One more!

Impression 5 Science Center and Innovation 5 were highlighted on WILX 10 news recently -you can see the story here.

Posted on June 26, 2014 .

Catching up

We have not posted here in quite a while as we made preparations for the next phase of Innovation 5.  I will be making up for that in the next few days, I hope.

The most immediate piece of news is that members of the Innovation5 team were interviewed by WILX Channel 10 about the Innovation5 project.  The interview is scheduled to air on the 6 PM news broadcast today, June 18.  

The interview came about because Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is becoming quite involved in promoting the Maker movement.  Today Mayor Bernero is at the White House for the first White House Maker Faire .  He is also one of the lead members of the Mayor's Maker Challenge , an effort to inspire more communities to embrace the potential of the Maker movement.

More to come - stay tuned!

 

Posted on June 18, 2014 .

California Science Center

The California Science Center in Exposition Park in Los Angeles is perhaps most famous for its recent acquistion of the retired space shuttle Endeavour, which arrived by jet and then was trucked through the streets of LA to the delight of huge crowds.  You can watch a cool time-lapse video of the move  here.  

They have a design/build space as well, but it being LA, I guess, it is almost entirely devoted to media.

California Science Center Design Zone

California Science Center Design Zone

This is a kind of unique take on design/build, which has the advantage that almost everything to do is virtual.  You can produce a record, create a mix, work with samples, choreograph a light show or (again, it being LA) design rides for an amusement park.

And, like the Lawrence Hall of Science, they have another exhibit space where you can design structures to be earthquake (and flood) resistant. A California thing, I guess.

California Science Center Design a structure exhibit 

California Science Center Design a structure exhibit 

Posted on December 3, 2013 .

Lawrence Hall of Science

The Lawrence Hall of Science is a hands-on science museum in the Berkeley, California hills, just above the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.  [Just a cultural note - I call it the "University of California, Berkeley" because I graduated from the University of California, San Diego.  Folks in Berkeley prefer to call their campus "The University of California" period and then tack on a location for other campuses. Those of us from other campuses prefer a more egalitarian naming approach :) ]

Their innovation exhibit is pretty large and is called "Design Quest."  

Lawrence Hall of Science Design Quest Entrance

Lawrence Hall of Science Design Quest Entrance

Lawrence Hall of Science Design Build Test poster

Lawrence Hall of Science Design Build Test poster

The most popular activity when I was there is the '10,000 planks' area where folks can just build whatever suits their fancy from a whole lot of small pieces of wood.  There are some creative examples on exhibit apparently produced by staff and in display cases for inspiration.  I think it would be kind of nice to have a way to post photos of folks' work as well.

Here's one young person at work - 

The Hall is a beautiful building in a spectacular location with a view of all of San Francisco bay.  They have a very interesting exhibit on earthquakes (no surprise there, I guess!).  Definitely worth a visit.

Posted on December 3, 2013 .

A visit to the Exploratorium

The old Exploratorium, one of the original and still one of the very best hands-on science museums in the world, which was housed near the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, recently moved to much larger and more spectacular space right on Fisherman's Wharf.  This was my first chance to visit since they moved, and the new building is spectacular.  

The Central Corridor of the new Exploratorium

The Central Corridor of the new Exploratorium

Equally spectacular is the emphasis on making the work of the Exploratorium a part of the visitor experience.  This has been a hallmark of their philosophy from the start.  Here is a sign in the new building that speaks to this:

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This is one of the things we hope to be able to replicate; making exhibit building an integral part of the visitor experience at Impression 5 and a model for the process of innovation.

Posted on November 18, 2013 .

A different kind of makerspace

I ran across the American Steel Studios in Los Angeles in my travels.  It is a community-based makerspace devoted primarily to artists.  Yes, you could probably call it an 'art studio' but it is also a collective sharing space for tools and technology as well as ideas, so I think calling it a maker space is a reasonable fit.  Here is an example of the scale of some of the work by one of the resident artists, Karen Cusolito and a picture of their massive workspace.

 

Karen Cusolito's large scale sculptures from the American Steel Studios community workspace

Karen Cusolito's large scale sculptures from the American Steel Studios community workspace

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Dozens of artists have personal spaces within the facility with access to shared tools a within a supportive community.  Definitely worth a visit!

Posted on November 12, 2013 .

On the Road Again

I'm traveling for the next couple of weeks and visiting a number of hands-on science museums and maker spaces on the West Coast.  I will publish bits about them as I get a chance.   

Posted on November 12, 2013 .

Innovation 5 at Cafe Scientifique Oct 15

I will be presenting a talk titled "The Maker Revolution" at the Tuesday, October 15 Cafe Scientifique at 7 PM at Schuler's Books in Eastwood Town Center.  Here's the blurb:

 Scientific American, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and the Economist have all reported in the past year that the Maker revolution is poised for growth and economic impact today comparable to the personal computer revolution of the 1970's. What is the Maker Revolution?  Who are the local revolutionaries and how will these new technologies affect our daily lives and our ability to create new business opportunities?  How can the Maker Revolution inspire our children to pursue their studies to join the revolution?  Come and learn what the tools of making, the institutions supporting makers  and the future of making will be in the decades to come.  Dr. Thomas Deits will be our presenter.

