified School District.

Our initial budget is $5000 but we do plan to raise more funds to promote S.T.E.A.M. education through the end of 2017 to hopefully funds additional grants.  We invite and encourage teachers to apply for these grants in the hope of maximizing the opportunity for our students to learn-by-making.

We are open to applications that include outside experts, additional tools and materials, and training for teachers at every level of the district.  The application is available here.

Applications for the S.T.E.A.M. Grant are due October 27, 2017 at 9am. Applicants are required to notify their school principal of the grants they are submitting. Selected grants will be awarded in November

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September 2017 News

Posted on Sep 8, 2017

We hope that your year is off to a great start!  There are some fun making opportunities ahead…

Scarecrow Makerspace: This Saturday 09/09 from 1p – 4p at the PMS Makerspace (Room 125), volunteers will be on hand to help you design and/or construct your scarecrow base for the Harvest Festival.  Sign up here.

Teacher Grants: PUSD teachers – are you looking for a small grant to fund a S.T.E.A.M. project in your classroom?  The Makers and PAINTS would like to help!  Be on the lookout for an invitation to apply, and email info@piedmontmakers.org if you have questions.

October Board Meeting: We will hold our next Piedmont Makers board meeting on Monday, October 2nd, at 7pm. If you are interested in helping out with upcoming Makerspace, Tech Social, or other Maker events, please RSVP to info@piedmontmakers.org.

October Tech Social: Our Friday night family event will be back in action on 10/20. Save the date for a talk from Piper and some minecraft fun!

Community Events: The East Bay Mini Maker Faire is coming up on Sunday, October 22nd.

If you would like to help fund making events and S.T.E.A.M. grants, please visit www.piedmontstore.com and donate!

Wishing you a happy month of making!

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Welcome back!

Posted on Sep 6, 2017

Lots of exciting Maker activites are being planned for the Fall!  To start, come to our Scarecrow Build THIS WEEKEND on 09/09 to work on your class scarecrow base! (Sign up here.)  Also put our next Tech Social on your calendar for 10/20.  Sign up for our newsletter or follow this space for more news…

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