If you are unfamiliar with Cafe Scientifique, it is an international organization that supports informal discussions on scientific topics that are accessible to everyone.   LCC, under the leadership of Prof. Alex Azima, has been running the program for many years, generally on the second Tuesday of the month during the academic year.  We always have a good crowd and excellent and thoughtful discussions.   There is a list of previous topics here that can give you a sense of the breadth of the subjects covered.

Posted on October 11, 2013 .

Next Steps for Innovation 5

We have completed our summer project with our final presentation at the Innovate! Michigan 2013 conference, but that is of course only the beginning for Innovation 5.  We had a great team of students and some of them are going to stay with the project in the months to come.  Many thanks to them for all of their work and enthusiasm for Innovation 5!


Posted on September 9, 2013 .

Save the Date – 3 D Printing Day at Impression 5 October 19

The Innovation 5 Team and Impression 5 Science Center, along with LEAP and Spartan Innovations are planning a ‘3 D Printing Day’ at Impression 5 on Saturday, October 19 (time to be determined, but probably 11 AM to 5 PM).  We will have 3D printers in operation as well as products from 3D printers, and representatives from education and the private sector involved in 3D printing.  There will probably be some informal presentations on 3D printing and personal manufacturing both from a technical perspective and as a tool for economic development.  So stay tuned to the Innovation 5 social channels for further details but mark your calendar now!

Posted on September 9, 2013 .

Innovation 5 presentation at Innovate! Michigan 2013

The Innovation 5 team presented a report on our Innovation 5 planning project funded by the Michigan State University Center for Regional Economic Innovation  at the Innovate! Michigan 2013 conference at the Kellogg Center on September 4.  We had a more than full room for our presentation and folks asked some great questions which our student team members handled with aplomb and expertise.  After the talk, many people approached us for further information about Innovation 5, and for them, welcome to the Innovation 5 network!  Our final report from our planning project is in editorial review and our webinar is being transcribed.  We will let you know when these are available online.  

 
Posted on September 9, 2013 .

The REI Innovation Summit is coming September 4

The Innovation 5 team will be presenting a talk at the upcoming Innovate Michigan! Summit on September 4.  Our talk is titled "Innovation 5: Advancing Economic Development through Entrepreneurship, STEM Promotion and Fostering Innovation and Collaboration."

the Innovate Michigan! Summit is sponsored by the University Center for Regional Economic Innovation at Michigan State University and provides the public an opportunity to hear about a wide variety of innovative approaches to economic development for the state. 

As an added bonus, Summit attendees can also attend the Michigan Inventor's Coalition annual Inventors Expo 2013 where you can meet inventors, entrepreneurs and inventor support organizations and learn about this exciting and rapidly growing movement can boost Michigan's (and your!) economy.

 

Posted on August 23, 2013 .

Back from OHM2013

OHM2013 (www.ohm2012.org) was just as cool as I hoped.  There was a tremendous amount of volunteer effort in setting up the event, with not only food, showers, security, talks, workshops, etc. but additional things like programmable color LED streetlights (you could submit your own program!), giant laser shows, and a great diversity of talks and workshops.  You could learn lockpicking, make your own titanium spork, learn the details of mate drinking and much more.  Two groups brought mobile maker spaces, one in a truck and one in a shipping container.  There was even a booth giving out free watermelon and meatloaf and your own web domain where you could monitor your consumption of watermelon and meatloaf online?!  

Children's makerspace to the right, Food area to the left, and alligator-infested canal in the foreground

Children's makerspace to the right, Food area to the left, and alligator-infested canal in the foreground

I gave a talk titled ‘Hacking Atoms” about making your own superhydrophobic surface which was well attended and well received.  Of course, I also took part in the Innovation 5 team’s webinar for the REI network from the site, and spent a fair amount of time volunteering, including quite a while digging up fiber optic cables after the event.  OHM actually had more bandwidth available than the entire continent of Africa – which points up just one element of the digital divide.

I had the opportunity to talk to the head of the Netherland’s highly active maker network about Innovation 5 and he was very supportive and confirmed that to his knowledge there were no community-based maker spaces housed in hands-on science museums in Europe.

Mobkle hacker spaces in shipping containers and trucks

Mobkle hacker spaces in shipping containers and trucks

 The take home message from the meeting is that the maker movement is a lively, growing and dedicated group of folks and provides further confirmation that the maker movement is here to stay.

 
Posted on August 16, 2013 .

OHM 2013

I'm off to Amsterdam for Observe, Hack Make 2013 !  This is 'Woodstock for Makers' - a 5 day camping out international extravaganza of random acts of making.  I will be giving a workshop titles 'hacking with atoms.'  I plan to give a few talks when I return about the event - if you would be interested in hearing about OHM2013, let me know.

Posted on July 29, 2013 .